The Thrill of the Ride: A look back at 2016


Hello Love Bugs!!

Happy New Year! I know it has been quite some time since my last blog post. I have been working on material, but of course life has been happening at the same time. I want to thank you all for rockin with me through this blog for now 3 whole years!! I cannot believe that we re-launched “Coco’s Couch” 3 years ago! There has been so much growth and development with this site, and I pray that you as a reader/supporter have felt growth through these messages over the years.

For this post, I just wanted to reflect and recap 2016. I have heard so many people say how 2016 was a tough year for them. Heck, I too have found myself saying that as well. And maybe for many, 2016 was a tough/bad year. For me, 2016 was like a bumpy rollercoaster experience at an amusement park.

kings-island

Me, Brandee, & Nicole waiting for one of those crazy roller coasters

Over the summer, a couple girlfriends and I took an impromptu trip to Kings Island. To my surprise, neither one of them were thrilled about riding rollercoasters. I was the one who was all the way “turned up” for the thrill of the ride. However, they were good sports and entertained my excitement by getting on a couple rides with me.

 

Each time as we approached a ride, we noticed we had to wait in line. The waiting at times was unbearable, but as we got closer to actually getting on the ride, anxiety began to build . . . nervousness began to emerge . . . and excitement began to overwhelm us all at the same time. Now we are in our seats on our cart, and here comes those emotions again. We have to wait until everyone is secured for the ride. As the ride took off anxiety and nervousness began to stir up with every inch the car made up the coaster track, to the peak of the track. Right before the drop, we start to grab each others arms and hands because we cannot believe we are putting ourselves through this. We are at the top and see this drop, then before you know it, down we go. Screaming to the top of our lungs, anxiety, nervousness and now fear entraps us and we want this crazy ride to end. We are twisting and turning, looping in half circles, going up and down, and the ride is shaking us so hard that we felt like at any moment we will break. After a minute or two of this, the ride is over. We exit the cart, regain our balance, take a deep breath, and realize “that wasn’t so bad after all”. Now excitement fills us up, because we realized that we conquered that roller coaster . . . we are now more courageous and stronger then we ever realized.

roller-coaster

Photo Cred: Google Images Kings Island Roller Coasters

 

This was my 2016. Full of all those above mentioned emotions. Full of highs and lows . . . twists and turns . . . shaking and bending. I have been on one crazy roller coaster. Changes in friendships, heartbreak, rejection, betrayal, receiving recognition/honor/blessings, taking a leap of faith, launching two businesses, building a ministry, going to seminary, having fear taunt me, awesome vacations, amazing road trips, and losing my father a few weeks ago.

Just like being on that crazy roller coaster, I wanted 2016 to end quickly. Now that it is over, I have realized that I am more courageous and more stronger than I ever imagined. I realized that life is a like a roller coaster ride. We have to adjust to every twist, turn, high, and low. We have to know that no matter how hard it gets, God is right there with us. He manufactured this roller coaster, and His plan is for you to finish the ride trusting Him more, relying on His strength, and having the courage to follow His plan.

So as I wait in anticipation for the things I prayed for in 2017, I’m excited to hop on the roller coaster one more time.

Blessings to you!

~Hazel~

Remember this: Though you are imperfect, you are loved by a perfect God!

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VIRTUEΒ 



Hey love bugs! 

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. – Proverbs 31:10 KJV

This past Sunday was the launch of my small women’s group called VIRTUE! For the past year or so, God has placed on my heart to start a small group for women. The thought of this initially scared me. I couldn’t help but begin to question why. Next after why was “what if no on shows up?” After entertaining these thoughts, I began to remember the times God has placed something on my heart to do, and how when I moved towards that direction, He totally provided along the way. 

So I later started brainstorming what to name this group, and seeking God on exactly what would be the purpose of gathering a group of strangers together. To try to keep myself on task, I began posting little reminders around my place. I didn’t want to lose sight of this new task. Now keep in mind this was about a year ago! 

I wanted to start right away, but things were not lining up. I knew that if this was something that God really wanted me to do, He will line things up perfectly. And He did just that. 

I later realized that I couldn’t get this going until I was obedient in the first task of starting my organization Perfectly Imperfect Inc., enrolling in seminary, and taking a leap of faith to do both full time. Now, I personally would not have wanted to start a small group with all of this going on: full time student and building two businesses (I am also a Premier Design Independent Distributor selling jewelry in which all the proceeds help support Perfectly Imperfect Inc.).  But my timing is not God’s timing. So I continued to pray about this group. 

One day while driving, it hit me so hard…VIRTUE…that’s it! From there everything flowed perfectly! VIRTUE aims to encourage women to be women of virtue, women of grace, women of courage, women who are bold, and women who are unapologetic about who and what God has called them to be. 

This past Sunday was the kick off, and the feedback I received was enough confirmation that this group is needed…not just for the women…but more so for me!!! I need this group…I need to cultivate more VIRTUE…I need to be more of the woman God is desiring me to be…and I need every woman attending VIRTUE to be with me on this journey! 

In the snippet below, I’m sharing with the ladies on how blogging and Perfectly Imperfect Inc. came about. I couldn’t do this without sharing a little bit of my story…a story of how rejection and abandonment led to a promiscuous/party lifestyle, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety, and ultimately leading me to a transformation inspired by embracing the perfect, unconditional love of God. 

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Remember this:

Though you are imperfect, you are loved by a perfect God! 

Hazel