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In many ways, 2013 wasn’t at all the year that I envisioned it to be. I’m not one of those people who claims that any year is going to be “my year,” but I felt that 2013 was going to be a banner year for me. The way that 2012 ended promised 2013 would be my best year yet.

In 2012, I: paid off my car, traveled to St. Augustine and New Orleans, received a large bonus, enrolled in my first class towards a paralegal certification, outlined the major chapters and researched the scriptures for the marriage kit book, and heard Mr. Perfect declare that he couldn’t see his life without me and wanted to marry me.

2013 should’ve been the year I got married, traveled more, advanced in my career, attended my 10 year reunion successful and happy, started my website, self-published my book, and saved a ton of money on my car insurance. I would change the world by changing myself, and a bunch of other corny slogans.

Then 2013 happened:

My car…was totaled in January.

I  dropped out of the class to deal with the car issue and never went back.

I traveled to Alabama…for the funeral of Mr. Perfect’s beloved grandmother, a woman I liked and admired.

I went back to my high school reunion…fat and unsuccessful (I did have a great time and got some much needed motivation from it, though).

I finished major revisions on the marriage kit book, picked a name for it…but still haven’t finished it.

I managed to get off my undesirable shift, took on a ton of new responsibilities and got a title change, but my pay won’t change until January…and I *may* be back on  less desirable shift because the alternative apparently fell through.

I went to three weddings…but didn’t so much as get engaged myself.

I lost a great aunt I was close to.

You’d think 2013 was an awful year for me, but you’d be wrong. In 2013, I bought a laptop and a domain, started my own self-hosted website, aseriousseason.com, commissioned a customized header for the site, and gave my first seminar presentation, Getting Serious About Who You Are in Christ: Go Godly Early. I gave my second seminar presentation, Get Your Life, entered a writing contest, So You Think You Can Write, connected with several writers in a supportive online community, got into a regular writing routine, attempted and finished NaNoWriMo,  began revising my first romantic suspense story, started swapping chapters with my critique partners each Sunday, got someone to look over the marriage kit book, won a ton of books through an online open house hosted by Harlequin, learned about craft from writing blogs I follow, was given an excellent bonus, a really nice raise, and appreciation for my new role during my review, and bought a newer car in much better condition.

2013 wasn’t what I expected it to be, but it turned out to be a year that far surpassed the muted expectations I had for it after my accident in January.

Early yesterday afternoon, a scripture popped into my head that was the topic of a New Year’s sermon 2-3 years ago, Luke 4:19 in context, Luke 4:14-21. Jesus reads in scripture about preaching the gospel, giving sight to the blind, and setting people free, and tells them that they are witnessing the fulfillment of the prophecy. The acceptable year of the Lord had come. Since I believe that God speaks to us through scripture, and that the Holy Spirit had to have a reason for bringing this particular passage to my remembrance, I began to meditate on it throughout the day. What was God trying to tell me?

As a Christian, it is my duty to spread the gospel of Christ to all man, but that is every year. What do I have to do or say that would help people to see or be free? What is it time for me to do?

I planned on getting the marriage kit book published when I received my bonus in December. More well-known figures proclaiming to be led to speak to women in the area of relationships are coming out with their books soon and the window for my little book to take advantage of that anticipation was fast closing. I had the money for the cover and could get it out before the end of the year, but something didn’t feel right about it. So I asked Mr. Perfect. He thought I should wait. I won’t have the money to publish again until March, which he reminded me wasn’t that far away. The next day, God revealed to me through scripture that an area I was going to glance over in my rush to release the book had some vital material in it that women needed to read. So I was content to keep studying and wait on the book.

But the peace that came over me when I connected my book with the verses about the acceptable year of the Lord led me to the conclusion that 2014 is the year to release the marriage kit book. Not only that, but I believe this year is the acceptable year for a few other things that I’ve been waiting on to finally happen as well, including getting a book contract. I could be just as wrong as I was with how 2013 was going to go, but in the same vein, I’m going to step out on faith and trust that just like last year, God will use whatever happens to grow me and it will be for His glory.

XOXO

Erica