It is hard to believe that 2017 is already here. Towards the end of 2016 I was definitely ready for the new year to begin. Last year proved to be a very hard year. It wasn’t bad but, it was very hard. I was completely worn out from all that took place last year. There were many changes that took place personally and professionally. I stumbled through the changes; I felt off balance and unsure of my footing most of the year. In the midst of that I also had school. My classes were very challenging and there were times I desperately wanted to give up. Many days were filled with tears and not so proud moments due to the pressure I was putting on myself and feeling from others. I spent most of the year trying to live up to the high expectations that were placed on me by myself and those around me. Obviously that didn’t go so well.
I succeeded and failed at many things last year. Through each success and failure, I became increasingly dependent on my faith to guide me each step of the way. For that I am grateful. I learned more about God’s overwhelming grace and how much I need it every day.
One success I am proud of and will continue to work towards is my education. I fought hard through all-day and late night study sessions to make an “A” in each class that I took last year. I cried each time I saw the letter “A” as a final grade because I knew how much work went into each assignment. Through that success, came some failures. One failure is that I tried to find a balance between work, school, and spending time with family and friends. A work/life balance is hard enough due to working in full time ministry, throw in finishing up my bachelor’s degree and that balance stays off kilter no matter how hard I try to make it all work. There are many days work follows me everywhere I go. I call it a “fortunate hazard” to working in ministry. Especially when you love people, want to hear their stories, and share with them the hope you have in Christ. Some days there is no “off” time. I failed to maintain relationships like I needed to. This year, I plan to maintain relationships better than last year.
Last year I had the privilege of seeing some of my written work published on the Irresistible Church Blog. I plan on writing more this year and I look forward to seeing my written work touching other’s lives. I also had the opportunity to speak at a conference and I enjoyed it. This once very shy girl actually enjoyed public speaking. (The thought of getting up in front of people and speaking still petrifies me.) While I am not the best speaker and did not feel very prepared for the session, I know that it meant a lot to the people who were in the session.
Now that 2017 is here I am looking forward to what will take place. I don’t usually have New Year’s resolutions. I choose one word to focus on throughout the year. This year my one word is, hope. One of my favorite books in the Bible is Psalm and chapter 119 is filled with hope. It is filled with many other things but each time I read this chapter I am filled with hope and expectancy. Psalm 119:49 “Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope.” (NLT, Beyond Suffering Bible) This verse is one of many that are in the chapter remembering the hope we all have in Christ. My hope and foundation are set in Christ. I am thankful for that.
What are you looking forward to this new year?