I bet the first thing you said or maybe thought in your mind as soon as the clock striked 12:00am on New Years is this: "New Year, New Me." Am I wrong? Maybe. Quite honestly, it came to my mind pretty quickly. 2022 was a year that was completely different than I had planned. I had great expectations going into last year and quickly realized how silly those expectations were simply because they were not realistic. Those expectations were purely selfish just to be honest with you.

The year seemed fine until I turned 26 and after that, it felt like everything started crumbling at once. To sum it up, I ended 2022 experiencing things that I had never experienced before in my life: anxiety, stress, emotional waves, physical appearance changes that brought on deep insecurity, relationship losses, and feelings of losing myself in the process of it all.

Even in the midst of all of these things, I found something so profound. God never left me. I felt unworthy to have such a Friend. I quickly realized towards the end of 2022 that He was constantly the Giver of my peace. One day I was so convicted at how down I was. Not because I was wallowing in my pain and hurt, but because I knew there was always going to be someone who had it worse than me. It's not that my circumstances didn't matter, but I knew others were hurting and I still had the opportunity to shout from the rooftops just how immensely blessed I was and still am.

God taught me so much even in the last 7 months. My initial goal was to keep getting back to the Emily I once was before all the craziness in my life happened. I wanted her back thinking she was at peace before it all. Boy was I wrong in that.

Guess what? New Year, New Me. I will never be who I was before. I am so grateful for that! God is molding and shaping me into the Emily that He wants me to be today. I've never felt so close to the presence of God like I do right now, even sitting here typing my first post. Just maybe we have to go through hardship and storm to find beauty and purpose. I am so confident that He is far able to do more than we could ever think or imagine. I've seen it firsthand. The Lord simply surpassed everything I could have imagined for 2022.

Going into 2023, I wanted to think of a word that would be with me for the entire year to help me focus and grow deeper in my walk with Jesus and with others. My word for this year is CONSISTENCY. I asked God to bring consistency in my quiet time, in my prayer life, in my Bible reading, in my daily acts of worship, in my relationship with others, in my health and fitness, in my decisions, with my family, the list could go on and on. I encourage you to choose a word for yourself and truly ask God to blow your mind and guide your steps.

My prayer going into 2023 is simply this: Not my will, but Yours be done Lord. Whatever it looks like, I want to be willing and able to follow Him every step of the way!

Happy New Year everyone! It's going to be beautiful.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.