End of the Year Review/Reflection: 2013

Funny I normally do this sort of thing via email, send it to my closest friends and call it a day. But now that I have this blog, to pour out my nearest and dearest, I figured this is as good a platform as any. So here goes my annual reflection for 2013…

The year started off nice as two of my closest friends and I headed down to Cincinnati, Ohio to visit more close friends (a girl can never have enough close friends). We weathered the crazy highways with my little civic, but he held up nicely, icy roads and all (way to go A-Dog). We were all pleasantly surprised to find that downtown Cincinnati was pretty lively. Maybe our expectations were surpassed because, truth be told, they were simply not that high. Whatever the reason, we enjoyed ourselves hanging around outside in the cold, trying to look as cute as possible for the camera.

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There was a live band, fireworks, and plenty of entertaining tipsy folks to people watch. We made our way back to the hotel after midnight, filled the air with idol chit chat consisting of the usual topics of girl talk, and fell asleep safe and sound (much to all of our mothers’ relief I’m sure). The next morning we met up with someone I greatly admire. A woman whose blog has encouraged me and ministered to me in my own journey with Christ. It was truly an honor to sit with Ms. Candra Evans at IHOP and pick her brain and heart on all things pertaining to life as a Christian single. We even got a picture with her…

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Feb rolled around and I found myself enrolled in my pastor’s healthy eating class. It was probably one of the most life changing decisions I have ever made and there is no way I could have fathomed the blessings I would reap from such a decision. I have been consistently practicing all that she taught me all year and am now 20 pounds lighter and a whole lot healthier. I’m also gearing up to assist her in her next class which begins in about a month. February also blessed with my first attendance at the Worth The Wait Gala in Washington D.C held by Dr. Lindsay Marsh. Her release of “The Best Sex of My Life: Confessions of a Sexual Purity Revolution” included my debut of my personal testimony in the area of sexual purity as well as my best friend’s.

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The month of March I wrote a blog post titled “How to Overcome Heartbreak: Recovering from Misguided Love”. I almost didn’t write the post, and now I’m so glad I did. I received several confirmations that this post was the inspiration for my book with the same title. God has used this post to minister to people all around the world, and I look forward to seeing Him use the book as well. He will make beauty from ashes. I never would have guessed the devastating pain I once experienced could receive such healing and help others in their own journey towards healing.

And of course that brings us to April. THE BEST MONTH OF THEM ALL!!! And I’m not being biased because it’s my birthday month! Well, maybe I am ๐Ÿ™‚ This year was the big 3-0 and even though I had such mixed emotions about it, I’m so glad I celebrated it in the best way possible. 20 of my closest friends and I dove into 2 full hours of Zumba! My BFF made fruit smoothies to refresh us and my Zumba instructor rocked it! I love, love, love to dance and was so happy to celebrate in this way.

My BFF Audra also turned 30 and we celebrated her and her daughter turning “3 & 30” just a couple of weeks later. I think the fact that we had so much fun in April confirms that April is the best month to be born in…

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In May I tried my hand at entrepreneurship. I was blessed with some business savvy, godly, mentors and dove in head first into the world of Primerica. Didn’t do so bad either. I was working at my full time job and consistently traveling all over the city for my part time (which felt more like a full time). I even attended my first business conference in June in Atlanta, Georgia. It was my first time in ATL and I was blown away at the extravagant seminars they put on. There was nothing like it and it really encouraged me in my calling to manifest God’s kingdom in the business arena. So most of the summer was spent building my business, meeting with clients and exposing the corruption in the Insurance industry (make sure you have Term Life Insurance people!) I did take a break from working so hard to do a little zip-lining. That was a fantastic experience although I will never repeat it again in my life. Surprisingly I did pretty well at it. I even went on one of the courses backwards!

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I forgot to mention that I had been transitioning from my perm to being natural all this time. In June I finally found the nerve to do the Big Chop (brush up on your natural hair lingo if you are unsure of this term) and was accompanied by the lovely Tierra Moore formerly known as Tierra Nichols who put up the before and after pics on Facebook (I guess with social media nothing is sacred these days…) She also accompanied me to get all the needed hair care products, accessories, and makeup. I was a new woman by evening time, rocking my coils done by the talented Tondi Wiley and hitting up our favorite karaoke bar (Becky’s).

August was bitter sweet as I said goodbye to my secret bestie Jiesha Perkins. She has been there by my side the last few years and this was going to be a challenge having her so far away. But I was extremely blessed by God’s plan to give her the desire of her heart: Haiti. So we did it big and hosted a farewell party, making sure to take plenty of pictures to capture every moment. At some point during the spring/summer I did attend two graduations of two very special people…Hope Gallon and Dr. Deidre Redmond. Shout out to you ladies for being stellar! What can I say, all my friends are smart ๐Ÿ™‚

September was another huge month for transition. Tierra Nichols became Tierra Moore and I was so blessed to be a hostess at her wedding. She was an extraordinarily beautiful bride. As soon as I saw her I had tears in my eyes…

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In October I celebrated my one year anniversary…with my blog that is. This blog has been such an outlet. One I never dreamed would be so needed. It has helped me to process all that is inside of me and even inspired me to write a book. I’ve connected with so many people around the world and even acquired a mentee in South Africa (who would have thought?). I never could have guessed God would use my writing to inspire and encourage others. Or even to encourage myself…but He has, continually. October was also filled with a lot of fun fall festivities..

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The holidays have been challenging as they normally tend to be for me. Like many I’m more emotional around this time and have to practice not letting my emotions lead me. That has definitely been one of the themes this year, to practice controlling my emotions. Storms have come, I have fallen and gotten back up…and then fallen and gotten back up. And through it all Christ was pruning me. I learned an extremely valuable lesson this year. I learned unconditional love. I have never been so aware of God’s love for me and His grace and mercy as I have been this year. I have never loved as unconditionally as I have this year. Finally, God healed me from some very old, very deep rooted stuff. He took the limits off of my love and set me free to love like Him.

Another theme I see in this year is transformation. This has been a year of transformation for me. It is reflected physically in my weight loss and natural locks, and spiritually in my ability to love unconditionally like never before. Just last night I was telling an old college friend that I had changed greatly since college. My convictions are different. My desires are different. And I am different. But even as I shared these words I heard the Holy Spirit say. “You are not just different, you are better“. God has made me better. With every trial, with every set back, with every test. In the midst of it I feel the battle, I feel the pain, I feel the frustration. But in the end it is working for my good. It is making me better.

Thank you all for your reading and sharing in my journey with me. I pray 2014 gives you the desires of your hearts. But if it doesn’t, I pray you would love the Lord anyway. I pray the same for myself.

HAPPY NEW YEAR ๐Ÿ™‚

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