As I look back on 2017 I see how much I’ve grown as a person, the challenges I’ve overcome and the lessons I’ve learned. I love the end of the year because I get to sit down and reflect on anything and everything that went on in the past year. As I sit here writing, I feel so full with Christ’s presence, and thankful for his never ending love and mercy.
What I’ve learned in 2017
In 2017 I set out a goal to trust Jesus, and his plan for my life. Not just think about trusting him, but really taking a leap of faith and pushing my self out of my comfort zone. With everything we do in our lives we need to have faith in Christ and trust him. I think it’s easy to think and say, “I trust you Lord”, but much more difficult to know if you actually trust him. So in my effort to trust Jesus more, I decided to begin spending more time reflecting on his word and learning more about his identity and my identity in Christ. Ultimately I learned just how powerful Christ is and my weakness without Him. In simpler terms Jesus is everything I’m not, when I’m weak he is strong, when I’m weary he gives me rest, when I’m lost I find myself in Christ, and when I feel hopeless He reassures me. Trusting God has been difficult at times, when doors that I’ve been trying to hold open slam in my face it’s hard not to say, “why Lord, how is this your plan?” And it’s ok to feel like that sometimes, but you need to remember that he sees the full picture and we only see the piece we’re in. James 4:15 is a verse that shows we truly don’t know what tomorrow brings, but instead we should live our lives by trusting God’s will. “Instead you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15 ESV). And I laugh because it’s that simple and yet for so long I struggled to understand what it looked like to trust Jesus.
The next thing I learned is that friendships take time (like a lot), When I started high school in the fall of 2016 I thought I would form unbreakable everlasting friendships within a few months, and it would be the same type of friendship I had with girls I’d grown up with. Well I quickly learned…not quite. Friendships take a lot of time because you have to develop trust. Think about it, how you act around your closest friends looks much different then the way you act around someone you just met. You don’t worry as much about what they’ll think of you and don’t re-read your texts three times before you hit send. You’re more open about your personal life and with time also comes the experiences and memories you share. You have more things to relate to, look back on, and ultimately grow closer. Trust isn’t built overnight, and neither are friendships.
I’ve pretty much always been a people pleaser, and I wanted everyone to like me. I was the girl in elementary school who brought gifts for everyone in her class after a family vacation, In middle school I panicked when I hurt someone’s feelings or got in an argument, and I would agree with someone’s opinion even if I disagreed. People’s opinions controlled my life and I idolized them. And y’all that’s not a healthy way to live, because you will run yourself dry on the count of 1, 2, 3. As I learned to trust God more, it became clear that my identity is in Christ, not in someone else’s opinions. And holy moly how freeing is that! With this new realization I took a leap of faith to finally start the blog I’d been dreaming of having for years. I stopped caring so much if people liked me and started loving others despite of what they thought of me. The verse “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39 ESV) has changed my life for the better.
Goals for 2018
Last night as I was laying in bed, I asked myself what I wanted to accomplish in 2018. Two things immediately popped up in my mind, “Be more present, and less perfect”, and I’m going to apologize in advance because you will be hearing this motto a lot in 2018. Being present in my life has been a struggle in the last few years. Feeling more mature for my age has made it difficult to live in the present moment instead of focusing on the future. Being completely honest there have been days where I’ve just cried because I was so tired of high school, and just wanted to speed up my life and get out of school. I have a job, a Jewelry business, and a blog, I love grocery shopping, and I’d rather stay in and watch legally blonde, or do a devotional with a friend than go out. I love to cook, and occasionally do laundry. And sometimes I can’t help but think I do almost everything every 20 something year old does, minus pay taxes (which won’t be true much longer, since my business is getting a tax ID). Truly speaking this has been my biggest struggle and one I rarely open up about. As badly as I want to graduate move to London and get on with college, I know that I need to be more present in what’s going on now in my life. Y’all let me just say that this is going to be oh so hard for me and I haven’t clearly decided how I’ll do this, but I’m telling y’all so if there’s anyone else who’s in the same bandwagon, you’ll know you’re not alone.
As I’ve said before, I’m a perfectionist and I think there’s a fine line between doing something whole heartedly/to the best of your abilities versus obsessing over the idea of perfection. And since only Christ is perfect, we will always feel like we missed the mark. This year I want to stop trying to be perfect, embrace the messy parts of my life and focus on Christ. This is also why I’ve decided to start insta storying because it allows me to be a little less formal, and that way y’all can get to know me better. So if you’re not following me on Instagram, you might want to check out my page and join along!
I want to take a moment and thank each and every one of you who have followed my blog this year, left a comment, liked a post, or shared with a friend. Y’all are incredible people and without you I’d be talking to myself (lol). I hope you have an incredible and safe New Year! Was there anything that stuck out to you in 2017? And what goals do you have for 2018? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!