HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Whooo. What a year! Okay...honestly I can't even remember half the things I did xD. What I do remember, though, is that God was sooo faithful each and every day! He never left my side, never let me go, never stopped loving me or forgiving me. I am SO grateful for that!
Out of everything I learned this year, I think one of the most important lessons was learning to rely on God and trust Him more. So many times I caught myself trying to do it on my own strength. So many times I tried to forge my own path and make my own plan. But always, in the end, I had to come running back to my Savior, because I just couldn't do it. It was that simple. I can't and never will be able to do anything on my own; it's all God.
You're driving in the middle of the night. It's pitch black, and you can't see even an inch in front of you. So, you turn the headlights on, and now you can see a littttle more. But you're on a winding, steep road that snakes in and out of tall, dark trees. You can only see a few feet in front of you at a time, and usually you don't know you need to turn until right before. You grip the steering wheel tightly, knowing a wrong turn (or lack of!) could send you spiraling off the path and down below. You can hear wild animals around you and you shiver - but you choose to focus on the light and the path it's showing. You take it one foot, one turn of the wheel at a time, trusting that the light will not let you down.
After what seems like an eternity, you make it out! It's the early morning now, and you see the sun again. It's honestly the BEST feeling ever. You did it. You're safe. The light from your headlights led you out, safe and sound.
Now, you might be going through a dark, lonely trial right now. Maybe you're scared, and you have no idea what to do, where you are, or how to get out. Everything and everyone might seem like they're out to get you. You have no clue what's next.
What do you do?!
I played those final notes wrong. I passed all of those balls horribly today in practice. I missed every hit. I overcooked it again. I totally failed that speech. I didn't say enough. I said way too much. I didn't play those last notes right.
For pretty much as long as I can remember, I've tied my performance, my talents and my outward appearance to my worth. I guess part of it is the fact that some people assume I'm "perfect" - and so when I'm not, (which is like all the time), I think I've lost who I am. I've subconsciously told myself basically that if I didn't play well, look cute and act right, no one would like me.
And if no one liked me, I must be a...a failure.
A nobody. Just another average person in the daily life. I had to stand out and do something admirable to be worthy and something. If I didn't play volleyball well or had an off-day, then I must be the worst player and no good and everyone would look down on me. If I wore my black-rimmed glasses and looked less than stellar and put together, then people wouldn't want to be around me. Boys would stop liking me. If I played those notes wrong on the worship night, nobody would want to play with me again.
I'd lose their respect.
A few days ago, I was talking with a friend, and he asked me how I was. I shared about how life was okay but still strange and different. When he asked why, I shared about how fast-paced the missions trip was and how different it was here. Our conversation went something like this:
I said, "You know, when you're doing something you love and then come home...it's just different."
He responded, "Oh, what do you love doing?"
"I love sharing the gospel." I smiled.
"Okay, share the gospel with me." He looked up at me from the pool. "Actually, sing it, so I can listen!"
I glanced back at him. "Um, okay!"
Thank you, God, I thought. An opportunity to share the gospel! Yay!
And then I froze up. Where did the gospel start? At the beginning of time, at the beginning of Jesus' life on earth? I could probably eventually figure it out in words, but singing it was way harder. What he said next, though, really hit me.
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
see full list of posts here
"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."