At the time of writing this there are two days left in 2013. Every year around this time I like to look back at the year that has gone by. Because it's so hard to get somewhere new if we don't remember where we've been.
This year has held so much. So much beauty. So many decisions and life events. It's impossible to sum it all up. So maybe just the highlights.
God has really stretched my faith this year. He's called me out of comfort zones and stepping out is still something that I'm learning to do. My summer at Teen Quest played a huge part in this. It was not only a summer of joy and fun, but of pain and frustration and growing through that. It was a lesson in trust and perspective. And in the end, I got to spend the summer with amazing people worshiping the God I love. And I got to see Him work in so many lives.
I can't help but think that this year looks much the same as last year. Still going to school. Still coaching. Still working with the youth. But it's not the same. In each area, things are growing, shifting, and I'm not the same person as last year. And what an adventure that has been! I've been able to experience a wonderful relationship with my boyfriend, go on adventures with my family, be in a wedding for the first time, and experience joy in unlikely places.
When the clock strikes twelve, I will look back at 2013 with a smile. It was a year of learning and growing and seeking God. Yes, it wasn't always a great year, but in the end, that's also the beauty of a new year.
And I'll look ahead to 2014 with hope. I'm excited for the journeys God will take me on, and the people I get to take them with. I'm looking forward to the joys that are hidden throughout the year, but I also know there may be pain. But I can look forward with hope because God has a promise throughout it all.
What has this year held for you? What are your expectations of 2014?
Praying that you have a happy and blessed New Year!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
When the Christmas season isn't all that you hoped it to be, when it seems the days grow long and the magic fades, when the joyful carols seem to be replaced with rushing and business, remember.
Remember that that first Christmas day was the birth of a hope towards something greater. It was the birth of hope itself. And that hope was Jesus.
We all strive for the perfect Christmas, but when we fall short, and the cold seems to seep into very your heart, remember.
Remember that on the very first Christmas, there was uncertainty. There was a journey. Not everything went according to human planning, but there was a star that guided them. That star still guides us today because we know the Light of the World.
When your Christmas seems to fall apart and there is fighting and the food is burnt or the decorations aren't right, remember.
We all have these Christmases, even if no one discusses them. They may happen every once in awhile, or they may happen every year. You may face Christmas with disappointment or discouragement. Sometimes we all need this reminder. Myself included. Just remember.
What is celebrated on Christmas is so much more than one day a year. It’s more than the tree, or the decorations, or the presents perfectly wrapped (or not so perfectly wrapped). It’s about the enduring hope. While we may feel as though the dark night will never end, there is a hope.
There is the Light of World. Hold on for we can hope in something greater than one day a year. We can place our hope in the very One that was born that day to save us all.