I realized though, that as a believer, I have the opportunity to do this daily. Every day is a fresh start. Every day I learn new things about Jesus. Every day I am reminded of my inadequacies as I fall short again and again. Every day I am filled with gratitude that Jesus came to die so that my slate is wiped clean forever. I don't have to be perfect; I don't have to earn salvation; I'm not considered a hopeless case if I fail to reach every goal that I set. I just have to follow Jesus, and when I let go of trying to attain perfect faith then I find that my faith is perfected by the power of the Holy Spirit as I learn and grow every day in Him.
Mm, it's just a refreshing thought!
When I look back on the last year I see how God moved, tested, challenged, and blessed me. I had the opportunity to live in Hong Kong and learn about the people and culture of Asia. I fell in love with the Philippines and the children who were the most loving and fascinating people I've ever met. I traveled with my sister for the first time as we backpacked China. I graduated from Baylor. I maintained a long-distance relationship, moved to Indiana, and went through a break-up. I persevered through a 10-hour hospitalization program. I started my first real job and let it go when God asked me to go a different direction.
To be honest, 2013 was probably one of my most challenging years so far. On the outside, it seems there were many blessings within the last year, and there were, but there was a lot of testing as well. I was deeply humbled with everything that happened this past year. And ya know, I'm really grateful for that. Really grateful that I am starting 2014 in this humility, in this place of surrender. I've experienced how this humility really effects my every day, transforms my desires. I've never so strongly craved time with the Lord, so much so that I ran around last night making sure to pour into all of my relationships and commit to celebrate the holiday with them, but speed back home to ring in the New Year in prayer with family.
Every year just brings so much change when your seeking after the Lord, it's pretty crazy, it's pretty awesome, it's pretty crazy awesome.
So with all that being said, of course I still have plans for this year....I'm a planner remember? But these plans aren't necessarily what I need to accomplish or check off my life list, they're more desires to grow in the Lord and trust that He'll lead me wherever He needs me to be; trusting that God's plans are much, much better than anything I could ever think up - and I don't want to let my plans get in the way of hearing His plans.
So in 2014, I resolve to love more abundantly and courageously, to deepen my prayer life, to give more of my finances and time, to read more and glare at a computer less, to make more time for silence, to be fully recovered, to stop multi-tasking and live fully in each moment...
Really though, I'm just excited to continue to grow in the Lord, knowing that when I do that He aligns my desires with his, develops me more according to His will, and accomplishes things through me that I could have never accomplished on my own.
Each year is truly a beautiful year when you're walking alongside the Lord. My prayer is that many, many more will come to know this truth in 2014!
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8