As an eternal optimist, I have always loved New Year’s Day…(and still love New Year’s Eve, even though I celebrate it sober today.) A whole new year ahead, full of promise. A clean slate to look forward to filling with new dreams, goals and adventures. Yet, in mass yesterday, I heard the priest talking about the uncertainties of the year ahead in this world of ours, and how Mary and Joseph faced a lot of confusion and uncertainty both before and after Jesus was born. And it gave me pause to reflect on my path and how I, like all of us I guess, face the future with uncertainty, and sometimes a bit of fear. This past year, a pretty good one in fact, I quit my day job to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a full-time author. I had found a new, bigger publisher in New York, I was launching a third new novel, The Runaway Prophet, and I was hoping it would become a New York Times bestseller. While that last part hasn’t happened (yet!), I see that at least I made great progress in book sales, spoke at more conferences nationwide, and grew my book coaching business to help other writers become authors. I do look forward to 2017, and even have big dreams for the year ahead, but I must admit, just like Mary and Joseph did, I also feel a lot of uncertainty and a little trepidation regarding financial security in the year ahead. But more and more, as I work hard to grow in my spirituality and relationship with God, I am starting to replace the fears that creep in with faith that God did not bring me this far to let me fail, did not put these dreams on my heart without a plan for me to fully realize them, and as long as I keep doing my best to follow His will, the belief that He will guide and help me in my mission. God says over 100 times in the Bible, to people over thousands of years including Mary and Joseph, to fear not for He is with us. “…the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10) I know His message is still true for all of us today, which is the reason why I continue to write Modern Day Bible Stories, contemporary suspense-filled novels that re-imagine stories in the Old Testament for today’s readers. Lord, help me to remember to “be not afraid,” and to have faith in your plan for me as I journey each day through this new year. Happy New Year!