Reflecting on the Past Year.

I wanted to have this time to reflect on the past year. Do you have those moments when you look back at your life? Did you achieve your goals, and did your dreams came true? Do you create new ones?

Every time I look back there is always struggle! I am hoping that the next year is going to be different, going to be better, going to be easier…

Every time I’ve looked back, I’ve realized it’s still a struggle. It’s still difficult. It’s never easy. I’m looking around and I’m not alone! It’s been a hard life for all of us. Do you know that saying the grass is greener on another side? It’s implying that someone else always has it better than you. 

It’s not true-you don’t know what’s going on there for keeping that grass green. Guys, really, we don’t know about what we don’t know. Because when we do know we have so much gratitude at what we have. 

This past year taught me a lot. I’m learning, growing, and maturing. It’s painful. A few things came to mind… no matter how hard life is – it’s still good. It’s still progressed, and it’s still had some improvement. Struggle brings clarity and clarity creates direction. This is God’s promise from the bible:

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

It’s a very interesting concept-if you concentrate on the bad stuff, you never see hope. You never see how important and necessary these trials are. You might ask: “Why did I lose my spouse?” “Why did I lose my childhood?”” Why did a drunk driver kill my son?” There are so many things we can question, and some of these questions we would never find the answers to. We would never understand WHY this happened. 

But one day, when we are healed, we can look back and see how much it impacted and changed the course of our lives. How it’s impacted other people around us. We can  choose to come out as victims or victors. Take time and don’t apologize for the road to healing that you are taking. Hopefully it’s constructive and healthy, but don’t give up on pursuing love, peace and joy and wholeness again.

2021 for me was another challenging year. I know we are living through a pandemic and frequently must self-isolate and do vaccines and rapid tests. There’s so much fear and misinformation. People are sick and dying. We are divided in our opinions. Mental health, domestic violence, and human trafficking issues are on the rise. At least it’s now in the open… I am so grateful to be a part of this movement by sharing God’s love and creating awareness about those issues through my Love&BLoved podcast. 

This year I’ve learned so much about myself. The most important lesson I learned was about my pride! I was so sure that I have no more baggage from my past… I was so sure that it was everyone else’s problem… I was so sure that I’m good… That’s when I actually “saw it”- the truth made me weep. I am not a good listener either! I do believe God gave me this amazing opportunity to have a podcast because it makes me listen and truly hear what other people are saying.

I’m doing therapy and learning how my trauma of being abandoned as a child created a rift in my relationships because it’s never been addressed. I assumed when I gave my life to Christ, all my sins are forgiven, and I already dealt with my past! But it come to my attention that my desire to win and to always be right is rooted it in pride and fear. I was trying to prove that I “was worthy to keep”. God is so kind and so gracious and didn’t let me deal with all of this stuff at once (it would probably kill me), but over the years, one by one, He is bringing something to light, and I have to face it because there’s no other choice. 

I was so blind and so deceived thinking that I have no trauma, but my behaviour showed otherwise. I’ve realized that I defined “trauma “completely wrong, it’s not only big “catastrophic events” but anything that impacted my life and left a footprint and came back as “casual and usual” behaviour which is producing a negative result now.  

I don’t know how to properly communicate. Well, I do communicate: “It’s my way or the highway.” I am missing an amazing and most important skill “the art of listening”. That’s my number one relationship goal for this coming year. I do believe it’s going to make everything better. It will make me better…

I am reading this book called “The Good Listener” by James E. Sullivan. He said: “All genuine loving begins with this attentive, sensitive listening. This is “the dying to self” about which Jesus speaks- the giving up, at least temporarily, of my own point of view. It requires turning aside for the moment, from my own perceptions, in order to be present in the world of another: to see what the other person sees, to feel what the other person feels.” 

This is the next level for me. I want to master this skill because my relationships are important to me. I am grateful to the beautiful ladies who over the years listened and loved me with this kind of “attentive and sensitive listening”.

Are you reflecting on the past year?


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I am Lena Cebula. I am wife and mother of three beautiful children. I am drug addiction and human trafficking survivor. Today I am Christian, social justice advocate, blogger, professional public speaker and host of Love&BLoved Podcast. I am sharing the Good News of God’s love and creating awareness about the reality of human sex trafficking. I am an author of spiritual autobiography called 'Miraculous: my journey from hell to heaven,' you can get it through Amazon Please read and invite others who need to hear stories of forgiveness and second chances. Portion of proceeds goes to Fight4freedom. We fight against sex trafficking and support the work of outreach, education, prevention, awareness and survivor care.