My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience, but let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

Every New Year brings new experiences and life lessons. Well, I’m sure I speak for the masses when I say that 2016 came with a vengeance. Last year showed no mercy and you had better been girded in your armor prepared for battle. Only the strong survived! Now, don’t get me wrong, there were definitely some proud moments in 2016, but the challenges that came were a force to be reckoned with. You never know how strong you are until you come out on the other side of the obstacles, which tried to break you down. In January 2016, I did a fast. I prayed to God requesting 2 things. One of those requests was to become a best selling author. I had no idea how that desire would become reality, but I prayed and left the details to God. I wanted people to know my name. I wanted being an author to become the beginning of walking in my purpose of continued writing, speaking and eventually coaching. God answered my prayers. But you better believe, it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. The roller coaster ride of 2016 left me tired, exhausted and just grateful to cross over into another chapter of life. I’m beyond ecstatic to see 2017. I am so exhausted from the beat down of 2016, my only prayer request for 2017 is, Lord, whatever you want to happen, I’m cool with it. I am at a total surrendering place in my life right now. I have no more energy to fight, fuss or nag about things that are beyond my control. I just want to live my life and love me a little harder. That’s all I got! That “let go, let God” saying has taken on an entirely new meaning in my life.

I went back and forth about writing this blog, because I didn’t want it to be a “Debbie Downer”. I could rattle off all of the craziness that happened in 2016, but at this point, what difference does it make?!? STILL I RISE is the title for a reason! Yes, no one can do it like Maya Angelou, but the title was perfect when I thought about what WE have all managed to overcome. What doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger. Now that we’ve crossed over into another year, there’s no need to beat a dead horse. Lets just take our lessons learned and move forward stronger and wiser. 2016 prepared us!

12 Lesson’s Learned in 2016:

  1. Be prepared to receive what you pray for. God does answer in His own time. Some prayers just take longer than others.
  2. Be intentional…about God, work, love, relationships and most importantly, yourself! Know your worth. Doing anything half-ass comes with consequences.
  3. The phrase, “one day at a time” is the truth about everything you go through in life. Restoration takes time. Allow yourself to emote.
  4. Love is a verb! It works effectively when there are two willing participants. A one-sided love affair always leaves one person with the short end of the stick.
  5. To everything there is a season. Some of those seasons come with real hurt and pain; others come with an abundance of joy and laughter. Appreciate all of your seasons.
  6. When God puts an IMMEDIATE STOP to things you “had/have” going on in your life, it means that He is about to redirect your focus. There’s something else that you have to or need to be doing. That immediate stop in your life may cause you real pain, but in the end, you will see its purpose. Stay strong…one day at a time.
  7. Appreciate your loved ones while they are here…no man or woman knows neither the day nor the hour when their life will be over. Relish in the moments, make sacrifices, love them in spite of their short comings, you’ll appreciate those memories the most when they are gone.
  8. Most of our struggles started from our childhood. Once you address your foundation, you are better equipped for your future. Identify what’s holding you back and let go of that dead weight. Don’t allow your past to impact your future. Great things are in store for you once you address those strong holds.
  9. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. You have absolutely NO control over the comings and goings of your life. If He brought you to it, you are already prepared to deal with it. Stay strong…one day at a time! Pray, Pray, Pray, Pray, Pray!
  10. Sometimes, you have to give people their wings to find their way. Letting go is hard, but what’s meant to be will never fly to far away.
  11. Stop only thinking about yourself…we are all going through something. When someone’s behavior doesn’t meet your expectations, take yourself out of the equation and find out what they have going on. Most people are fighting a battle that you have no idea about.
  12. When you get tired enough, you will let go! I surrender all…AND I MEAN ALL!!

HAPPY 2017 good people!!