Well folks, for this post I thought I’d write out 2,017 lessons I learned from last year!!!
Totally kidding, although if I tried really hard I might be able to come up with that many reasons. Because this was a really big year for me!! Good in a lot of ways, bad for a season, but beautiful all the same.
I was in a Half-Price Book Store in Coon Rapids, MN when I walked into the Christian section and felt convicted to start reading my Bible. So, I made my New Year’s resolution of 2017 to read it daily. This is probably the only resolution that I’ve ever kept! At first, I was just reading. Then, I took a baby step and started reading with an active pen, and then with a journal to take notes. Now, I’ve found great joy in digging into the Word with commentaries and colorful pens. The more I dug into my Bible, the more I fell in love with it. This was definitely the best thing I did in 2017.
But for me, this growth in my faith was characterized by growing pains. As I read my Bible more and came to know God through His Word, I went through more spiritual warfare than I ever have in my life. My initial growth wasn’t pretty. During the first few months of 2017, the best part of my day was the time I spent in the Word and then the rest of the day was a legit mess. I was struggling with some circumstantial depression and I felt out of control of my life/emotions. As I was growing closer to the Lord and falling more in love with Him, I also spent most of the day every day feeling not very okay. My second semester at TAMUCC was a hard season but that’s all it was; a season. It passed. And then my spiritual growth started looking pretty. My life started to show fruit from my growing faith.
Then this summer, I was driving to my viola lesson when I had this overwhelming feeling that I didn’t want to stay in Corpus Christi (my hometown). I had lived here my whole life and did my freshman year of college there but suddenly, the idea of staying any longer felt stifling. This wasn’t something I had been thinking about before. The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. But then, in an instant, my heart was completely changed. That afternoon, I applied to TWU. I can’t even explain why i was drawn to that school. I just knew in my heart that it was the one. People still ask me why I chose TWU, a school 8 hours away and primarily all women, and I still don’t really have an answer. All I know is that God called me there and I simply said “yes.”
And WOW, I’m so glad I did! Y’all, it was a blast. I keep thinking back to Romans 8. Romans 8 got me through the summer of 2017, when I experienced deep fear. Romans 8 :18 says:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.
And I know that in the grand scheme of things, this verse is talking about the sufferings of the Christian life and the coming, eternal glory of being with Christ. But I also know that I experienced this verse this semester on a miniature scale. When I felt that soul-trembling fear before my move, I spoke this verse over my scared soul. I had no other option but to trust in Jesus. And then this semester, the Lord showed me a sliver of His faithfulness and glory. That hard season, that hard summer, before my transfer to TWU was so incredibly worth it compared to how sweet this semester was. I had the privilege to see God’s glory revealed through community, relationship, and Christ-centered friendship.
All in all, 2017 was the best year of my life thus far. Not because it was easy (because it wasn’t) but because the sum total of those 12 months was so, so beautiful.
It’s a beautiful life, friends.