As the old year silently passes away and the New Year rises over the horizon, we often get reflective about the past year and our minds are drawn to the memories that the old year possessed as our hopes for the New Year begin to emerge. I, like all of you, find myself reflecting on the past year and my mind is flooded with memories. Many of the memories of 2015 are good ones. As I focus on the good times of 2015, I cannot help but remember some of the challenges that 2015 held for me too. All of our lives are made up of memories. Our memories and the events in our lives help to shape us into the person that we are and into the person that we are yet to be. Every experience we walk through, the good and the bad, make us the person that God has always intended for us to be. It is difficult for us to realize that when we are walking through this life, but when we take a moment and reflect on all our experiences, we can see God’s hand working in our lives, and we can see that all of our experiences were intended to make us better people. They have given us faith, and they have taught us that God has a plan for all of our lives.
When I reflect on December 31, 2014, I am amazed at the progress that I have made through God’s help and guidance. I remember being very reflective on New Year’s Eve of 2014. I remember thinking of all the trials that 2014 brought my way. I was making my way out of the hole that I was in, but I had no idea just how much God would do for me in the new year. As 2015 dawned, I was filled with more questions and doubt than anything else. I felt the hope and trust growing inside of me, but it was not fully realized. I did not know it at the time, but I was on the cusp of a breakthrough that would change my life and set me on a course of newfound peace.
I remember sitting in my apartment alone that New Years’ Eve and sending out a text to all the people I love. I cannot completely remember the words of that text, but I thanked people for their support and the love that they had shown me during 2014. I acknowledged that I knew that I had made mistakes and that I knew that I had to improve the life that I was living. I ended the text message with the following quote. "We ain't what we should be, we ain't what we gonna be, but at least we ain't what we was." This was a quote from an episode of Designing Women that I had always enjoyed and it had really touched me the first time I heard it back in 1999. It seemed very fitting for where I was in my life. That is the thing that all of us need to remember about our lives. We may not be who we should be, we may not be who we are going to be, but at least we are not who we were.
We all should live our lives trying to improve ourselves, and in the process we will improve the lives of the people we know and eventually the world. We often forget that change takes place one person at a time. It is not something that happens overnight. It is something that starts off as a distant goal and with each day that we try to live a better life, the change gets closer and closer until eventually we can see the change and then we start helping others try to change. This life is very reciprocal. One life touches another and another and another.
2015 turned out to be a very good year for me. It was the year that I found peace. It was the year that I began to understand what all of us are called to do. It was the year that I began to change, and in turn I began to change my world. None of this would have been possible without God and the love of so many people. None of it would have been possible without taking that first step in faith knowing that everything was going to be okay and that God had a plan. I am far from where I hope to eventually be, but I am so thankful for every single step that I have taken so far on my journey to peace. It has been a journey that has taken 43 year, and I know that I still have many more years to go through on my journey to complete peace.
None of us will ever experience complete peace here on this earth, but we can all have more peace in our lives than we do in this very moment. That should be the goal for all of us. Peace is the key that unlocks all the hopes and dreams that we all have for our lives. Peace is what allows us to get up in the morning and face the struggles of the day with joy in our hearts and a smile on our face. Peace is what helps us reach out to our fellowman and make the world a better place. Without peace we have nothing. Peace surely does matter.
As I think about the year 2016, I am filled with excitement and anticipation to see what God has in store for me. I know that there will be many good times, and I know that there will be difficult times. There will be great highs and terrible lows, but through it all, I know for the first time in a very long time that God will be right there walking beside me and encouraging me to keep going. I also know that if the way becomes too bumpy He will pick me up and carry me. Just knowing that brings peace to my spirit and allows me to continue to have the hope that God has instilled in me during 2015.
I am also excited to see where this blog goes in 2016. I hope that it will continue to grow and I hope that it will continue to touch lives one person at a time. Whatever happens in 2016 we all need to remember that God has a plan and that there are no coincidences in this life. God is with each of us every single minute of every single day of our lives.
I would also like to take moment to thank all of you for the love and support you have shown me since I began this blog in June 2015. I could not ask to have been treated any better, and each time you visit and like the post or leave a comment, I feel your encouragement and it gives me the courage to keep going. Many of you will never know what your words have meant to me, so all I can say is that I sincerely thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.
I also ask that you help me spread the word of peace in 2016. We can all make a difference, and we can all bring more peace to the world. If you know of someone who you think would enjoy visiting Peace Matters, I hope you will share the blog address with them. I hope you will continue to visit when you can, and I hope that you will continue to do your part in making the world a better place. This may not be Heaven, but while we are here, we can make it feel a little more like Heaven.
I hope that all of you have a wonderful New Year, and I hope that 2016 will bring you more peace, and I hope that you will begin to share the peace you have in your heart with others so that it will spread. I cannot predict what 2016 will be like for any of us, but I can guarantee you this, God will be right there with us guiding our steps, encouraging us with His words, and illuminating our paths. That certainly brings me peace for the New Year, and we should never forget that PEACE MATTERS!
I wish all of you a happy and healthy New Year. I pray that 2016 is the best year you have ever had and I pray that peace will flood your life and your spirit because PEACE MATTERS. Happy 2016!