Every year I pick a word that seems to relate to life at the time. And apparently, I’m drawn to “F” words. It started five years ago…

2014. I chose FOCUS. This was the year I struggled a lot. I turned thirty, the milestone I dreaded. I sought answers for thyroid disease. More health issues popped up. Question after question. I did not give up in the middle. I lost my writing focus, but I found it again.

Chasing answers increased my courage to ask other questions, the ones holding me back from living free.

2015. My word was FREEDOM. I felt stuck and discontent with the way my life looked. I wanted to leave the mess of the previous year behind. But I didn’t want to admit my weaknesses or face my limits. Before my next birthday, I scheduled counseling. I needed help. It was time to find my way to freedom. I started to say “yes” to God more. I became open about discussing disability. The more I interacted with new people, the more I understood what it could be like to meet me…some might hesitate to approach, be uncomfortable, afraid, or just not know. Facing my limits led me to an awareness beyond myself. If I’m comfortable with who I am, those around me are too. If I help break the invisible barriers, I will be seen as “normal.” I’ll be known as Laura, your fellow friend.

Opening up about life with a disability grew my ability to welcome people into my world.

2016. I continued to move FORWARD past fears and beyond limits. I re-launched my blog this year and shared it publicly. I saw how God had been leading me the whole time. Big or small, every action step was an important part of the healing process.

Working through weaknesses led to new strength.
Then I could let go of the story I imagined, and embrace the story God is writing.

2017. I hoped and prayed for God to FILL my year with impossible things. He did just that. I was reminded that I can’t fully fathom what God can or will do. He does more. I wrote this summary of what happened.

Being myself and being present allowed me to see–
The little moments matter and add up to more.

2018. I doubted some dreams and needed more FAITH in God’s provision. With perspective, I could see that how He shows up isn’t always how I envision. It is better. God knows me and He is faithful in all seasons. My journey throughout the year carried me to a place of complete confidence.

Trusting God begins with the small stuff, the daily bread.
Trust builds on trust until I believe…Nothing really is impossible.

Now 2019 is here. And yes, my next word is another “F” word: FRUIT. I already have a small example of fruit — my first writing job with ABLEnow. We’ll find out what else God does as the months go by.

From the times of hard questions to the times of healing,
the seasons of surrendering to the seasons of saying “yes,”
growing on my own to growing within community,
I am planted where I’m supposed to be.
2019 is the year I want to see more FRUIT.

…every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…
but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit.
(John 15:2,15)

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