As I reflect over 2016, and ponder my vision for 2017, I am reminded that God’s unmerited favor and unconditional love is all around me. As I call to mind every miracle that has transpired this year, it leaves me overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement, knowing that the best is yet to come. Although there were many moments in 2016 where I felt lost, and so many days when I felt defeated, it was in those moments that I was quickly reminded by the still small voice within, that no matter what, I must, “remember to remember.” And so on today, the 31st day of December 2016, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and consider these things.
I remember every prayer and everyone who made a charitable contribution to my mission trips to Angola and South Africa so I could do what I love, and that is to serve. I remember the smiles on the children’s faces when we put stickers on their foreheads and arms after providing free healthcare services to their villages in Luanda. I remember when I lost all hope in westernized medicine, and a friend showing up in my time of need to help me get the holistic intervention I was so desperately seeking. I remember the warm hugs I received in South Africa after my very first international speaking engagement was realized. I remember the tears streaming down my professors face after honoring her request to pray for her and my doctoral colleagues. I remember every thank you expressed by the women at the Star of Hope as I and other women in the community provided care packages for homeless mothers and their children. For this I am grateful.
As I open my eyes and slowly exhale, I am filled with an unspeakable joy; not because of the blessings that were bestowed upon me this year, but how I was empowered to become a blessing to others. I found out that the secret to my happiness is serving others and making their dreams come true. In 2017, I hope to evolve even more in this quest; and I'm grateful to everyone who has traveled on this journey with me.