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Embracing Reflection, Making Birthday Wishes & Accepting the Power of Life's Challenges

As the vibrant colors of autumn surround us, I find myself reflecting on the passing year, eagerly anticipating the celebration of another trip around the sun. With my birthday approaching at the end of this month, I am filled with gratitude for another year and the invaluable lessons I have learned.

Birthdays have a beautiful way of urging us to pause, take stock, and dive deep into introspection. They remind us of the seasons of life we have traversed and the growth we have experienced along the way. In this spirit of reflection, I am drawn to the profound truth that God works ALL things for our good.

And I hear you asking, is that really true? Does God intend for ALL things to work for our good?!? The answer is yes! In Romans 8:28 it states, "and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

It is easy to see the good when things go our way, but does this verse apply....

...even in challeneges? YES.

...even in disappointment? YES.

...even in discouragement? YES.

...even in sadness? YES.

...even in uncertainty? YES.

Life's challenges, though often formidable and overwhelming, hold within them the seeds of transformation and growth. They may appear as insurmountable obstacles, but when we align ourselves with our faith and trust in the divine plan, we open ourselves to the possibility that these challenges can ultimately serve our greater good.

It is in the face of adversity that we discover our strength, resilience, and unwavering spirit. Each hurdle we encounter becomes an opportunity for personal evolution and a chance to refine the essence of who we are. Through the difficulties we face, we find hidden blessings, unexpected lessons, and the power to inspire others with our stories of triumph.

Moreover, when we acknowledge that God works all things for our good, we invite a sense of surrender and peace into our lives. We release the need to control every outcome and instead embrace the understanding that even in times of uncertainty, we are being guided towards a purposeful destiny.

And if I can just be totally transparent with you for a minute, I have had to put this belief into practice. Let me get even more clear, my practice is far from perfect. I am still working to trust that all things work for my good even when they aren't going my way. During these times, rather than surrender I am often found questioning God, and I am certain he is tired of hearing me say, "but are you absolutely sure this is the right way?"

I am so thankful for grace, patience and understanding, because when I look back at those difficult moments, I can truly say it has always worked for my good. 😅

It may not be your birthday, however as we start to wrap up the fourth quarter of the year you might find yourself beginning to reflect on 2023, and asking yourself questions like:

Is this really where I am supposed to be?

If I don't reach all my goals, will I have failed?

Do I have what it takes to finish this year out strong?

And while you may not have a clear answer to those questions, what I would encourage you to lean into is the belief that everything is working for your good and to trust that even when you feel out of control of your current situation, that there is always greater, better plans in store.

As we approach the end of the year, let us remember that our goals and aspirations are not limited by the challenges we encounter. Instead, they are strengthened and fortified by the very trials we face. The obstacles we overcome become stepping stones on our journey towards personal fulfillment and spiritual growth.

So, my dear Soulfully Spoken community, let us celebrate the beauty of reflection and the transformative power of life's challenges. I am abundantly grateful for each passing year brings us closer to realizing our dreams and at the end of the month when I blow out the candles on my birthday cake, I will be wishing us all the ability to embrace the abundance of blessings that await us.

With love & heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support,

Vanessa L. Bryant



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