I’ve been asked quite a few times this semester, “are you still writing?” And my answer is always yes. Yes, I am still writing. I am writing curriculum and research and page after page of notes about curriculum and research. Writing sweet words about Jesus on this blog however, not so much.
This semester has been one of the busiest of my life (I think I always feel this way, but I think this semester really takes the cake). With the beginning of grad school, my second year of teaching, and leading a small group for college girls, I was just keeping my head above water. As much as I love it, and as much as it fills me up and gives me life, writing on this blog has taken back burner. The compilation of all of these things, plus the immense weight this political season, left me with the overwhelming feeling of 1), I don’t have time to write, and 2), even if I did have time, what could I possibly add to the conversations already happening?
But with 2016 coming to a close, and a new semester and new year ahead, and a little bit of free time left on my hands before the craziness begins again, now is a better time than ever to take a moment to write and reflect.
2016 has been an incredible year of growth. At the end of 2015, I sat in a counselor’s office and cried. I mean, like really cried. I’m amazed that she understood even a single word I was able to get out. I cried because post-grad life had left me in a puddle of messy transition and intense insecurity. I felt left out of anything and everything happening outside of my little secluded world of UT Elementary and my one bedroom apartment. I was figuring out what it meant to be an adult and a professional, and in the process, everything else fell to pieces.
This angel of a counselor told me things that I already knew. She told me I needed to join a church, I needed to join a small group, I needed to read my Bible, I needed to turn to Jesus. She told all of the things that Jesus says are true about me, and I kept telling her, “I already know that! I tell high school girls these things every week.” And she replied, “You don’t believe them for yourself.” And she was absolutely right. These truths would never take root and transform me as long as I only believed them for other people. I needed to believe these things for myself. So that’s what I set out to do.
2016 became a year of believing. It’s a been a year of believing that Scripture truths are not just spoken about and for other people, they are spoken about and for me too. 2016 has been a year of choosing to believe that I am loved, that I am cared for, that my days have already been written out ahead of me, and that I can find rest at the feet of Jesus. It’s been a year of believing in God’s provision, believing that He works in seasons, and He will provide what I need and what I desire in His own timing.
2016 has been a year of believing in the power of vulnerability. It’s been a year of confessing my hardest struggles and inviting others into the conversation. It’s been a year of crying and admitting that I am broken, that specific things and specific relationships have broken me, and that I need healing and redemption. It’s been about believing that it’s okay to not be okay.
2016 has been a year of believing in the goodness of discipline. It’s been a year of getting back on track, of setting goals and setting the clock back that extra hour to fight for time with Jesus, and believing that this time is worth it.
If 2016 was a year of believing, I was 2017 to be a year of investing. If I truly believe that all of these things are good, if I truly believe in the power of relationships, of discipline, of vulnerability, of provision, then I need to invest in these things. I need to invest my time, my money, my thoughts, my prayers.
If I am investing all of my time and money into something, then there better be a good and Godly foundational belief behind that investment. If not, it’s gotta go. I want to invest in Christ, and in His Kingdom, and in all of the freedom that He offers, because I believe that those are the things that are worth it. I want these foundational beliefs to transform the way that I live.
So as I close the door on a tremendously hard and simultaneously good year, I am hopeful for the future. There are things about 2017 that absolutely terrify me, yes, (the complete demise of our entire political system, etc…) but I am also tremendously hopeful. Around each corner, I truly believe that we will continually find new pieces of Christ’s redemption. He is always redeeming, always challenging, always working, always loving, and I can expect nothing less from Him in the coming days.
And with that, it’s goodbye to 2016, and hello to a new year. 🙌🏽