2019, Is That You?

Ja'La W.

I can’t believe the year is almost over! As I sit here thinking about errands and things I still need to do I am also in great anticipation of what’s to come in 2019. For some reason, I get excited whenever the year is coming to a close. I begin to think about how far I’ve come not only in recent months, but in every season of life. I like to reflect on milestones and victory's, low points and moments of exercising great faith. I do this to remind myself that although I may not be where I want, I’m not where I used to be and more importantly, I’m exactly where God has destined me to be.

And now, as I realize 2019 is less than 3 weeks away I want to take time to reflect on how far I’ve come this year, what I’m still expecting God to do in the remaining weeks of 2018, and look ahead to 2019.

This year has honestly been a good one. It started off with me entering my second semester in my PhD program. I had quite a heavy course load and was also teaching, involved in a dance club on campus, and working on my small business RG4C Magazine. Although I didn’t feel busy, looking back - I had a lot on my plate.

I attended and presented at a national conference, won a small scholarship to attend a research methods workshop, reunited with a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years, and solidified my advising committee. I remember heading into the summer season being unsure what was to come but knowing I was on the right track.

The summer was a time of restful working. I didn’t travel much or take a vacation, and because of this it allowed me time to build my business RG4C. RG4C is an inspirational lifestyle brand and publication I began in 2017. The goal with this brand is to provide faith based content to college age women and millenials to help them walk into their purpose and become who God has created them to be. Up until June, I had been the sole person running everything, but I knew it was time to form a team. In July, we officially added 3 people to the roster, and since then its been a learning experience and fun adventure sharing a vision with others while seeing it grow in many ways.

(For more information visit our website here)

Aside from working on my brand, I became more intentional with my overall wellness and made a decision to loose the 10+ lbs I had gained over the school year. Exercising helped me think about the foods I was putting into my body, which led me to do a 30 day detox . This 30 day detox was great because it was the first time I ate balanced meals and proportions of food. I drank 90 oz-1 gallon of water during this time and cut back on processed sugars. To be honest, this summer was the healthiest I have been and felt in a long time! My skin was glowing and I was able to walk out the house with no kind of makeup on feeling oh so beautiful!

But while all of this was happening, I also was tested in more ways than I can count. This summer I felt like I had to exercise my faith in the area of finances like never before. If your a grad student like me, you probably know the feeling when summer hits and you realize that stipend money can only take you so far. And although I was working, it was only part time. I can definitely say it was a struggle and I didn’t know how rent would get paid on top of the other bills I have, but by the grace of God I made it through — and not because my money management skills are bomb (this is an area I’m still working on).

There were so many small victories that took place over the summer and into the beginning of Fall 2018 semester which I recently finished. One highlight of Fall 2018 was putting together the inaugural RG4C “Walking Into Your Radiance” conference where we celebrated our one year anniversary. It was a beautiful time filled with impactful music, workshops, and more!

I could go on and on, but one thing I want to close with is this year has taught me how to walk by faith to an even greater extent than before.

If you’ve read some of my earlier posts faith is something I’ve been walking by for some time, but in this season I feel like I’ve been walking by faith even when things are going well. This journey I’m on now, many doors are starting to open in the academic spaces I’m in as well as professional and personal. And although there are many areas I would like to still grow in, I can see God’s hand still over my life.

As I reflect on the last 11 months of 2018 one word that comes to mind is Grace.

In the Greek, grace is defined in a few ways, but the more common definitions are kindness and God’s favor/gift extended by Jesus. I see the favor of God in my life because there are many times this year things should have gone wrong but didn’t. I am blessed to have a roof over my head, food to eat everyday, a supportive family, and much more. I am not perfect and don’t deserve a lot of what I have.

How has the favor of God showed up in your life this year? As 2018 comes to a close, I think this is a good question to reflect on. It may surprise you how many times you can think of where God’s grace was working on your behalf.

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