It’s the beginning of the new year—we’ve officially started 2021. We went through so much in 2020, and now it’s time for a brand-new start this January. I don’t even want to mention all the trials and hardships of 2020. The woes we’ve battled will continue, but let’s move for a positive start and put our joy first.

Joy to the world! This year I will spread my joy by living out my purposes and going after my dreams. My focus will leave me no time to even care about the negativity others may share because of their unhappiness, bitterness, and misery. I’ll continue to do the will of God by writing books that help and inspire others, giving to charities, and helping the homeless in the ways that I can.

Like all of us, I only have one life and not a lot of time to do everything. I have to live my purpose—God’s purpose for me. My goals may change, but whatever they are, I want to feel joy. I can’t allow someone to take my joy away. I know I have enemies. We all have enemies. Who am I? God had enemies and people who hated him. There are people in this world who dislike us for whatever reason. I can’t focus on those things. I can’t focus on who does and doesn’t like me. I’m a grown woman, and I have so little time on this earth.

This year, I refuse to keep reflecting on things that have lost meaning to me or are unknowable. I don’t know why my supervisor at work didn’t allow me to work virtually in 2020 so I could avoid taking a leave of absence. I don’t know what others say behind my back when I’m not about a lot of mess. I don’t understand why others try to put you down when you’re trying to stay up. I don’t know why, and that’s okay. I can choose to move on.

What I know is that I have to protect my joy and pray that both my enemies and friends seek the help they need for happiness and fulfillment. I pray that they have joy no matter what they’re going through. In 2021, I don’t want to focus on shame, guilt, or doubt. I’m taking honor, confidence, and staying unrepentant instead. But, if I need to repent, I will repent to God because I am a woman of God. I’m going to fly in life by encouraging myself and others to achieve their goals, dream big, and surpass the odds. I want to let the world know nobody can take your dreams, gifts, imagination, or charm. There’s nobody in this world who can be you. Only you can be you.

You, yes you. When you wake up, you have you. When you look in the mirror, you have you. When you’re trying to make things in life happen, you have you. Sometimes you are the only one you can depend on, and although the daily grind gets hard along with the pressure and mystery of a new year, we must keep faith that everything will be just fine. We must know that God has all of us in his hands. We must understand as believers and doers of the word of God that whatever is going on in this world, when it’s not meant for us, it is still a blessing. Like my Bishop says, it’s a pass over. Suppose a relationship didn’t work out, then it’s a pass over. If you didn’t get a particular job, it’s a pass over. If you didn’t get that new car, it’s a pass over. It simply was not meant for you. There’s something better waiting for you.

Don’t let life’s obstacles stand in your way. It’s a pass over. You were blessed to not be in any mess. That boyfriend or girlfriend was not marriage material. That job would not lead to your greatest success. That car would have come with a stressful car note that you did not need. If you believe and have faith, God will bring a partner to you at the appointed time. He’s going to put you in a position to create your own career, and he’s going to allow you to go and buy a car later when you will not be locked into payments and interest.

Whatever the circumstances we’re going through, we should do our best to flip it and turn it around. Let’s not let trivial rumors and negative things bring us down. Let’s not let illness and this pandemic make us weak. Let’s defeat our foes, fight for our place in life, give back to others, and spread joy to the world!

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