New Year…..New Beginnings

For those readers who know me personally, you know 2017 was a year filled when disappointments, loss and great grief.

I watched my mother’s health quickly decline, resulting in her exit from this world in March.

Just a few short weeks later, I lost my job.

There was a cancer diagnosis for a family member.

I sold my childhood home.

I watched my children embrace some difficult choices and learn some of life’s hard lessons

There were some very good things, though, about 2017 that were eclipsed in the losses.

I embraced a new challenge.

I grew closer to my sister.

I learned I may only have a handful of friends, but they are committed, loving and fierce!

I became acquainted with a fantastic counselor who helped me see why I sometimes make detrimental choices, and helped me learn how to change the process.

I understood, in a brand new way, the idea of being still and waiting on God.

The most important part, though, was watching God’s providential hand guide me and work on my behalf. There is no way to describe what happened to me…….good and bad……. without gaining a new understanding that God truly ‘works all things together for good’………..(read Romans 8 for full context)

I have never been big on resolutions. It takes determination and hard work to change behaviors and patterns. There is nothing magical or new about turning the calendar over to a new year. I have some hopes and dreams for 2018, and I am bathing them in prayer, trusting the One who knows best for me and those I love.

With that being said, there are challenges I want to embrace in 2018. I want to live with a grateful heart. I want to continue to foster friendships and love. I want to embrace new ideas and thinking. I want to open my heart to the love of others. I hope to say “yes” to those things I have a true passion for, and I hope to say “no” when it is the right answer for my time and place. I want to be mindful that some of the grief and hurt of 2017 has come with me to 2018, and I need to continue to find my path to the resolution and know I will always grieve the loss of my parents in this world. I want to pour my heart into ministry opportunities, even when they don’t take the shape I think they should take, and I want to hear God’s voice and embrace His leadership, even when it doesn’t sound the way or go the direction I would hope. I hope to read more, hike more, and write more, and I plan to put the phone down more often and connect with the people and places I am in.

I WILL accept the fact that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” in the image of my Creator, and I am good enough……….



About Tina Swaggerty Collins

Tina currently serves on staff at Ball Camp Baptist Church. A music graduate of Carson-Newman College, Tina has been active in church music ministry for over 30 years and is an ordained minister. She is the mother to two amazing grown children, who still allow her to be a nurturing mom from time to time. Her blog is an invitation to step into her life as a mom, a minister and a follower.
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