The 2019 year is in full motion. People have chosen their words for the year, made their goals, and are either stopping their resolutions or pushing on strong. There are Facebook posts all across my screen that claim 2018 wasn't a good one, and that 2019 will be, "their year." They talk about getting rid of the toxic people in their lives and throwing away old habits in exchange for new, healthier ones.

After seeing all the posts I came to the realization that we all seem to put a lot of pressure on the New Year. We focus on the horrible parts that made up our past year and vow that "this year," it will be different. If we just cut these people out, do this differently, and start the year on a good foot, then this year will be "my year."

However, I've realized that the whole year, the good and the bad, shape you to be the person you are today. If I looked back at the person I was exactly one year ago today, I would be staring at a stranger. So many things can change in 365 days and it all happens for a reason.

I've had my fair share of good moments and bad moments during the year, and though the bad times sucked at the time, I'm glad to be able to look back and see how much I've grown through those experiences. I remember asking God why the heck all this crap was happening; the year started out so good and was supposed to be "my year."

Well, it was "my year." But it doesn't mean that everything will be all perfect and roses with a nice glass of lemonade. It means that I will bend and break, laugh and love, and come out of the year a different person than I entered. I will be molded into who God has planned me to be and look back at the experiences with thankfulness. We all have to walk through fire sometime, but like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3:23, Jesus will be right there beside us to give us strength and to lean on Him.

Don't put so much pressure on your year. Good things happen and bad things happen but it's all valuable to the person you will become. It's important to move on and go forward, but don't be afraid to thank God for what you learned in the year before and for never leaving you.

No matter what happens, just know that this chapter of your story may be dirty and full of tears, or sunshine and squeaky clean, but it will do doubt shape you to be the person you want to be. Who knows, your experiences may just help someone else in the future years.

Every year is "your year." The question isn't whether it will be a great year or horrible one, it's what you are going to learn, experience, grow, and get out of it.