by Jennifer DePriest

Sometimes, amid chaos and uncertainty, when we want to make changes, but doubt tries to creep in, we need to stop … turn around … look at how far we have come.

When we take the time to reflect on the people, places, and things we have experienced, it allows us to embrace the individuals we have become. It also allows us to see what changes we want to make to ourselves as we continue down life’s journey, especially at the beginning of a new year.

I am very blessed. I have had the opportunity to experience incredible things in my life, some that others only dream of. I have been fortunate enough to have remarkable people guide me. I have collected things that range from several degrees to pieces from the Berlin Wall.

But. But, if I’m not careful, if I try to receive my worth from man instead of THE one who made me, then I could become more focused on the marks I have missed. This can happen to any one of us.

If we look to the Lord and truly trust that He has His hand on us, guiding us along the way, then, we must trust His path for us, especially when it is different from what we expected,  is for our own good.

2020 gave me the opportunity to lean in and slow down.

Turning 55 this past year, I was reminded how that number used to also represent the normal speed at which we traveled through life. Much like the increase in the speed limit over the years on our roadways, we have all increased the speed in which we maneuvered through life. Having to slow down during this unprecedented time has allowed me to hear His gentle whispers and to see when He wants me to change lanes.

It is a bit against the norm, but this is what makes the journey so much more beautiful. We can slap a bumper sticker on our car that says, “Jesus take the wheel,” or we can slow down in the prime of life and truly ask Him to guide us. It’s a bit like trusting our kids behind the wheel when they first get their driver’s permit. It can be a bit scary, but the more we do it, the more we let Him drive, the more we get to observe where He is taking us.

It gives us the freedom to sing as we go down life’s highway, looking at the map, but realizing He may make unexpected pit stops and detours along the way.

When we take the time to slow down and assess our lives, something transformative takes place.

Those who didn’t believe in us or who doubted us no longer matter. They are just back seat drivers that we never needed to listen to in the first place. When He is at the wheel, we can put on our headphones to drown out the naysayers, and just enjoy our ride through this thing called life.

When was the last time you just got in your car and took a drive to clear your head and enjoy the view around you?

When was the last time you put on your own playlist and danced to the beat of your own drum?

When was the last time you took a moment to see how far you have come and celebrated your accomplishments?

Every single one of us has a different journey. Every single one of us has something we should celebrate. No one gets to tell us if what we choose to celebrate is worthy enough because they aren’t on our journey with us. They aren’t in the driver’s seat. We have a choice. Do we let the back-seat drivers get us off course, or do we trust THE one who has the wheel? It’s incredibly freeing when we come to this realization.

When we stop and look back at how far we have come it helps us to turn around, hold our heads up with pride, look the naysayers in the eyes, and say, “who do you think you are? How dare you think that you are better than me because my road map doesn’t line up with your gps.” When we can do this, the game changes. When we do this, we can sit back with Jesus at the wheel, breath in the sights and sounds around us, and enjoy our journey down life’s highway.

It’s taken me 55 years to get here, and I will so cherish each and every moment I have left on this journey. As you welcome in a new year, take some time to stop and assess where you have come, and look to where you would like to go. You made it through 2020, you have earned this privilege.

Take care my friends.



To learn more about Jennifer DePriest, visit her blog at

She welcomes email at

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