As I look at this picture, I see resilience.
You may see a bright smile. A cute pair of earrings. A little shoulder action.
But you have no idea how hard it has been for me to even get out of the house lately (this isn’t my house); to find joy in the midst of pain.
I see a woman who has fought with every ounce of breath in her lungs to hold onto the promises of God during an extremely hard time.
For the purposes of this piece, it doesn’t as much matter what those struggles have been.
(As a faith-based writer, I’m learning how to be a little broader and generic with my testimonies, so as to be as relatable as possible.)
Because the truth is that we all have our stuff.
As 2018 came to a close, though, I could sense myself getting stronger.
I would go through the same battles, but I would be smiling. I would no longer get sick to my stomach.
That doesn’t mean that every day moving forward in this new year will be smooth sailing.
But it does mean that I am aware that I have developed an incredible amount stamina on the inside of me.
Whatever journey lies ahead must be pretty spectacular. That’s something I know for sure.
One of the intentions I’m setting for 2019 is to stop comparing myself to past versions of myself and to start embracing the eternal work that is being done in me and through me.
I love that I can be an inspiration to you guys. Really, I do.
But please understand that all callings come at a price and ministers are human, too.
That’s why it’s so important to check on your strong friends.
But not just them.
Your quiet friends and your overly-loud friends, too.
Everyone is sending out a message. You just have to be discerning to pick up what they’re saying.
So, I’ll end this post with one of my favorite verses that I added to my spiritual arsenal in 2018:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)