In 2015 I learnt that suffering can bring sadness without bringing anger, and that God is good even when life is utterly, utterly bad.
In 2016 I learnt something different.
Don’t get me wrong, I learnt a lot, but I’m only going to write about one thing. This is both for the sake of brevity, and because this is the one thing that stands out above all the others when I look back.
Hindsight is interesting in that way. It turns mountains into mole-hills and mole-hills into volcanoes, and simply leaves us with an impression or theme of what has occurred.
Last year I learnt that God cannot be banished.
What do I meant by that?
I mean that over and over again last year I was forced to choose God – and in doing so, I discovered that God was actually the one choosing me.
Last year I:
- Moved out of home
- Started full-time work
- Studied part time
- Trained for a half-marathon
- Explored new social circles
- Planned and wrote many, many blog posts, while learning how to create and manage a website
All of this meant that I learned:
What it looks like to love from a distance, juggle long distance relationships and be there for people and have people be there for me, when we’re not actually there at all.
What it truly means to be adrift, to have no resting place, no settling place. To have to cart your life and belongings around with you, and how to be at home when home is multiple places
What it is to set goals, and what it is to rearrange your life to achieve them. That more is possible than we expect, that if you love something it is no chore, but things only appear crazy in hindsight, so I need to be careful
What it is to be a fragile, vulnerable human. To have emotions affect me, and to be sensitive about things I didn’t think I cared about, to be shaken by things I never knew I valued. To realise that reordering your whole life is hard and painful as well as exciting
What it feels like to embrace small things, to fight for contentment, to chase after satisfaction in the right things, and to realise that everything which offers happiness does not necessarily deliver
Most of all I learned that life is a series of small decisions, and in order to live we must hold discipline and grace side by side as we look ahead to Christ and His future.
2016 and God
Last year I learnt that God is the only thing I need. I truly, truly need Him, and I actually desire Him above everything. Not perfectly, not even adequately, but my heart yearns for Him.
I can’t get over what a blessing that is. Because it wasn’t always like that. I spent so many years and so many tears praying that I would love God above all else.
I guess what I discovered in 2016, when everything else was ripped away, is that I do.
And that is not me at all, but Him. He has saved me, He has changed my heart, He has placed in me a desire for Him.
What a gift beyond compare! A gift that I will spend the rest of my life admiring and fighting for.
May 2017 be lived for His glory,