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Moving Forward by Bambi Lynn

This past week I had the chance to go to Myrtle beach with my eldest daughter. It was a time of respite that we both needed. The only thing I had asked was to have our hotel room facing the water. I wanted to wake up and be looking out to the ocean on our balcony. She gave that to me, and every night I slept with the screen door opened and fell asleep to the crashing of the waves. For some reason it soothed me like a mother sooth her child. It gave me a peace that only waves could give. I sat out on the balcony reading a book I brought with me and reflecting on this past year. I would get up in the middle of the night just to go to the balcony and feel the waves crashing as they came to shore. I would watch them come in and then go back out as if they had something to return.
   I go to the water to get answers, to feel the presence of something much bigger than myself, I feel like I can talk freely to God at the water. Like he knows me and knows I need someone to just listen. I have gone to the water over the years, and he has showed up. I needed his hand to reach down at me and give me peace that I have longed to have this past year. One morning while we were on our mini vacation, the sun took a little longer to show up in all of its radiance. I felt an anticipation of its arrival to start the day but, it stalled. I have felt that feeling all year long. The stalling of an answer, the stalling of friends and finances. The stalling of healing of a broken heart that went along with not knowing where I belonged and longing for the radiance of the SON to shine on my life. As I watched the sun gradually come out, I felt like I was being reminded. God shows up in all his splendor at the right moment and the right time, and just in time. I had to be reminded of that at the beach as I wondered if the sun would rise. 

  This past year so many amazing things have happened in my life, that I should be over the moon about. I look back to this year with smiles but, with lots of tears. I see the crashing of the waves over my life this year, the waves were forever Constant in my life. Sometimes it was the waves taking something I loved dearly, and sometimes It was something that I dropped not thinking the waves would come in and swoop it up so fast, how could I have some moments that took my breath away and other moments of saying to God, if you would like to take  me now, I would be okay if I didn't wake to see the morning sun to  rise again.  How did I enjoy the waves of life one moment and the next I cried because the waves took something dear from me?

 A thirty-year-old dream came true this year. 2023 would be the year of my soul being poured out into the form of pages of a book. I would take 3 1|2 weeks to pour out my story. All my pain and trials, my broken pieces of my life and what made me whole again. I would tell my story, my truth. and cry my tears of reading the pages of my very own published book. I became a published author in June and have pinched myself daily to see if it is real. but my heart still longed for peace. The waves still came crashing in to steal my joy and give me unrest. 

   My Birthday is January 8th, so yes New Year's Day is important but, I start my year of reflection on my birthday.  I am always in awe that I was born on the number of new beginnings. My start off with a fresh new look, a fresh new dream. a fresh new goal and fresh new outlook on life with the coming of a  new year ahead. I tell everyone that we only have to live a moment once in our lifetime. there is no do over or no repeat that moment. I know I speak for many when I say, I am happy that a lot of 2023 I will never have to live again, but, yet I am also sad because some I would love to, The first time I held my published book in my hands, My launch party where a childhood bully showed up to hug me and told me she was sorry, or having a cousin come for me to sign his book that I had not seen in over forty five years. The kindled friendship with my half-sister. where I watched her gracefully take care of our dad while he was dying. To helping my daughter in love labor at home for her fourth son. That experience will forever hold a deep part of my soul and my heart will always hold a special place for that little boy that I helped bring into this world. The winning of a writers contest with my very first book for its cover, website and writing. My book isn't only changing lives but, it gave an award to a girl with a GED and a dream. I went to my hometown this year and walked the streets of my childhood and found peace in the mist of the memories that held me captive for so long. I did my first festival in my hometown and was overwhelmed by the love and the response from a town that held such terrible memories, but in a moment had been redeemed. I had a friend of many years that we lost touch come to my home and we spent a weekend laughing, crying, rekindling, and embracing our lives and all that God had done for both of us all these years. We didn't miss a beat together. We even went canoeing in an alligator infested swamp and survived. That experience helped mend another time I was in a canoe and thought I would not survive it. I cried when she left because she was part of my past and knew me and loved me through my journey. This year I also was surprised with an all-expense paid trip with my daughter and grandsons to Sea World. Everything was paid for. We swam in the hotel pool for hours, laughing and diving for quarters. We got caught in the rain at sea world and laughed as, what else could we do. I was so blessed with that trip as I am the one who always pays for everything. I even experienced Cheddars with their cheese curds that I missed so much from the North. I don't know if she knew what she did for me, but I will always be so grateful for those moments. I cried out for friends. and at the last moment some showed up. They have been my lifeline and councilors these past few months. taken me under their wings, remind me life doesn't get easier just you know that this too shall pass. My new friends are over seventy years old, and one is ninety-two. These women have been through life. They have survived some of the unthinkable. They have lived a whole lifetime over me, and they share their life with me, they teach me that I never have to walk alone. I want you to understand I was drowning, and they saw me in the water and rescued me. They may not know it but, they were my homerun, my three-point basket, my touchdown, and my hole in one.They gave me the hope I needed, and, in a moment, I found some of my life again.

I spent most of my year in my own mind, thinking this loneliness was going to swallow me up. I experienced a new peeling of layers in my life, experiencing the next layer of an onion being peeled and the tears falling from that cut.  With the dissolving of my position at the company I work for, I wasn't traveling anymore. I had to learn to adjust to the new normal. I didn't have friends close by me because I had moved, and boy did I long to go back to a normal that I knew. I long for the friendships that had been established so many years ago. They brought me safety and now I was naked with no one to help clothe me. I now found myself alone with no dopamine to keep me going. My income was cut in half and so shopping was out of the question. My new team and manager didn't help make me feel welcomed. so, I was alone. Feeling like a was a foreigner in a land I didn't belong. I also couldn't get my work done and have the homes open the doors to sign up. My job is made up of me going into people's homes and talking to  them about The Nielsen ratings. but, for me it was more about their stories and bringing life into their lives and them bringing life into mine. I felt dried up and a life without a purpose. The stress overtook me, and I felt depression was swallowing up my soul. The stress caused me to have two episodes of kidney stones. When people tell you they hurt like giving birth to a child, it is no joke, I labored those stones like the trembling of giving birth but, nothing to hold as a reward. Both times it took the wind out my sail and set me on a course of doing everything I could not have that happen again. I also fell a couple times this past year and I spiraled out of control thinking nobody will find me for days and I would die alone. Do I need to tell you how many stories I told myself this past year? Why do we always go to the worst thing that could happen to us? How did I even survive this year? How do any of us with our minds being taken over by our thoughts?

This year as I looked out to the waves, and I said goodbye to 2023. I could see this year being taken by the waves and be melted together with the ocean. I see that the waves aren't worried by my stuff, they will take anything in their path. I see the new sunrise, even if I thought God stalled in many moments, he showed up in all his splendor. When the sun sets, it is his way of allowing us to rest in his perfect peace and trust in the process. Each year is a beginning of a new chapter. New characters, new adventures, new moments, new bucket lists, and new dreams. we must ask ourselves, how big is the father's heart? Big enough to see you through!!  He is a God who answers prayers, not the way we think sometimes but better. just keep going, don't give up, the most difficult time is just before the suddenly. As we have all learned this year, that trials don't last forever, and storms have their breaking point, and the sun will come out tomorrow. Let us all believe and stand firm that the new year 2024 is going to be a "God did it" kind of year. 

  As I say Goodbye, I also say Hello. As I say 2023 is finished, I also say 2024, Let's begin. I look out to the ocean and wave goodbye and look to the sunrise and thank God for a new day. When I sat and read my book, The Journey of Josephine and read the last sentence, I realize I didn't know that girl anymore. I wept for her. As I come into the new year, I am hoping that the journey of this year makes me not know who I was because I have grown so much from the pruning of 2023 and the new fruit has come forth. May we all learn to dance in the rain. Not take one moment for granted. give our hearts away to new life and experience. let us all keep going and when the lemons come after us, stop and make lemonade and serve it. When the storms come, and they will, ride them out as the Rainbow is coming. Last but not lease give yourself a break, give yourself some grace and take the lessons into the next day. but don't stop believing and don't ever give up on living. Show 2024 you can live through anything because you did. 2023 is in the rear-view mirror. Drive faster so you get as far away as you can. Know one thing, I believe in you.



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Well Bambi, I can sure relate to some of your past feelings. I too have had moments of depression and pain. I cry out to God often, oping he will intervene. It is nice that the ocean and waves give you comfort. My daughter has a tradition that on new years eve, she opens the door and pushes the old year out. Then she opens it again to let the new year in, may we all have a great year filled with peace and happiness!

Terri-lynn Ackerman

Beautiful!!!! So proud of you that you overcame this last year !!!! Bring On 2024 !!! Also ps glad you got to hear the ocean since I was snoring 😴


I must say you’ve been on my mind for the past week. Then I read your blog last night and was unable to comment, too emotional about the whole thing. Hurting, because your hurting, vasilating between hugs and it’s gonna be alright and com’on, you’ve been through much worse than this. Pull’m up and keep moving.
Then today, your card…..( remind me to show you how to save$$/time with cards). Warmed my heart.
We all go through seasons. They don’t last. Tough when you find yourself in one. Until recently, I always thought uh oh, what did I do wrong now? Either followed by more reading, more prayer, rebellion or just finding enough extra to do so I could forget for awhile.
The other day I saw an interesting blurb about when things go wrong, maybe you should be thinking what is God trying to tell me? Where is God trying to lead me? Besides the Israelites, I’m the only one I know that can turn an 11 day trip into 40 years. Yeah, not funny. 😜.
I don’t even know what the point is I’m trying to make. I’m simple. I don’t think deeply, take things at face value and just put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. I just want you to know that your special. You have many gifts and your using them. Sometimes it’s ok just to coast for awhile. To walk a little slower. Just occupy. Purify, Watch and Pray.
Always remember that 3/4 of the stuff you worry about never happens. ( if I could get ALL that time back I could take another 40 year trip). We love you from the depths of our hearts. As long as I have breath you will never be totally alone ❤️


Well, Bambi, you know for certain that I understand your depression. I’m sorry you had such an awful year; you expressed it with much tenderness, sadness and vulnerability God has given you—us—a Spirit of life. Some are blessed with an abundance and you seem to be one of those. I was given tenacity, forbearance and endurance. Then it grew into a tiny bit of faith and as the faith expanded, my problems didn’t seem as insurmountable, but rather another mountain to climb with Jesus holding my hand. I would turn loose, but he held on tight. Like we held our children’s hand as we crossed a busy, dangerous intersection. I’m so thankful for the faith that God has given me. I remember the exact moment it sprang up in me and I felt strength rise up inside me. Truthfully, I was surprised! What was this in my soul…akin to joy? It felt more like a horse pulling me out of a bog-hole!! He continues to grow my faith. The more I read the Word, pray and listen intentionally, submit myself and obey as best I can, he showers me with favors and blessings. “Thank you, Heavenly Father!” Yep. We older ones have got the big picture! We look back at all the situations we thought were going to destroy us or kill us, and we think, Pfff… that little rock? Show me a boulder! Then we cringe for a moment, put on our armor and sing “Onward Christian Soldiers!” A sister or brother locks arms with us, and we know we’ll make it.

Jackie Strickland

What a beautiful reflection on your year past. It was a pleasure meeting you this year, albeit online. I hope the new year brings peace, joy and prosperity.

Susan Day

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