“My Year”

“This is gonna be your year, I can feel it!” During the past month, I’ve heard this well known phrase on several occasions. Honestly, I’ve heard it many times over the years and probably even offered this guarantee myself…as if speaking it aloud would bring it into existence. As I truly contemplated the statement for the very first time, I wondered why we promise this to others? Perhaps as the New Year approaches, the pressure to provide a gift-wrapped basket of positive reinforcement to our friends and family members becomes greater than throughout the rest of the year, because if we can convince them, then quite possibly we can convince ourselves that we’re headed towards “the year.”

I started thinking about what elements need to be present in order to make this my year. Is it meeting “the one”…finding the perfect job, buying a home, filling my closet with designer clothes…or is it having a year without sorrow, without trials, without dealing every day with Cancer?

On Christmas Eve, as I was driving to church for service, I was listening to one of my favorite artists, India Arie and her song, “I Choose.” Although I’ve heard this song several dozen times in the past, part of the lyrics (posted below) touched my heart in a way they never have before.

*Because you never know where life is gonna take you
and you can’t change where you’ve been.
But today, I have the opportunity to choose.

And I choose to be the best that I can be.
I choose to be authentic in everything I do.
My past don’t dictate who I am. I choose.

I done been through some painful things I thought that I would never make it through.
Filled up with shame from the top of my head to the soles of my shoes.
I put myself in so many chaotic circumstances, but by the grace of God I’ve been given so many second chances.
But today I decided to let it all go. I’m dropping these bags, I’m making room for my joy.

Because you never know where life is gonna take you and you can’t change where you’ve been.
But today, I have the opportunity to choose.
I used to have guilt about why things happen they way they did cuz life is gone do what it do.
And everyday, I have the opportunity to choose.

And I choose to be the best that I can be.
I choose to be courageous in everything I do.
My past don’t dictate who I am. I choose.

And I choose to be the best that I can be.
I choose to be authentic in everything I do.
My past don’t dictate who I am. I choose.

During the 15 minute drive to my parent’s church, I re-played the song several times, singing at the top of my lungs, “I choose!” Memories of the past twelve months flooded my heart, and it dawned on me that 2010 WAS “my year”…It was the year I fought for my life, the year I realized my life was actually worth fighting for…the year I chose to see myself as worth more than what I was settling for…the year I received an overwhelming support of family and friends…the year I said goodbye to some relationships and had the opportunity to create some new friendships…the year I found peace within myself…The year I learned about “Dolce Far Niente” (the sweetness of doing nothing). The year I truly found the peace of the God that dwells within me and desires to bring blessing through the greatest of tragedies…The year I faced my greatest fears and came out on the other side stronger than before…and the year that I learned I CHOOSE!

I may not be able to predict or control what happens to me in the future…I continue to face the chronic side effects of the Cancer, but I get to choose how I handle that on a daily basis. I may not be able to stop how someone else’s actions will change my life, but I can choose how I respond to the situation. I GET to choose EVERYDAY my attitude…for better or worse. And I get to choose that every year is “My Year!”

Picture from my "I'm Alive and I Survived Cancer" photo shoot

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Grandma Alice
    Jan 01, 2011 @ 08:21:25

    I thought today’s post was very good. Thanks for being so positive about the fact that God uses everything to His glory.
    I’d like to post it on Facebook… is there some way I can do it?

    Reply

    • Kelli
      Jan 03, 2011 @ 22:33:59

      Hello Alice,

      Thank you so much for reading and your support! If you’d like you can post my blog address and then others can go from there! It’s kleigh7997.wordpress.com

      Kelli

      Reply

  2. Vicki Bishop
    Jan 02, 2011 @ 07:57:18

    Dearest Kelli,
    Well said. I love you.
    From the outside I can see why God made you the determined person you are even from when you were little…God is awesome to give us what we need even before we know we need it. And then he blesses us with seeing what he has done after the fact…
    Happy 2011!
    Hugs!
    Vicki

    Reply

    • Kelli
      Jan 03, 2011 @ 22:34:46

      Thank you Vicki! Your family has always been so important to us and I thank you for your support during this past year! Love you!

      Reply

  3. Matt
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 10:37:25

    Wow – that was great Kelli, and inspirational. Keep up the writing please. You have a gift for it……This is gonna be your year, I can feel it! (o:

    Reply

  4. jeannette
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 18:14:19

    Beautiful post! I love the photo at the end..you celebrating life and all that you’ve been through. Keep sharing!!

    Reply

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