Can you believe it? We are at the end of another year. Where did this year go? I believe this is the time of year where we begin to reflect on 2017 while looking ahead to 2018.

If you are like me, this year has taught me so much about myself. Please allow me to explain it this way with a quote from Bishop T.D. Jakes that says, “So many times we surround ourselves with people who need us that we don’t have time for the people we need.”

This year has taught me to step away from my comfort zone. As we approach a New year it’s vital that you surround yourself with the right people and put yourself in the right places if you want to be successful. Where you are and who you know can either damage your life or elevate your life. Too often we settle for places that are comfortable or people that are convenient. But life will push you to a point where you desire better. If you're wondering why you've felt uneasy lately, it's probably because God has a better situation waiting for you, but you haven't claimed it yet. It's time to prepare for a great new year by repositioning yourself. You're worthy of better you just have to decide to walk in the anointing God has placed in your life. Make the connections that will foster growth and productivity. Spend time in places that will restore your heart, mind, and soul. Embrace better and your life will be better.

When you have been in the same hurtful position for years, you begin to accept the hurt as a way of life but you don’t have to live that way.

Everyday growth should be your goal. God is calling you to higher heights above worry, above fear, above stress. The best way to live life is to not settle for anything beneath what God has destined you for. To live a better life you must have a Strong Finish and a Great Start!" As you end this year on a good note you have to be ready to climb to even higher heights in 2018. Let the end of this year be a launching pad toward your future successes. You don't have to be a prisoner to your past. God is opening the door for a new season. You can recover from failure. You can learn from your mistakes. You can walk into your destiny knowing that your latter will be greater than your former.

Your past and your future are both competing for your attention but which one will you give your attention to?

"I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out to me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward — to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

Philippians 3:12-14 MSG

Your past is only as strong as you allow it to be.

Happy New Year!

Sharome L. Gentry is the Senior Pastor of The Worship Center In Roebuck, SC He can be reached at pray737@aol.com