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YOU - jan 2023 - a hopeful heart_edited.jpg

New Year's is my favorite time of year. I don't remember when that started, but the feeling of sheer delight in possibilities, opportunities and a fresh new start has always given my spirit a rush. How exciting to know that yesterday is gone and here comes new hope for the 365 days ahead.


Each new year also brings me to a deep reflective state of mind and heading into 2023 felt different than years prior. I felt the heaviness of unhealthy relationships slowing me down and it became clear that I needed to make some changes. I knew these changes would be challenging, possibly even heartbreaking, but they would also provide chances for my soul to be liberated and to live a life on my terms. You see, through my reflections, I realized that I allowed my well-intended desire to serve others unintentionally become me living life on their terms. 


While some may focus on trimming excess weight in the new year, I'm trimming the weight of others' demands and expectations. God is giving me clear vision on who and what deserves an investment of my time, attention and effort. He has been revealing to me: I can only love and support others at the level they are willing to do so for themselves; I cannot pour into someone who lacks vision and drive to do the work required to experience the reality they desire; I can serve others in a meaningful way while also protecting and preserving myself; I can love others through prayer and an encouraging word, without pressure or performance.

It's okay to let go.


Finishing the race that is set before us requires forgetting the things which are behind, discarding what might impede our progress or hinder our witness, as we reach forward with steadfastness to complete God's plans and purposes for our lives. 


Facing the challenges of change and letting go of what I am not responsible for is allowing me the chance to restore my spirit and bring me back to that hopeful and excited feeling of expectancy that the new year has always allowed me to feel. So the next time I'm tempted to revert to my old ways, I'll remember the three C's and remind myself that these Changes, although Challenging, are Chances for a greater, more fulfilling year ahead. With that weight lifted, I expect to soar in 2023!

Challenges, Changes & Chances
By Christina Oberon
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