For the past couple of years, I’ve had a theme of sorts for each year. The theme is usually something I pray about and then see what it is that God wants me to really live out or focus on in the coming year. It’s usually something that if I take serious in seeking, becomes pretty evident  within a few weeks. Confirmations after confirmations come and I know without a doubt, what the theme for the coming year is. Sometimes it’s a single word or a phrase. Either way, it’s become something I like to seek out as each year comes to an end.

In 2015 and 2016, my theme ran overboard. Overboard in my mind but not God’s. It was “all things new”. At first glance, it was pretty exciting thinking about what that could mean and what new things would come my way. Having crawled out of 2016, I know that “all things new”, came with grand sacrifices that when I felt like I didn’t have any more to give – the year kept taking. I even developed a new definition of the word “sacrifice”. Automatically, I think of materialism. However, sacrifice is no longer just something I “have to give up” but something I willingly offer. I noticed in 2016, how unfamiliar that word truly was to me.

All things new, came accompanied with a verse. Isaiah 43:18-19 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (NKJV, taken from biblegateway.com). Looking back, I absorbed all of the promises of the verse without counting the cost of the challenges that would accompany them. It’s like the law of gravity or something, right? Semi-blindly I moved from Florida to Texas, went from being an in-office employee to working from the comfort of my home, and left people, places and things that I knew well for a land I knew nothing about outside of what HGTV showed me. Boy was I in for a surprise. Through and through though, the Lord continued to remind me of “all things new”. It no longer screamed promise, but sacrifice. I’m sure at one point I cried out asking why wasn’t the theme “sacrifice”?

As miserable as I’m making “all things new” sound, that’s truly not my intent. My intent is to demonstrate how a theme is obtained and how it’s absorbed. I can 100% say that ALL things are new in my current state of being. No familiarity comforts me but I’m comforted by knowing that a new word was given to me for 2017: EMBRACE.

I feel as though the new theme has already been in play since the end of 2016, when I decided to break up with my flat iron. Being Dominican originally from New York, that’s like breaking up with your family. We love having our hair blown out for $25 and having it almost touch our butts if possible. Well, I chopped over 5 inches off and stopped straightening it. In other words, I am EMBRACING my natural curls and all the work that comes with that. Sure, you hear me talk about hair and you can probably conclude: That’s pretty vain. Really and truly, it slightly is but it’s much more. Knowing that God was doing a NEW thing in my life, it was almost liberating knowing that everyday, I wake up authentically and unashamedly me. Crazy hair and all. It’s a learning process and that’s why it’s almost fitting that my word for 2017 would be EMBRACE.

It’s a journey. One experience builds upon another but shouldn’t keep us stagnant by any single event.

I can genuinely say I’m excited and determined to EMBRACE 2017. I feel like I just went through a 2007 Britney Spears year but if she could get through it, we all can.


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