This picture was taken in August of 2013 by one of my very best friends, Trey Williams, at Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin. We found our way back to this most special place for the second year in a row, heading south towards home after yet another great trip up north.
This is the second snapshot featured in a Trail BlazerRy posting that was not personally taken by myself, but I will admit that both guest photographers (Trey and my Dad) did an exceptional job of capturing the separate moments perfectly. In this particular scene, Trey caught me in one of the most special moments of my life; a moment where I am completely content. Surrounded by the beauty of the sky, rocks, and trees high above the lake itself, I had no worries or reservations about anything. I wasn’t worried about a job, how I was going to pay off school, or if someone special would ever walk into my life. This was me and my Creator having a conversation without saying anything at all.
Depending on where you are at in the world, you may only have a few hours left until 2014 is no longer. This may be a good thing for some, as the struggles they have gone through are things best left in the past. A fresh beginning offers a source of hope for the future, which is something that is needed in order to come to peace with everything. To others, it may be a slight bit disappointing, as the overwhelming joy experienced seems like something that can never be repeated again. They fear that the New Year will fall short of everything the previous year was, and that they will never get back to the same place of pure joy again.
When it comes to my year, I don’t think I’m at either end of the spectrum. I feel like I’m smack dab in the middle. 2014 brought its share of joy, along with an equal amount of heartache and frustration. Despite everything that happened, I can say that I came out on the other side more clear than I have ever been in my life because I grew and got outside my comfort zone. Most importantly, I was able to do all of this and remain true to who I am as a person, which I could not be more proud of.
No matter what life has thrown at me in my 24 years on this earth, I have always managed to find myself again in one way or another. It wasn’t always the easiest the thing to do, as I did not always love myself the way I should have and never thought in a million years that anyone could love someone like me, but I think differently now. Why? Because my Creator told me so. Not in a clear voice, but through His works. He has proved to me this year more than ever that I have so much to offer and that I have the ability to bring joy to the lives of so many. He has let me know that I can be truly loved by someone for everything that I am. Lastly, He has given me the opportunity to improve myself and my walk every single day. He has given me a perfect ending to the year that has passed, which only makes me look forward to all that can happen in the year ahead.
Here is my challenge to you as we enter 2015: Make an impact. You can do so in many different ways, but it will require stepping out of your comfort zone, having faith in yourself, and trusting that everything will turn out exactly the way it’s supposed to. With that said, make these next few hours something special. End this year in a way that is perfect to you. Embrace 2015 with open arms. You may just find that this could be the beginning of the best years of your life.