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Out with 2016...

I cannot believe how long it has been since I've blogged - nearly 3 months! Realistically, I don't know how many people take the time to actually read blogs nowadays, but if you're one of the few, I appreciate your company!

Before I get into my thoughts for this month, I just wanted to give everyone a music update.

My EP project has been delayed a little bit unfortunately, so I will also be postponing my live show to promote the songs. It has been somewhat of a blessing on my end, because time moved way quicker than I anticipated when I released "Freed" in October and I don't think I would have been ready! Please continue staying tuned though, and thank you to everyone who is excited for the music - it is still coming! I am now going to be planning a release for January, but I'll try and have something for you guys before that to tide you over. Let me know if you have ideas.

If this is your first time hearing of my music project, please help me out by purchasing and promoting my first single "Freed"! I could really use your guys' help to get it out there. It's been so encouraging to get all your feedback on it so far! So keep enjoying it and sharing it! Click here for the promo page.

Now, on to my life update...

I'm not going to lie, at this point in the month I really am starting to feel a bit worn out by the routine of these past months. I guess the past couple years of life have had so much action and potential. Now, at the end of my degree, with no future prospects currently, I am feeling like things are moving too slowly! Of course, there is the music project, I have been making a lot of great new friends in my church community, and I am actually going to be on a launch team for a new church campus, but I feel like there's pieces of the puzzle not quite fitting together yet. I am excited to see what the future holds, but at the same time, I like knowing what that looks like. I've really had to train myself to trust and have peace with the here and now. Nothing has ever gone off course in my life as I dedicate it to God and believe in the dreams He has for me, but it has been challenging to see past things during my fifth year of studies back in Canada. Especially following such life-altering experiences like curriculum development in Sierra Leone, and living in Paris! I love feeling like I am a part of something bigger, but right now it feels like my dreams are stuck in the unknown and the things I am putting my hand to are taking so much longer to come to fruition. 2016 has been a bad year for lots of people, but for me it has been a huge mix of quick ups and downs. In relationships, education, travel, and faith. I'm not too sure which lessons I will have garnered by the end of it all, but as of right now, I have a peace in just trusting 2017 will have new surprises that I will now be more prepared for.

The unknown can be a place of dread and unnecessary worry if you don't have any hope to anchor you down. And I will admit - I think my anchor is off the edge of the boat, but it hasn't quite stuck to the ocean floor yet either. Some days, I feel inadequate still being in school. I feel like it is wrong for me to speak about what my TRUE aspirations are, and I feel like people are slowly losing their interest in me as a result. It is a weird place of floating in between two worlds. I don't quite feel like I belong in university anymore, but I also feel like I don't fit in amongst people who are actively accomplishing things. I have to consistently choose to believe in the hope I have and the life I know I can achieve by holding onto the promises I believe in. I am also constantly being reminded at the importance of relationships - investing in people and choosing to commit intentionally. And in many ways, this alone has been my anchor. I have felt an urge to dive into community and truly be involved with those around me, even if my mind wants to be elsewhere and planning for what's to come. I think this is such an important part of being in the "here and now" - because the people that surround you at every season will truly be your key to what's next. People that can see your identity and affirm you in it, people you can dream with, and people you can GIVE to. As someone who leans more on the extrovert side, it gives me a sense of peace. If you're an introvert, you also need this too! Someone to know your dreams - even if it's just one person.

And that is my challenge for everyone as we enter a new year - dive in! To people, opportunities, dreams, and chances. Nothing is too far gone if we have hope to anchor us down. Don't be discouraged if you had a bad year, either - life changes on a dime. Be open to what is yet to come...

A special thanks this year to everyone who has believed in me and pushed me to accomplish what I was meant to. My work with Freedom Tree in Sierra Leone was made possible by so many of you, my music recording, my travels to New York and Paris, as well as simply finding community again and laughing lots! I love you all.

Until 2017,

- j o s i a h

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