For the last two weeks, my Facebook newsfeed has been inundated with “2017, you suck” memes. They may not have said EXACTLY that but something similar. At first I thought, “Yeah, 2017…what an awful year!” But, then I really thought about it, and 2017 wasn’t so awful at all. There were some really hard times for me and my family in 2017. There are some things we’re still going through that are being taken into 2018, but I’m not going to let that define my entire year. I choose to focus on the good and to know that the hard times will not last.
First thing, my grandson was born in 2017. He’s perfect in every way. What is better than that?! Nothing!! I never thought I could love another human who didn’t come from me as much as I love my grandson. It’s such a special love, and he’s right there in my heart right beside my three kiddos.
Secondly, I’ve had several doors open for me in 2017. I’ve seen God working in my life, and it’s been awesome. For the past year or two, I’ve worked as a Virtual Assistant (VA) on the side. I’ve prayed for a couple of years to work from home, full-time. At the beginning of 2017, I was working a job where I was driving about 150 miles a day, and I was spending three hours a day in the car. When working from home just wasn’t happening, I shifted and I began praying that God lead me where He wants me. That’s how I would know where I’m supposed to be. I applied for many jobs, and I never got any calls for interviews. One afternoon, when reading the East Texas Pennysaver, old school classifieds that come in the mailbox once a week, I saw an ad for a local probation officer. I have about 10 years criminal justice experience and a 4-year degree so I applied, interviewed, and I got the job! My commute was more than cut in half. What a blessing right there! I live in a very rural area so it’s rare to find a decent paying job so close to home. Being an administrative assistant is my passion, but I was content with the thought of working as a probation officer until I retire. Little did I know, God was working behind the scenes!
I picked up two steady, part-time, clients early last year. They are both wonderful people who run completely different businesses. I was enjoying working for both of them at night and on the weekends. I was a PO by day and a VA by night. One Saturday, one of my clients asked what it would take for me to go full-time as a VA. She told me she could only give me 20 hours a week to start because her business is newer, but it could increase as time goes on. I had to really think about it because I’m a single income family. My kids depend on me financially, and me only, so for me to leave the security of a government job would be something I’d really have to think and pray about. Two days later, I mentioned to my other client that I was considering becoming a VA full-time, and he said he could give me up to 40 hours if I wanted them. When I told him I was working with someone else as well, he said that we could start at 20, but 40 would remain on the table. I’m not one to make hasty decisions, but I could hear my Pastor’s voice from a previous message he had preached saying, “it’s not about seeing to believe, but sometimes you have to believe to see.” I turned in my resignation to probation, and I started my dream job. I work for myself as a VA, and hopefully by the end of this year, I’ll be running Do It All Virtual Assistant. I’m three months in and going strong! Once I get my website going, I have so many plans. I have a logo so far. But, I will not neglect or stop working for the two people I’m working for now until they kick me to the curb. 😉
During my short-time at probation, I met so many great people, and my co-workers have become my friends. I hope while I was there, I was able to impact a life or two. I loved the aspect of helping people, and I never really cared about that before when I worked in that field. That was a great experience. Now, every day when I wake up, I am so thankful that I’m at home and doing what I am most passionate about. I absolutely love the people I am blessed to work with on a daily basis. I’m learning so much. Because I remained steadfast and diligent in prayer and allowed God to direct my steps, He has given me one of the biggest gifts of all! Of course, my children and grandson are the biggest, but my dream job is pretty big!
So looking back, something that was weighing on my heart for years, came to pass in 2017. That really makes everything else seem so small. We’re always going to face trials and tough times. It’s ok to pray for more. It’s how we handle ourselves through the tough times that’s the real test. Philippians 4:6 reads, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” God doesn’t want us to be stressed out or to feel like our prayers will never be answered. Stay faithful. Do your part, and God will certainly do His! But, He will do it in His time. Not ours.
Goodbye 2017…you really weren’t that terrible. Hello 2018, let’s see what God has in store for me and my family this year!