2017 was a big year. It was a year of pushing boundaries, breaking down comfort zone walls, and constantly striving for more. A year of yes’s that my introverted self desperately wanted to be no’s, uncomfortable internal and spiritual battles, and more changes than I knew what to do with. Y’all… if I’m being honest, a good portion of last year was a struggle in one way or another. But in the middle of the difficult times, it was also a year of extreme personal growth, strength and boldness, and it was absolutely life-changing.
Last February, Cameron and I packed up our apartment and moved to a ranch in Paris, Texas to help launch a ministry – new city, new home, new adventures. It was both terrifying and exciting all at once, but, then again, saying “yes” to God is often like that, isn’t it? In June, we attended an incredible couple’s retreat called Q1 through one of our favorite ministries, Fellowship of The Sword. It was there, in beautiful Lake City, Colorado (now one of my favorite places ever) that God gave us clarity and vision for our future, both as a couple and as individuals. We made amazing, life-long friends and left as a much stronger and more connected couple than we were when we arrived. At the end of August, I left my job and began working as an administrator for Young Life here in Paris. In that same week, I launched Happily Ever Ginger, my ministry baby and a huge adventure all on its own. I suddenly found myself surrounded by exciting chaos as I settled into a new job, formed a new routine and started to learn just what it takes to maintain a blog and online ministry. I launched our online book club, The Bookshelf, in September, and in November, the ministry here at the ranch welcomed its first resident and has been growing and moving forward ever since.
We’ve had low points, for sure – lots of them. But as I look back on 2017, I feel nothing but peace. We are where we are supposed to be, and God reassures me of that every day. I’ve, personally, come a long way; I’m not the same girl I was this time last year, and thank goodness for that. I’ve grown in confidence and self-worth, have made great efforts to pursue and walk in my calling, and am closer to the Lord than I have ever been. The journey to get here wasn’t always fun or enjoyable, but God has been constantly moving, and I’m beginning to see that play out more and more.
Here's what I've learned. I've been put on this earth to make a difference; to help people and point them towards Jesus. I'm here for a reason, and because of that, I have the power and capability to do whatever it is God's calling me to. Worrying does nothing but keep me from pursuing that very thing, and fear does nothing but paralyze me from fully living life.
If I could share one piece of advice with you, it would be to just go for it. Whatever “it” looks like to you, do it. Put yourself out there, step out of your comfort zone and live life passionately. Be a dreamer, a chaser and a warrior. Always push yourself to be better than you were yesterday, and don’t let others dictate your success or tell you how to live. Your life deserves to be lived to its utmost potential – get out there and live it!
Spend time getting to know yourself as God sees you. Focus on your self-worth, self-care and self-value, and I think that as you grow to appreciate the person He created you to be, you’ll also grow to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day. Rest in the fact that there has never been and never will be another you, ever. That means that you have a huge calling and purpose on your life, and there are people out there just waiting for you to grab hold of it. You can make a difference in someone's life. Chase after that this year.
You are strong. You are special. You are powerful. You are precious. You are enough.
You, my dear, are a world-changer.