As I sit here on New Years Day 2018, I can’t help but reflect on the adventure that was 2017. This time last year I would have never imagined it would have played out the way it did. But looking back at it now, I sit here in awe of how God works.
Toward the end of 2016, I participated in an “Annual Planning” meeting put on by a friend of mine. The idea was to take some time to pray about what God wanted for us in 2017. Whether it be personal, or business related. She facilitated some of the planning stuff. Gave us some ideas. Then allowed us some time to pray and seek God’s leading. I’ve always done an annual plan for business, but had never really asked God for His input. Clearly, I’ve been missing out.
During these times of prayer, I not only asked God for His leading. But I also confessed some of my frustrations regarding life and business. I was frustrated with the pace of business (or lack thereof). Don’t get me wrong, business was good. But it wasn’t good enough to keep up with my standard of living. Which was preventing me from doing a lot. Not only from a business stand point, but also personally. And while I know that building a new business takes time, I was a little impatient.
There were other things bothering me as well. How little time I got to spend with the kids. How much I was relying on family. How stressed I was from trying to build a new business, and how long it was taking. The interesting thing is, that the more I poured my heart and frustration out to God, the more peace I felt about the coming year. It was about this time that I felt God tell me “2017 is going to be a big year for you.” Little did I know then.
The day long exercise ended around four or five o’clock and we all went our separate ways. As I drove home, I couldn’t get what God had told me out of my mind. There was excitement and wonder about how it would play out. Would it be a steady increase in business? One big case to carry me through the year? My mind raced with ideas and speculation. I almost missed my exit while I daydreamed about the coming year.
Most of you reading this already know the end of the story. As 2017 kicked into to gear, I did my best to continue to seek Gods leading, and my business started to grow. No huge cases to get me through the year. But enough to make me feel like things were starting to get better. By the end of the first quarter, I was already at 120% of 2016’s total production. I was feeling really good. Then, March happened.
While sitting around the dinner table, I once again brought up the idea of moving. The kids and I had been discussing this for about a year now. I felt God had been prepping me for a move, but the kids and I weren’t quite united in the idea. Till now. While discussing the idea, my son finally came around and said “yeah, I think it’s time.” After that, everything seemed to go into fast forward.
During the next three months, God started to talk to me in ways I had never experienced before. Scripture started to pop out and speak at just the right time. As I discussed plans with other close friends, they inadvertently confirmed what God had been telling me. Even before I told them what God was saying. I would ask for confirmation and He would give it to me. Time, after time, after time. It was…awesome!
Over the next three months, God confirmed that I was to move to Colorado, close my business and wait on Him for further instructions. It was that last part that would prove to be the most difficult.
I closed my business, put my house on the market, and packed. We left for Colorado on July 8th. I still owned my house, didn’t know where I was going to live and didn’t have a job. But God said “go,” so we did.
The next ten days were spent driving out to Colorado and finding a place to live. We took our time. Turned a three day drive into a five day drive so we could explore new destinations and spend some time with friends along the way. We were just outside of Biloxi Mississippi when my Realtor called and told me that she sold my house. I couldn’t help but think “God? Was that a test?”
The final leg of our journey (well, this part of it anyway) would prove to be the most exciting. The trip would take us a little over ten hours. The excitement and anticipation of our new home building with each hour and mile that passed by. This was turning out to be an epic journey that none of us would ever forget. The excitement increased even more as the Rocky Mountains started to appear in front of us. All building to that awesome moment when we passed the sign that read “Welcome to Colorful Colorado.” A couple more hours of driving and we arrived at our hotel. This part of the journey was over. And one question seemed to be on all of our minds…”now what?”
The next two and half months would be awesome and frustrating all wrapped up in one crazy package. We had five days to find a place to live. It came down to the last day. What seemed to be the only three-bedroom apartment in Colorado Springs became available on the same day our hotel reservation ended, which just so happened to be the same day the moving company arrived to drop off our furniture. Yeah. If that doesn’t make you turn your gaze skyward, I don’t know what will.
We spent the next two months unpacking and getting adjusted to the new climate. My frustration grew as I received rejection letter after rejection letter in my search for a new job. I couldn’t even get an interview! But at the same time, the kids and I were continuing to have adventure after adventure. It was like an all summer long vacation. Just the three of us.
The time arrived to get the kids registered for school. God stepped in again and made room to get Alexys into a school that offered the International Baccalaureate program. An adventure in and of itself. Andrew is in a school that has awesome teachers whom he seems to really like and connect with. And yet, still no job for me. I confess, I wasn’t very good at this whole waiting thing.
I would finally find the job God had for me at the beginning of October. It’s a ministry position that I absolutely love! When this all started back in March, I felt God leading me into a ministry role. And here I am, doing something that uses all my experience from the last 20 years, for His purposes. It’s almost unbelievable how it’s all come about. Almost.
As I look back to that Annual Planning day at the end of 2016, I’m reminded of all the things I confessed to God. All the things that were frustrating me. And now seeing how God addressed each and every one of them, in His own way, is absolutely amazing. It wasn’t anything like how I had imagined it. But His adventure has been so much better than anything I ever could have imagined. God has used this experience to teach me so much about trusting Him and “leaning not on my own understanding.” 2017 was an epic year. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2018.
It is my prayer that you too, have been able to look back at 2017 and see the hand of God working in your life. I welcome you to share something in the comments below about your year. What stands out to you? How did God work in your life? Above all else, I pray you have a wonderful 2018 with an abundance of God moments. Be Blessed.