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This past week our girls turned seven and a day later we rang in a new year. On the morning of their birthday, when asked if they felt seven, my daughter Brooklyn expressed that she noticed her head and legs were a little bigger.

We giggled under our breath watching her explain how her legs were definitely taller now that she was seven.  We know that she didn’t grow an inch overnight, but over the past 365 days, she most certainly grew!

The same is true for us as we approach this new year. Things don’t usually happen overnight. Growth takes time, maturing takes time. Lessons, prayers, ideas and goals, take time.

And, not only do they take time, they are often accompanied by challenges, hardship, tough and uncomfortable  moments.

Before we rang in the new year, someone asked me to rate my year from a scale of 1-10. It was impossible for me to score 365 days into one number.

If I had to rate it in terms of challenging I would say close to an 8. If I had to rate it in terms of awesome, I would equally rate it an 8, as one of the best years of my life.

The hard stuff helped me discover who I am and what I am made of.  It was the uncomfortable moments that ushered in fresh grace, new strength and greater faith.

It’s a lot like working out. The ‘best’ workouts are the most challenging ones. Even though they are hard, they are awesome all at the same time.

It’s how I feel about 2017, and is why I was so sad to see it go. It was challenging, but that’s what made it equally as beautiful.

As you walk in 2018  believing for great things, don’t be discouraged if what you are believing for is delivered in an undesired, challenging, package.

Trust that God has heard the desires of your heart, is honoring your prayers and is leading you.

If I were to just look at all that “happened” over the past year, it wouldn’t measure up to be considered a  ‘best year, ever’ kind of year.

But, if I look at who I have become, the faithfulness of God I was able to witness up close and the “this is what I prayed for and it’s happening” moments, it ranks up there as one of the best years of my life.

One day, my daughter will learn that we don’t grow overnight. She will learn that  growth is only made possible by the amount of ‘uncomfortable’ we are willing to endure.

I pray this is an incredible year for you. One marked by God and His faithfulness. A year filled to the brim with his grace, truth and hope.

May He give you the strength to overcome any obstacle, to pushback past any fear, and to walk confidently in who you are!

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