What 2016 has taught me

As we wind down to the end of 2016, like many people I am reflecting on the year and all of the events that have happened.

It’s been an interesting year for me. I can’t say that it’s been a bad year, because there have been good moments and bad moments. And I honestly don’t believe I can say that because of a few experiences, that the whole year was bad.

I have learned a few things though. And that’s what I want to share about today.

  1. Life is what we make of it. If we want to wake up in the morning and not feel like the day ahead is going to suck, we have to tell ourselves that it’s not going to suck. Life will not go easy on you because just because you’re ‘you’ . It will continue. It will go on. And we either have to learn to ride the waves or we can let it attack us. God promises us that we are more than conquerors in all things. The choice to live victoriously or in defeat is ours.
  2. Everyone in your life has a season. Some seasons are longer than others. But others are as short as a day. I’ve learned not to hold on to seasons longer than they are meant to last. I am not saying that we shouldn’t try to fix relationships that are broken. But if there are people who come into our lives that don’t seem to line up with our vision or our destiny or who are simply not a good fit, we should not try to make them into what we want them to be. I’ve learned to treasure those friendships that I’ve had for the last two decades and let go of those that did not last for more than a couple of months. In the same vein, I’ve learned that I should probably not be aligning myself with people out of loneliness. Simply put. if someone is worth being in your life, make every effort to appreciate them. If not, let them go. Do not waste your time or theirs. It’s better to be lonely now than heartbroken later.
  3. Your finances are yours to manage. I’ve learned this year. That there will always be a sale. Always. There will also always be new restaurants to try and if they are meant to stay for a while, they will be there for a while. It is not necessary to get stuff on sale just because they are on sale. It is not necessary to go to a restaurant just because it’s new. This can be hard when you have people in your life who have no responsibilities or goals in their lives, or who have a wad of cash and investments that they have inherited. But if you are trying to achieve certain goals and make a life for yourself, there are choices that you need to make. Hard choices. Choices that might make friends and family talk about you. But that’s okay. Your finances are yours to manage. If you manage them well, you will reap the benefits and blessings. If you don’t, you will reap something else.
  4. Love again. This one is probably the hardest for me. I have somewhat given up on finding someone who gets me. I don’t think anything is wrong with me. By jolly, I’ve worked extremely hard to improve on myself and allow God’s healing in my life, over the last few years. But in so doing, I tend to meet men who are broken and jacked up and who have not worked on themselves after previous relationships, and who envy me because I have. Anyway, after many failed relationships which have left me broken, untrusting and well… jaded, I struggle to love again. This has spilled over into some of my other friendly relationships from time to time, but God is working on me. I’ve learned that for your own sake, it’s important that you allow God to work on your heart and heal it so that you can love again. There are some damages that only He alone can fix. Is loving again possible? It is. How will you know when you are ready to love again? When you have the desire to be with someone again.
  5. Mr. or Mrs. Right will not drop in your lap. At 34 and single, I am wondering if there is even a Mr. or Mrs. Right, but my faith in God gives me hope… But I’ve learned that I cannot sit in my living room watching Netflix hoping that he will find me. No Sirree. If you are lonely and in need of a partner (At this current stage in my life, I’m not by the way), then get your butt up, and get out there. Whether ‘out there’ for you is in your church groups, or hanging out with people or meeting new people… get out there. Important to note though, there is a lot of stuff that you can and should be doing while you are waiting/looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.
  6. Your vision is yours for the taking. Every year, I make certain resolutions and promises to myself. We all do. But by February, that all goes south. If there are things that you want to do with your life… get out of debt, buy a house, have a family, it is possible. You cannot sit down and wait for ANYONE to realize your dream. God will send help in many forms, but don’t sit and wait around. Write your vision down. Take baby steps to get there. Don’t give up if you don’t see anything happening, or if no one supports your vision. It’s yours. Not theirs.
  7. God is there. This last one is important to me above everything else. But I deliberately left it for last. There are times when I’ve given up on God because I wondered why He put me in the place I am in. I’ve experienced real hurt from friends and family, work relationships, and just life. But for every negative thing I’ve experienced, God has given me two positives. Most of them are evident from how He’s operated in my son’s life but there are things that He has done for me that makes it impossible to deny His existence and His love for me. The way He positioned me for my current job. The way He blocked certain relationships from coming into existence. The way that He provided for me for the first six months of the year when I was unemployed and didn’t know how I was going to make it as a single mom. I’ve learned that doubt if you may, it does not change the fact that God is there for us. In every situation. He’s there. Even when we don’t acknowledge Him. God’s love for us does not fail. If anything this revelation compels me to be closer to Him in the New Year.

There is so much more that I’ve learned, but this sums it up. Now as we usher into 2017, my prayer for all of us, is that we are  wiser, stronger, better listeners, better friends, good parents (who do not put facebook over the time spent with our families), better stewards of our finances. I pray that we use this year to work on ourselves rather than point fingers at what’s wrong with others. And finally, that we make an effort to know God before judging Him based on what we’ve heard about Him from others.









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