It's been an extremely long year for me. I began by healing from exhaustion which was caused by a job. I had put too much effort into my work and not enough into my life's passions...writing, making people laugh and sharing the word of God. Along with the exhaustion came depression, anxiety and fear. Having been down that road once in my life already, there was no way I was going to let it consume me the way it had done in 2001. I was determined to stand up and stand tall, regardless of what it took. I took my time. Little by little, I managed to put one foot in front of the other and learn to walk again. I went back to school. I completed a certificate program in phlebotomy at my local community college and graduated Summa Cum Laude with the highest score in the class, not to mention the highest score on my boards. I've stopped allowing others to walk on me be it at work, at home or anywhere. I've stopped pleasing everyone at my own expense. I'm so worth that!
So, in this past year, I've had time to reflect on what is important and what is not. I've also explored issues that I'd previously deemed "taboo". I've come to realize that the greatest commandment Jesus gives us is to truly, and I do mean TRULY to love one another - regardless of their belief, regardless of their life choices and regardless of their sins. I have my own sins to remember to be repentant of. If I'm pointing the finger at others' sins, how can I possibly say I'm repentant of my own. That, in itself, is a sin! Honesty and truthfulness has been brought to the foreground. The experience of losing a job and it being taken in such a way that causes you to squint in disbelief that people could do something so vicious and are actually evil in nature was a real eye opener. I never want to be in that situation again. I don't allow people to scare me with loss of income anymore, nor do I give 100% to something that is not worth my time. I've learned to move on and take care of myself. No one else on this planet is going to do it. Yes, God will provide, however, I must do the foot work. I must make the changes. I must accept responsibility for my successes and my failures.
So, I begin again. I have faith that God will continue to inspire me, as He has done in the past. With that...
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear..." (1 Peter 3:15)
In all that I do, everything is a blessing and a gift from God. From the ability to get out of bed every morning, to the drive to work, the work I do and the people that cross my path. Some are there to help me grow, some are there for me to share my experiences with, and some are there to just remind me where I once was. God's plan is always better than mine. Anyone who asks, gets an honest, unabridged answer as to how I see my Creator, how I interpret His word, and what my faith teaches me. Jesus is my hope. His word doesn't change. My life will never be sinless, nor will anyone else's while they are on Earth. I know two things to be unequivocally true: Jesus died for my sins and the sins of others. Unless you believe and accept that Jesus is the Messiah, you will not enter into the Kingdom of God.