2017 was a painful year marked by loss. The loss of people, a job, my mobility, hardship, loss of ministry, and hurt.
Everything I thought I wanted wasn’t to be.
Looking back, I am so thankful that what I thought I wanted wasn’t God’s best for me.
But as I reflect on what was, I am ever more grateful for the people that God put in my life. He continues to prove himself faithful.
Many of these people I’ve known for a very long time and others not at all.
But the common thread all of these special people share is their unconditional love.
These are the people who most touched my life in 2017.
She uttered the words, “your fifth metatarsal is broken”. Just like that, I kicked off 2017 with a broken foot.
Trinity’s been my podiatrist for 15 years. She saw me through to the end, taking good care of me in the process. She’s the first doctor that has ever provided a direct line of contact. I had adverse reactions to every pain medication I tried and Trinity personally returned my call and followed up with me.
When I lost insurance coverage towards the end of my healing, she offered to do whatever it took to see me through to the end and back to foot health.
I am grateful. Being able to exercise meant everything to me; it was my sole source of income.
She saw me at my worst. Standing on crutches, I opened the door and immediately tossed my cookies right in front of Lynne.
I was having a bad reaction to the pain medication due to my broken foot. Days before I had rolled my foot in flip flops that splintered my bone.
As soon as Lynne heard the news, she came to my rescue.
She made me food. She got me a cast cover so I could bathe. She checked on me. She loved on me. I needed a momma and she was there.
My life would not be as rich without her. Her friendship means everything to me.
Where has Stephanie been all of my life?
She is my second mom. She is a rock to me. When I lost my job this year Stephanie was there for me, encouraging me every day, holding me accountable, cheering me on, and helping me to do what I thought to be the impossible.
She opens my eyes, she warms my heart, and she stretches me.
She’s a Godly woman and I learn from her every time we talk.
I had just lost my job. I found myself sitting in the office of an executive coach wondering to myself, what was I getting myself into?
As I read the diplomas and accolades that hung on the wall while awaiting my coach, I realized that her name looked awfully familiar.
Courtney was the executive coach I was about to be counseled by for the next four months.
You see, I’ve known her for years but in another circle of life. She was a former fitness instructor who I worked with and she took my early morning classes for years. It had been five or six years since our paths had last crossed.
Courtney took me in as a client. She coached me and ushered me on a journey to realize my professional value.
She gave me a reason to get up every Monday morning, making me accountable to her networking group.
She kept me going. She scanned letters and resumes. She lovingly coached me.
I don’t know if she’ll ever know how much I learned from her.
Her guest bedroom became my home away from home this summer.
I found myself making daily trips to San Antonio while my mom recovered from surgery due to a bad fall that included a broken hip in three places.
Sylvia and I have been friends for 20+ years. Distance and a lapse in time were irrelevant. She made me feel right at home.
She made me breakfast and mothered me when I needed it most. She welcomed me time after time, no matter what the circumstance.
I can tell her anything. And I have.
We’ve been friends for a long time and we can go months without talking or seeing each other. But when we do, it feels like it was yesterday.
She’s supportive, loving, encouraging, smart, and brings me a new perspective. She is always there when I need her and boy did I need her this year.
We live hundreds of miles away and haven’t always been close. We don’t even talk except through Messenger.
JT checked on me constantly. Pep talks would come at the right time. He would send me job postings. Mostly, he asked, how can I help?
He’s a very good friend. Everyone should be so lucky.
Labor Day 2017 was just what the doctor ordered.
The job search had consumed me for fives months. I really needed to get away.
Funds were tight and the last thing I could afford was a vacation. My friend Jody invited me to visit her home in Florida for a beach vacation.
We sat at the beach, at her pool, we had dinner, we talked and we talked. She not only opened her home to me but also her heart. Just what I needed.
She is generous beyond belief. CK has a huge heart and when I was down and out, she made a way for me by showing extreme generosity.
You know what they say, when times are tough, you find out who your friends are. That is really true.
She works in the sex trade industry.
Twice a month I visit her through a volunteer ministry that I’m a part of. We’d arrive with a gift of fresh fruit and nothing but words, conversation, and love.
Her eyes would brighten when we entered the room. Though she never said it, I think she enjoyed our visits.
Loving her for just 15-30 minutes a couple of times a month was a highlight of my life.
The organization that ran the ministry folded abruptly. I will forever cherish all that God has done in me and through me during this season of service.
She sees value in me. She lifts me up. She challenges me to be great.
She makes me laugh every day.
She’s smart, witty, and one of the best bosses I could work with and for.
I like to say she’s my left leg. And she say’s I’m her right. Together we make a whole person.
Paige is so smart. She ups my game every day just by being herself and I’m thankful.
Judy and Lenore
You make it possible for me to care for my mom. Without you it would be a tough road indeed and I forever thankful for your love, care, and support.
I am blessed beyond belief.
Goodbye to you 2017 and welcome 2018!
I have tremendous hope for the New Year and I can’t wait to usher you in.
What you say goes, God, and stays, as permanent as the heavens.
Your truth never goes out of fashion; it’s as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up.
Your Word and truth are dependable as ever; that’s what you ordered—you set the earth going.
If your revelation hadn’t delighted me so, I would have given up when the hard times came.
But I’ll never forget the advice you gave me; you saved my life with those wise words.
Psalm 119:90-96 (The Message)