For many, Christmas is anything but merry. We reflect on lost ones that are no longer with us or reflect on what is no more. This year as I sit alone without my boys to hold at this moments, but both needing me to be at their side at this time, I must trust God to keep them.

Christmas for various reason has been a time of sorrow and a time to set a new path correction for the upcoming year.  I was thankful when I learned to make the birth of Christ my focus. It allows me to make it through this season. But each year there a new norm I must accept.

As I reflect this morning on just how Great and Mighty is our God and how He has loved me this year. As this year comes to an end, I find myself still fighting the shadows that still seeks to engulf my mind. I prayerfully fight the demon that chooses to attack the body and minds of my boys. But throughout this year, each time the enemy thought to destroy us mentally or physically my God shield my sons and me from all dangers.

2017 has truly been a year of overcoming the enemies sought to kill me. As I reflect on “The Meaning of 2017”, I can say thank you Lord for loving me. I can only give God the praise and glory and the reason for allowing me to see another year and the ability to walk the plan that He has for me in 2018.

This time last year, I was waiting for the order to be put in for service of the warrant for my eviction. This year, I can reflect on His mercies from the comfort of my own apartment.  But this journey has taught me that God’s will and direction is a perfect way. A lesson I that I had to painfully learn, even when it seems the way He is sending me is against any comprehension.

In January, when He told me to pack and leave, I moved us to a hotel, praying that God will send someone to assist me in finding an apartment. But every door remained closed, except the one that I thought was a curse. No one wants to go to a homeless shelter. No mother wants to be forced into an unknown situation that has a history of negativity. From the fear of losing my child because I couldn’t maintain proper care not knowing the situation that awaited me.  

January 28th, I was given no choice but to go that route of DHS. Now working with many mothers who have walked this path, I have heard what to expect, the difficulties that I would encounter, the challenges that I would face. From the worker at the intake center to those that run the shelters. But those who call on the Jesus learns that His norm will always pave the way. For He will enter before you clearing the path that you will receive favor. The favor that allowed us to be placed within the borough my son’s school. A location that did not place undue hardship on my baby for school during this transition. He continued to walk before me into King’s Inn. From the worker that greeted us our first night to the first counselor that gave the initial instructions. Through each appointment that we had to keep, the workers I faced was nothing like the stories I have heard, the waiting time wasn’t the nightmare others had to bear with.

For the first 10 days you wait for eligibility, but when that came through, God aligned busing for my son to schooling, He allowed visitation to my oldest to resume and the services for my child to continue without interruption.

Now I won’t say that I did not have my challenges, for as Haman hated the site of Mordecai, the shelter Director hated me on sight. But the God I served didn’t allow her attacks and blocks to stop that what He had prepared for me. I won’t say the environment was the best, but with every major incident, God kept it from our door or allowed my son not to be a witness on site.

Quickly I learned that my presence was of dual purpose. That this was yet another level and lesson in the God’s university to teach me, to sharpen me, to prepare me, to minister to and be an example to His daughters. I watched as He sent his daughters in my path, to either pray for protection over their children, those sent for me to directly minister to, and others that were sent for a period of time for us to assist each other. Yes, the stories that are shared by some are true, but I learned other reason why others may be living within these confines. So as the Lord directed my path into their lives, I allowed Him to use me to assist and speak a word to them. Not all will be respective, not all will accept the assistance, but just maybe an amber started to smoke that another will fan into flames giving hope and the ability to believe they are loved by the true and living God.  

As the months went by where the enemy could not attack me, he attacked my son, but through relationships formed God sent His ministering angels to assist and stop the attacks against his mind. Where that wasn’t effective he raised used the father of my children to attack and try once again to break me. But I serve an awesome God that when I listen intently hears His promise of love and protection. So yes, their father seeks to remove me from my sons’ lives, but the plan and path God has created for as no space for the lies that are being created. Another lesson learned is that there will be storms that may test your faith, but there are storms that you are just a bystander in and your purpose to pray and praise your way through it.

I won’t lie and say every lesson was learned the first time through it. Once again, I strayed into my way of thinking and understanding that was out of the scope that God’s words.  But a gentle course direction opens my eyes and solidified the lesson that God’s thoughts are higher than mine, and that His plan will prevail. I am so grateful that He is a patient and loving Father.  So, when I transitioned the scope of for my new apartment according to the directions and plan He had, God led me quickly to the place that meets all our needs. Our ability to travel to within an hour to each place that is crucial to us from our House of Worship to his school and everything we need in between.  Our feeble mind will never be able to comprehend and foresee as our all-knowing and loving Father.

In July I was accepted for an apartment, but it would take another two months before I could move into it. Even when the enemy sought to attack me with by creating fear and telling lies to make me question if this was God’s will. But we serve an awesome God whose word never returns void. Two lease signing later, the keys were placed in my home.

Eight months after entering into a homeless shelter, God moved me into an apartment to care and raise my son. But this was just the start. During this period, God didn’t allow me to stray from the calling to work with families of special needs children. He didn’t allow me to work solely creating a better situation for my family but to continue working to assist other. Though blessing others, God created a door that allows me to walk into a paying job within the calling He has on me.

So as I look back over the past twelve months, I marvel at how God took each situation that I faced and turned it into a blessing. Can I say that I have overcome every challenge in 2017? No. But I can say that I have been covered and protected by a loving Father. A Father that continues to carry me and lift me higher from when I’ve been. I started this year with every pitfall lined up to capture, break and bury me alive, but God has turned it around. 2017 was a year of trusting and leaning on our Lord. 2017 was a year of seeing doors close and new beginning forming to carry me into 2018. I am not where I want to be but these three objectives will guide me to where I am going.

My finances aren’t where I can say I am the lender and not the borrower, but through the employment that I have been given, the first of many tools to change those circumstances.

The story that was started for enjoyments as been written in a book, not only to give enjoyment to all that read, but give hope to His struggling daughters. I remember a coach once saying, that I might be writing a book for enjoyment, but those books would be used to help other women. As I look to publishing my first set of books in the first quarter in 2018, God has release series of books to give hope and guidance to over life challenges, to let them know they are not alone. Stories of lessons I learned through my life struggles, disappointments, and victories. Lessons I have witnessed in others woman lives who to have overcome victoriously.

As I continue to walk out my purpose and my calling, touching lives and making a difference in women lives. God is building a beautiful village ministry to be that balm of healing to many.  

As I head into 2018, I sought God’s direction, seeking to understand, learn and strengthen my walk further into my purpose. He continued to show me that I live with His daughters and son to walk this journey with me. That as I encourage others to build a village, I to need to create a village to teach, to guide, and to walk in accountability with. My Father has guided to sit in the front row of His daughters that will guide me in meshing ministry and business according to His plan in decency and in order. He has brought other into my life to bridge the loneliness and solitude that has plague my private life. Creating relationships that are not based on what I can do and give, but with women that are authentic in their walk and the care and kindness they offer. In short, each lesson or ah-ha moment that God’s allowed me to share with others are also lessons and ah-ha moments for me as well.  

As I prepare to walk into 2018, walk out of 2017 giving Total Praise to my Heavenly Father. A Father that loves me in spite of my shortcoming and missteps. A Father that patiently guides and lead me. One of the biggest lessons that have hit home in 2017 is that first, God is my source of strength, for I should have been broken or dead, but by His strength, I continue to walk. Because of Him, my children are whole and live and every challenge that they face today will be testimony tomorrow. Secondly, any and every thought that doesn’t align with God’s word and/or plan are not the thought or plan I should follow, for it only delays my blessing and causes unneeded stress in my life. Lastly, that God Got This! Every time fear and heartache appeared, as I called on the name of Jesus, He delivered me from their attacks. And if there is a road that I need to travel or furnace I am thrown into, He is with me protecting and guiding me.  

I walk into 2018 knowing that my Father will be there guiding my steps, continuing the transition of change started in 2017. Taking me as I am and molding me into a better, stronger person than who I am now. 2018 possibilities are endless as I keep my hand lifted praising an Almighty God, trusting and knowing that obedience is better than any other alternative…..