As I look back at the previous year I can divide it right down the middle and see two distinct times of my life. The first six months began with hopeful excitement and disbelief, but soon after those feelings came disappointment, sadness and regrets. Although this wasn’t a particularly enjoyable time of life I learned and I grew. The next six months I also learned a lot, and this helped me to grow as a person. Most of all I gained confidence in myself and who God has created me to be. I don’t need anyone to validate me. I’m comfortable surrendering the plans of my life to God and going where He leads me. Almost a year later I’m remembering the lessons I learned and trying not to repeat those steps.
May was a full month of really trusting God with providing summer employment. I learned to trust that God will always provide for our needs and often He will come through right when we think our situation is beginning to seem hopeless.
June to August was packed full of new experiences, many new people, a lot of time to just think and talk with people I never would have otherwise gotten to know. I also had a few low times during this period. I found it difficult to learn new tasks at work, I was exhausted, frustrated and trying to fit in and get to know my coworkers. It was at times a rough transition, there were times when I felt like crying and giving up. I know I am not a quitter and I have to rely on God’s strength to get me through each day. I learned my body is capable of way more than I ever thought possible, that I can push through the fatigue, the sweat and frustration.
As I began a new school year I took the lessons I learned from the summer and applied them to school. I went to the gym when I didn’t feel like it, I took fewer naps and wrote more notes. I did all those things that are boring and I didn’t feel like doing because I wanted to continue to feel proud of myself. My summer job was one of the proudest achievements I’ve had so far, and I want to continue that trend in my life.
Last Christmas was not the most wonderful time of the year for me. So this year I decided to do an Advent study my church recommended by John Piper called Good News of Great Joy. As I progressed through this study my understanding of the Christmas season intensified. Christ didn’t just come to earth as a vulnerable baby in a manger. He came to start his mission and ministry on earth. He came to suffer for us, to die on the cross and to rise again to sit at the right hand of God. His mission was not always easy, at times it was hard, but He obeyed God and His Father was well pleased with Him. Life isn’t easy or fun and we should expect hard times and disappointments. In these times we understand more of God’s character and we learn hard lessons. I would encourage you to never stop praying or reading your Bible, these are the only true sources of comfort and hope and really the only thing that keeps me going.
My year started off on a high note and it is ending off on an even higher note. Recently God has really blessed me. I never expected this to happen especially not the way it did. I can see God in the details. Nothing I did made these circumstances occur. I’m just so thankful this is how I’m starting my new year. It’s fun, new and exciting. I can’t wait to see what this next year holds!
Happy New Year!