As 2016 nears to an end I thought it would be a good idea to look back on my year. I have shared with you in previous posts, that I have kept journals over the last twenty years of my life; the struggles, trials, growth and personal victories. My journey has never been easy or straightforward and whilst I still do not know why certain situations happened in my life, I am learning more and more to have faith in God and not try to figure out the path of life myself. (Trust not in your own ways, but lean on God for understanding’ Proverbs 3:5)
Overall, I am encouraged in spite of tremendous oppression with the path my life has taken and I can see the personal progression I have made emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I have become less defensive and more accepting of my faults and more congratulatory on my accomplishments, which has benefited me greatly. Setbacks I have learned are not a sign of defeat and instead of reacting to unforeseen problems, calmly accepting issues that arise has given me scope to think about how I can overcome obstacles. I credit my renewed mind-set to my Heavenly Father God, and to all the positive influences I have in my life; a loving Husband, good friends, prayer, counselling when I have needed it and access to literature that helps engage and focus my mind on the bigger picture.
This year I have worked hard on developing my God given skills and talent so that I can be of help to those who are in need. I still have a long way to go but I have been enjoying the challenge so far and I have been trying new ways of reaching people including setting up my You Tube Channel! I always use to joke I have a face for radio because I do not like being in front of the camera! I do understand that with the subject I am talking about people want to see my face so I am trying to build my confidence by trusting that God will help me, watching you tube and of course input from my Husband who has been such a great help. I delivered my first Daughter Arise workshop that I designed and created myself; that was a success, started work on two new books and remained committed to running the support group. The support group has had its difficulties in engaging with the very people it is supposed to reach and that is due in part to the subject matter and each individuals personal circumstances but understanding and empathy has helped me to stay loyal to the vision. This year makes five years since I founded Daughter Arise and I understand as I am her this organisation will only go as far as I go because its conception, birth and growth is intertwined with my personal journey. It took a while to understand this but I am at peace with the fact that God orders my steps and will decide when doors open. I am learning, with patience, to enjoy the journey to the destination and the skill of working smarter not harder!
2016 is the year I allowed myself to be more open and transparent in my marriage. Coming from a family background where secrecy was normal and from the dark secret world of sexual abuse, transparency was a word that used to fill me with fear because to be transparent meant to be vulnerable and open to being hurt. It has taken eleven years of marriage to get to this point and I am happy that I have. Remember in one of my earlier blog post (9 year hitch) I wrote about some of the challenges I faced in parenting when my daughters hit the age my own abuse started? Well you will be glad to know that I am actively loving and embracing my relationship with my Daughter who is now 10 years old. I think I have done better this time round and making better memories for the both of us.
So to sum up 2016; It has been a year of great challenges but also of tremendous personal growth, a year where I have learned perseverance is key, reflection is as important as reaching the goal and victories, however small are to be recognised and acknowledged. I am still not where I want to be professionally and that has been disheartening but I believe the dream of becoming fully self-employed is coming. I am thankful that in my paid part time job I got to see my past experiences came back full circle to empower and bless others. I am gaining confidence and growing from strength to strength.
How has 2016 been for you? Remember it is never to late to achieve your dreams, overcome fears and find hope. If it is only one thing you have achieved in 2016 congratulate yourself. Even if 2016 was not the year you hoped it to be 2017 could be the year you have the breakthrough. Remain hopeful.
Happy Christmas and here is to 2017!