Sunday, January 1, 2017



One of the most growing years I've had without really difficult challenges accompanying it.

This year was one of the most positive ones I've had since becoming an adult.

And I owe that all to my Heavenly Father. 

It's funny because, for years, I've begged Him for a break, a longer period of calm after the storm. Because although I recognize that He hasn't thrown all of my trials at me, I also have faith that He has the power to take my trials away.
And each time I was faced with a big one, I'd think, "Really? Didn't I ask for a break? Why oh why can't it just be calm for a while?" 

So while it hasn't just been a completely easy year, it was much calmer than the previous ones.


The year I practiced authenticity and focused on my confidence. 

This part was difficult. Self-confidence does not come naturally to me. I've struggled with my body image since I was a child and this past year was no different.
But with everything these past few years have put me through, I can sit here and tell you that I CHOSE to ignore the eating disorder lies more days than not. I CHOSE to talk to myself more positively than I've ever done in the past.
My body and I may not always be friends---I might really struggle to like her---but I also realize that God created me in this body for a reason and that health, for me, needs to involve more positive talk and less hate.
And I believe I am finally at a point where I can start working on that more. 


The year I finished three more semesters at Arizona State University. 

This year, my grades were not great. I struggled a lot, especially this past semester. Senioritis is a real thing. But I also finished 12 classes. I took numerous tests, wrote what felt like a million discussion board posts, and finished multiple research papers.
Juggling my school and home life was a major challenge for me but you guys, I ONLY HAVE ONE MORE SEMESTER!
And I am going to successfully finish this last semester and graduate in May. 


The year I learned more about the Bible and tried to stay true to what God wanted for me. 

'Tried' being the keyword.
There were times I fell off that path, where God wasn't really a major part of my decision making processes. There were times I woke up in the morning after making childish choices the night before and wondered what the heck I was doing.
I wasn't always following God's path---but instead trying to fit Him into my path.

And I believe that is the reason this has all happened so quickly. 

I believe I was supposed to learn certain things outside of the LDS church. I believe there were experiences and church services I was supposed to be a part of to teach me more about myself and about what I believe this life is about.

I believe I am a better Suzanne because of the religious decisions I've made in the past two years.
I have learned so much outside of my comfort zone and that has made me more confident in my every day choices.

And a major key in choosing confidence and authenticity for 2016 had to do with religion. 

People would ask me why I had left or what I believed and it scared me to answer. I hated answering those questions. I felt so inadequate, as I've often felt when it comes to religion.
So when I decided that I was going to be an authentic Suzanne, I made a decision to answer questions more honestly, more confidently, and also opening myself up to listen to the other sides of those conversations.

I've had conversations with Mormons who expressed their opinions of non-denominational Christianity.
I've also had conversations with non-denominational Christians who have expressed their opinions of Mormons.

Both of these conversation types have brought me to a stronger foundation of who I am and what I believe.


The year I finished 30 hours of PS-MAPP courses to become a licensed foster parent. 

This was another call from God, one I had felt compelled to seek out years ago but never felt like the timing was right.
This year, the timing was right. 
And in the near future, my licensing should be complete.

This choice was not decided upon lightly and it has not been an easy journey. I have prayed so much about this decision that will alter our family dynamic.
But after everything my Heavenly Father has done for me, I am not going to argue with Him just because I am scared.


I almost backed out of this process earlier in the year because the thought of opening my home to more children and potentially being blamed or scrutinized by the state or others involved in the process was more than I thought I could handle.
But God just kept bringing it up---and when I finally made the call to start my license, everything fell into place smoother than it ever should have.

I also held off on this for a while because I was worried it would interfere with my single/dating life---which is just downright hilarious because that part of my life is non-existent. But I worried about this for a while and prayed about it before realizing that I am not going to put my life on hold for greater things just because I am single.
I'd be happy to be dating but I'm also happy right now.

And I won't be sitting around waiting for my life to change before doing what God wants me to be doing.

If He tells me I need to stop or that I am needed elsewhere, I'll listen and obey that call.

But for now, I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

2016 was one for the books.
It was positive and authentic and scary at times. It was full of spiritual and emotional growth.

And a few weeks ago, as I was considering what I wanted to work on in 2017, a new song by Danny Gokey came on the radio that impressed upon me my word for this coming year.

There's a brokenness inside of you
There's a wound that still reminds you
Of the fear, shame and rejection 
You have seen it, you have seen it

You know it's time to get up
But your heart's paralyzed, you're so stuck
You're past the point of trying again
You're defeated, you're defeated

But something inside you can't deny
You hear the call of your creator
I made you for more, unlocked the door
I wanna restore your glory

So rise
Breaking the dark, piercing the night
You're made to shine
An army of hope
Bringing the world
A radiant light
A radiant light
You were made to rise

Lift your head and look around you
See the dreams you lost, they have found you
And the heart that once was beating
Is coming back to life
Coming back to life

Shut the door on yesterday
Leave what happened in the grave
You were made to rise
You were made to shine
Creations longing for the day
For kings and queens to take their place
You were made to rise
You were made to shine

Breaking the dark
Piercing the night
Made to shine
Bring the world
A radiant light

As I listened to the words in this song, I knew what my word for 2017 would be.


Because although I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be, there is still so much to do.

There is still so much growth ahead. 

And I will rise above the negativity and the anxiety. I will rise above the impatience and the laziness.

I will fight for myself, for my children, and for the people that I love. 

When I am needed, I will rise. When I am called upon, I will rise.

This year, both of my children will be baptized and I have made a goal to attend a temple session every month. This is a goal I made when speaking with God last month. I promised Him that if He would guide me through 2017, I would do everything in my power to plant myself firmly in His gospel.
I am scared---but I don't make promises lightly and this is important to me. 

I did this a few years ago, before leaving the church, and it was one of the most positive experiences I've had.

This year, I made a goal to cook more, become more organized, and be more present with my children.
They need me. So much, they need me. And when they need me most, I want to be available.

This is the year that I rise above the negativity and the fear that grips me so often and become a more loving and patient Suzanne.

I believe I am capable of so much and I plan on continuing to learn and grow.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so inspired by you! I know 2017 has so many great things in store for you! You just keep on rising! You got this!

    Love You!