It’s hard to believe that the last month of 2017 is nearly half-way over. Yet, with Christmas in-tow, the nostalgia surrounding the new year is quickly approaching. The scurry of retail, the kind gestures of gift exchange, as well as the adoration of decorative lights and precious nativity scenes, will soon bring way to sparkling cider, kisses at midnight, and New Year’s resolutions.
2018 brings with it the promise of the unknown; of hope; of a new chance.
Although I typically stay away from New Year’s resolutions, I can’t help but be ecstatic about what 2018 has to offer. Truth be told, this year has not been kind to me. Yet, at the same time, 2017 has also proved to be filled with unimaginable opportunities. Simply put, the last 350-something days have been filled with endless contradictions: this past year has been both devastating and beautiful; painful and healing; hopeless and miraculous; nefarious yet vindicating.
Surely one for the books, my 2017 adventure has been quite the undertaking. Having brought me through experiences with a manipulative villain, countless heroes, death itself, rebirth, and the immense power of truth, love, and community, 2017 almost sounds like a new plot for Lee Child’s next bestseller. Actually, it’s excerpted from my life and I kid you not. When comparing the first half of the year to the second, I am often left speechless as the two are drastically different. When reflecting on my personal growth and the ridiculous love and support that has brought me here today, I am completely blown away. Stagnant, hopeless, isolated, and trapped were the sentiments that surrounded the first six months of this year. Now mobile, joyful, connected and liberated, I have one thing to say to those who may still be experiencing a less than ideal time: We can do hard things but first, we need to make a change.
For some reason, words and quotes have always proved to be significant for me on a deep level. Perhaps it’s the INFJ in me speaking but rarely do I go anywhere without a notebook. What can I say? I am a firm believer that there is power in words and speaking truth. So, in saying that, here are the top five quotes that have had the greatest impact on my 2017:
As I mentioned earlier, this year has not been kind, but it has been undeniably fruitful – something I can say now that the Season of Waiting is over and the fruit is visible and ripe for picking. These five quotes are monumentally meaningful to me; each one has helped to encourage, inspire, and motivate me in some way during the most challenging year of my young life. These words have also helped to remind me of just how big, protective, and loving my Jesus is. These wise words came into my life when I really needed something to hold onto and that’s why I’m sharing them because maybe you need them too. Or perhaps, someone you know needs these words of encouragement.
One thing is for certain: our year does not have to end the way it began nor begin in the same manner it ended. It’s a new year. Quite frankly, there are still new days before the new year even begins. In fact, there are even new hours that make up the new days. Why don’t we take advantage of the time right now to start (or to finish) whatever it is we need to do to keep pressing forward? Let’s ask ourselves the hard questions so we can identify the issues, develop a realistic strategy, and get to work.
Let’s be brave and take advantage of the opportunity of right now to make a change and switch up our lives.
2018, we’re coming for you.