It's December 1st!!!

That's how I woke up. I'm not talking about because it's actually December first. I'm saying I literally woke up with that excitement. I can't really explain what I felt I just woke up and the air I was breathing just felt new. *I know I'm being extra, but just roll with me.*

Like I was saying something felt new and different. You know how you hear people talking about shifts and all that when they talk about God? Well I felt like the tide had just turned for me. I had spent the last couple of days reflecting 2017 and yes I know it's not over yet, but it's end was coming soon so I decided to think about everything the year brought with it.

When I tried to think over my year I honestly couldn't remember how the year started out. I could only reflect on  how it finished out. I mean I'm sure I had plenty of goals. Did I make them, reach them? A few. Ok, maybe like one or two. I don't even remember all of the goals I made for 2017. 

What I do know is that I faced some things, realized some things and had those epiphany moments. Which to some may not seem like much, but to me all of those things will have an effect on the rest of my life, the course of my life. I realized I still had an unhealthy connection to failure. That's huge. The ability to accept failure and it's lessons is directly connected to trying and doing new things. The fact that I get overwhelmed by failure means I am more than likely to NOT try new things and stick with what I know. How limiting is that? I realized I lacked discipline. The discipline to finish projects, the discipline to stay in the gym, the discipline to get up early every morning and pray. I lacked discipline.

I also realized that I tended to tuck my feelings inside to appease those around me. It had gotten so bad that for the first time in my life I was struggling with anxiety. I'm no doctor, so I can't really say for sure that's what I had, but it was almost to the point where I needed a brown paper bag to breathe in.  *No longer will I laugh when I see those things on tv in funny sitcoms...I hope.* 

Though there were a lot of uncomfortable and trying moments of 2017 there were some good things too. Like signing a publishing contract, *my book comes out really soon, cough like next month soon cough*,  overcoming that peacekeeper demeanor and becoming a peace maker (which I'll write about soon), striving to be a better more balanced individual (which birthed some amazing ideas), having lights shine on my problem areas, so I was no longer oblivious and realigning myself with God. 

So, yes 2017 may not have been the most beautiful chapter, but it was the most eye opening, sandpapering and growth inspiring. God has shown me tremendous grace and mercy this year and for some odd reason I believe 2018 has a whole lot of blessings in store. Blessings that will make me see even more clearly just how much He has had my back.

I read somewhere in Isaiah that God declares the end before the beginning and that resonated with me because that means every part of my life has been mapped out. My destiny has been written longer than I've been alive and that means everything I need to get there God also already worked out. He's already provided everything that I need. Its not a matter of if He's going to do it. He literally already did it. It's just a matter of believing that everything I need will be provided in each season, whether its internal or external. 

I encourage you to reflect over your year before the New Year rolls in. And as long as you are really honest with yourself I think you'll find, like I did, that reflection brings clarity. 

(That means an amazing year, a wonderful year or my favorite...the year of miracles.)

Ariel Jones