As my sister would say…"Good riddance, 2013." My heart couldn't agree more. I'd have to say, 2013 was one of the hardest years of my life. But as a result, the closest I've EVER become to God. Some may find faith irrelevant when they look back at this past year. But when life makes a turn for a road you never wished to travel, that's when your faith is tested. That's when it's relevant. That's when the reality of the God they taught you about in Sunday School is tested.
And this year, was that year.
I can say, this year brought great things for my design business. I'm so grateful for that and cling to the blessings that did show their face this past year. Like clients who expressed in the prettiest of words how much my designs encouraged them to build their business; how the patient guidance of someone's brand meant so much more than I ever expected it to; mentoring sessions I never dreamed I would play a role in and so much more. It's that mysterious way He works. Sometimes those bright little blessings shine brighter when you're walking in darkness. He gives you the eyes to see it, when everything else is gone and out of sight.
This year brought its blessings, but it also brought me moments where I had nothing to cling to but God's grace and direction. I'm still clinging. And I know He will turn it all for good.
"The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm." Exodus 14:14
I've been coming across this verse a lot. Perhaps God is trying to make it clear that it's not my efforts but His. My hopes are to use my business and this platform unashamedly to share how dreams can be conquered, mountains can be climbed and challenges can be turned to victories. Someone told me the other day, "Leslie, people are watching. You have an amazing opportunity to lift up the name of Jesus through your testimony, however the story unfolds." I heard that loud and clear.
So this year, I won't set any lofty goals or make plans He never intended for me. I will be still. I will let Him shine and let Him continue to write my story, no matter how different it looks from anything I expected or wanted it to be. Because He knows how this all works and I never will.
Oh how I wish I could share the details of this journey with the world. Of how He's proving Himself every day through this. Sometimes I see it. And honestly, sometimes I can't see it through the tears, but it's there. He's there. And no one can deny me of it. Someday, He'll give me the 'go' to share the details of this journey I began in 2013, but for now, all I can say is, I'm grateful for the seeds of faith that were planted in my heart early in my life. They are growing to fruition now, sometimes painfully, sometimes effortlessly. Man, this adult thing is hard. Can I go back to age 7? Haha! Just kidding.
But seriously, I've always known there's something different about me. Not in a prideful way, but in a childlike faith way--I know He's called me to something bigger. That my results and my reactions to life's challenges don't have to look like the average. That He is bigger in me than any depressing statistic ever will be.
So even if you're starting 2014 with a crawl along with me, somehow there's hope that you (and I) will be standing tall come December 2014. I'm certainly claiming it for myself!
Here we go 2014…
My 2014 theme song: Oceans by Hillsong United….seriously, these lyrics are carrying me!
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior