Ending the year 2015, December 31st at 11:03 p.m., in a Facebook (FB) post, I proclaimed in advance, the greatness of the upcoming year, 2016. Having no idea or thought of anything remotely close to authoring a blog at that time, I stated that I was “Ready for new beginnings, new ventures, and new opportunities—to give, to serve and to share about God’s awesomeness and incredible goodness along this journey called life!!!” I further included three hashtags: #KeepYourEyesOnThePrize, #MoreLoveLessJudgement, #AllIsWell. It is amazing to me, that speaking those words in some sort of blind faith, without asking for specifics, and simply believing in the power of what God can do, resulted in the birth of The Cherry Vine. It was a new beginning and a new venture, launched in April 2016. It was and continues to be a new opportunity to give, to serve and to share about God’s awesomeness and incredible goodness, while keeping my eyes on the prize, being less judgemental and remembering that all really is well.
Reflecting on that post and others written on New Year’s Eves (NYE) prior, I am reminded that life is a mere journey of learning, growing and remaining prayerful. You see, in 2015, faith was still very present, even after dealing with my mother being hospitalized during the Christmas holiday—that was certainly something different and a challenge for my family—I learned, I grew, and I remained prayerful. In 2014, I shared a feeling of peace after a year that represented major change in my life, i.e. divorce. I spoke of how I learned a lot about me and how to “stand” in adversity, and how to truly trust God for guidance. I was thankful for folk who gave me Godly counsel and lifted me in “valley” moments—-I learned, I grew, and I remained prayerful. In 2013??? Wow!! That was, undoubtedly, a year that changed my life forever!! The post on NYE 2013 started with, “Reflecting on a year that rocked the soul of my existence…losing my dad. It really has seemed at times that “the earth had shifted off its axis and everything was off kilter”, but the love of an awesome, incredible God kept me lifted in some dark moments.” As tough as that was, I learned, I grew, and I remained prayerful.
Reading back over what I’ve just written, I am reminded that everything has a purpose, in God, if we pay attention. I know, without any doubt, had my father not passed in 2013, I wouldn’t have tapped into my love for written expression. Because the pain was so deep, I needed to vent. I needed to heal. I needed therapy! I needed something other than somebody telling me it was going to be okay and stay strong. I needed folk to know what my father meant to me, so this journey started unofficially with the piece, Daddy’s Little Girls, read at his “Celebrating a Life Well Lived”, funeral service. As writing continued to be therapeutic, I felt that it was incumbent upon me to give each family member their own individual “piece(s)” of him that we needed to commit to carry with us, as he was such a strong force in developing everything that represented good in each of us…. I wrote, A Little Piece of “E”. Still reflecting, I’m thankful that Facebook became a platform for people to hear my heart. I’m thankful for that someone, a FB friend and co-worker, who recognized something in my ability to express myself. I’m so thankful that she was obedient and delivered me the assignment from God to, “do something with your writing.” I’ve learned a lot over this past year, being “The Voice of The Vine”. I’ve grown emotionally and spiritually. I’ve remained prayerful.
We never know what each year that God blesses us to see will bring. We never know what challenges we will have to face. We never know how we will respond or what steps we will take to overcome adversity until we’re actually presented with those things that may rock the core of our existence. What I do know, is that we must seek God in ALL things, and He really does make our way straight. I know that we have to be willing to go through the process to get better—Learned that from a friend of mine who “checked” me, as I was complaining about a sprained ankle, while she was dealing with cancer treatments— I learned, I grew and I remain prayerful about being patient with process. I also now know that sometimes you have to be still to hear God’s voice. The normal hustle and bustle of every day, sometimes clutters the spiritual air. He needs our attention to speak to us and for me, that has meant settling into solitude to receive direction and guidance. This was delivered by a friend, and made clear by being obedient. I learned, I grew and remain prayerful.
So, as we embark on another blessed year, despite what occurs, let’s keep perspective, process and private moments in mind. As we deal with issues, as we will all have them, remember to learn, grow and remain prayerful. If we’re patient as we pray through the process, and get still to hear from God, we will clearly recognize the benefits of being loved by a Great God!
2017 is already blessed! Make the most of it! Find a way to make a difference in your life, by positively impacting and inspiring the lives of others! I’m vowing to love more, give more, study more, pray more and serve more! I’m also vowing and looking forward to expanding the reach of this blog to continue Energizing, Educating and Empowering the “fruit” of the Vine. Stay tuned!
Thanks for your support, and your willingness to hear the heart of this flawed, yet favored soul!!
Peace & New Year Blessings, Lisa B