Happy New Year, everyone!
There has been a plethora of 2016 recap posts and 2017 resolutions posts in the blogging world this past week, it’s come to be expected at this time of year.
2016 was an interesting year.
The year began with the losses dear family members, my paternal grandmother and our sweet Nellie in January. The New Year was a ending of sorts on a chapter of my life in which the Lord rescued me, guided me, and restored me. In the time between December 2013 to January 2016, the Lord called six of my family members home to Him. He called me to step out and make a way for myself in the church and led me to a new church home. He tested my faith through the students in my classroom, through the disease that my dad carries in his body, and through calling two of my closest relatives – my maternal grandmother and my Aunt Shelia – home to Him just 39 hours apart from each other.
Though this season came to a close in January 2016, I spent the remainder of the year wrestling in many ways with my next steps. My life had been changed, that much I knew. As I stood in the midst of a world that was falling apart around me, I knew I had experienced the amazing and unbelievable peace that could only come from the presence of Christ Jesus. The barriers that I had around my heart had come tumbling down and I was finally able to feel Him more fully and more profoundly than ever before in my life. I knew how to worship Him and sing His praises in that season because I had just seen firsthand what leaning into Him could look and feel like in the midst of turmoil. But once the dust had settled? Where I did I go from there?
Towards the end of 2016, I had a startling realization that I didn’t know how to live well with Jesus when I wasn’t hurting. I didn’t know how to speak to Him when it wasn’t coming from a place of grief. I remembered full well the things that He had done for me and in me. I remembered the overwhelming peace and joy I had felt. I knew that the story wasn’t ending there, that God needed me to do something with these lessons I had learned. But it was (and still is) there where I find myself stumbling and tripping around, unsure of where my next steps may lead.
I’m entering 2017 a little more whole than I was when I entered 2016. I’m entering this New Year with the weight of God’s call for me to step out in faith again to perhaps seek a new church home. There’s so much more that He has to teach me and it looks like He needs me to experience the vulnerability and awkwardness of starting over in order to do that. Not only that, but I continue to move forward in the certification process in order to become a certified Child Life Specialist, something that I felt God calling me to in the Winter of 2015. Though I know that both of these things are being directed by God, it still makes for a sense of uncertainty as I look forward toward the days ahead.
But as I sit here on this first afternoon of 2017, the Lord reminds me of a very key point that offers me (and any of you who might be a similar situation) a sense of glorious hope.
God has already walked through 2017.
He has gone before me and He knows what each and every moment of this year, and every year that I have left on this Earth, will bring. Though the New Year brings with it a teetering balance of excitement and uncertainty, let us place our hope for this year in the One who already knows what is to come.