Biblically it is said that the number eight(8) signifies Resurrection and Regeneration. It is the number of a new beginning. The number 8 is associated with the beginning of a new era, or that of a new beginning.
I like to think of 2017 as the completion/end of many things in my life, and 2018 as the beginning of many things that will be made new. In 2017 I had a hard time letting go of a lot of things. From relationships, bad habits, and fear, I was comfortable continuing my life in the complacency of what was familiar to me. Letting go felt like I would lose out. Letting go felt like I was giving up on a part of me. I soon realized that, indeed, I was. I was letting go of things that no longer served me, or quite frankly didn't serve me well in the first place. One of those things being FEAR.
Fear of what others would think of me. Fear of not feeling good enough as a daughter, partner, sister, or friend. Fear of not being pretty enough for the online world. Fear of not being a good enough expert in what I do and share with others. Fear that someone else in the world was already doing what I wanted to pursue, so what was the point? Fear that somehow everything I put my hands on would somehow eventually fall apart. I even feared, FEAR!
Gratefully with much prayer and counseling from other strong women, mentors, and what I like to call "prayer warriors", I slowly started to disassociate myself from the negative agreements I had once accepted over my life. I learned through much confirmation that I wasn't supposed to be fearful, but I was supposed to be powerful, loving, and have a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV).
I began to see how powerful I am. I began to gain a consistent following of individuals who were not only interested in what I did on Sincerely Shans, but who were also positively impacted —spiritually, mentally, and emotionally — by what I shared. I held my first Women Only Brunch where women way older than me expressed that they looked up to me for inspiration and strength for their own lives. I became stronger in understanding and utilizing what was written in the Bible(which was hard for me to do in the past). I found strength as I fed on words that strengthened my feeble heart. Despite my circumstances, my overall resilience surprised myself and others. This was because I finally understood that I was able to do and go through ANYTHING because Yahweh(God) will give me strength (Philippians 4:13 NIV).
I began to see how much love I have within me. I realize how much I chose to continue to love others who deeply hurt and wounded me. I realized my desire to learn ways to properly love others, not in the ways that I thought I should express my love, but in the ways THEY WANTED to be loved (The book the Five Love Languages is an awesome book for this, and it can be applied to any friendship/relationship). I saw how sincerely excited I got about other people's accomplishments. Even if I didn't have a deep relationship with them, it always brought me joy! I learned that loving from a distance was also possible to do. I felt the love of Yahweh(God) being manifested internally and externally in many different areas of my life.
I began to see how I have a sound mind. I learned that while chamomile tea, yoga sessions, and working out helped, meditating throughout the day on words in the Bible was what ultimately helped me to have a sound mind. Anxiety that I was struggling with, causing panic attacks and bad thoughts about myself were put under subjection through the discovery of who I was as a child of a KING. I started to learn more of I am. I started to embrace more of who people knew I was — a witty, kind-hearted, quirky, loving, caring, supportive, sweet Shanon. I began to cultivate more of that person without feeling like I was being too prideful of myself, or intimidating to others. It was simply who I AM!
I don't know what 2018 holds for me, but I do know that it is the start of something new. I anticipate all this year has to offer, in all dimensions of my life. Join me on this journey of new beginnings. I'm sold on the fact that of the great I've already seen, GREATER is coming.