It’s been one year; one year exactly since I made a decision I never thought I would be able to make: I let people know who I was.
I revealed myself and was terrified of the response. Thankfully, this was the last lesson in healing God was wanting to teach me for that year: my year of healing. (People responded well to it, by the way)
In December of 2014, I wanted to be different. I wanted to change and become more of who God designed me to be, but I had felt stuck. I hate new years resolutions because of how cliche and short-lived most are, but I knew I needed to do something. After praying and contemplating, I decided for every year I would pick a theme for that year, something I believed God wanted me to learn or grown in.
2015 became a year of Healing, which it was.
2016 became a year of Endurance, which I have to be honest, I despised (the word).
I can’t believe this year is finally almost over in a few hours! For decent chunk, 2016 was a nightmare: from celebrity deaths, to the election mayhem and drama, to mass shootings, to the government not listening to protests, to injustices becoming more and more apparent. It was crazy, it was hectic, and it was exhausting.
Personally though for me, 2016 was its own rollercoaster ride. I started out with ambition to continue healing from my past and to step out more into the calling I believe God has for my life. I thought this is what God meant when He gave me the word Endurance because I’m seriously horrible at sticking to decisions. Within months of the new year though, I found myself in one of the darkest pits I’ve ever been in.
I can’t tell you when the descent happened; it hit me before I knew it. What I can tell you, is that the last 8 months have been… interesting. Difficult isn’t quite strong enough to describe it. I had cabin fever going into the year and couldn’t shake it. I wanted change and it happened! Just not the way I expected.
You see, I tried moving to Idaho.
Okay, that sounded a bit silly as I wrote it, as I bet 99% of you will have no idea why that is significant to me. Basically, I was born there, kinda raised there, and have always wanted to move back after my family relocated to Oregon when I was 9.
I tried to move on my own though. I thought I knew what God wanted me to do, so I went for it. I was wrong. I couldn’t find a job and in order to save face, I stopped talking with God, my pastors, and people with reasoning. Those four months during which this all happened were wretched as I found myself doing things I’ve never done before and walking more and more away from God. I was enveloped in sin and shame. Of course, side note, I was also deeper in debt than I’d ever been before, either.
The worst part of all of this time was the rage I discovered in myself. Even with the slightest inconveniences, I found myself throwing curse words around like it was nothing. I wanted to punch stuff and/or throw stuff. Anything and almost everything made me livid. Of course, this all happened behind closed doors (for the most part, ha), especially the curse words. If you were to meet me in person, me ever stating I curse would probably surprise you. Most of my friends think I could never do such a thing, haha. But sadly, I have… and still do (it’s a work in progress). The worst anger I had though, was towards God. Not long after I gave up trying to move to Idaho, people started calling and emailing me to set up interview times. I couldn’t believe it and couldn’t understand it.
As horrible as I feel this year has been though, I can honestly say I am grateful for it. I have grown so much!
I’ve learned, again, the importance of trusting God – having faith that He has the best in store for us and will never fail us. Which leads me to: I’ve learned how I can fight (figuratively) for my future, continually striving to make time for prayer and God, to give Him first priority again. I learned this through an email correspondence with a reader (shout out to Abby!). She told me about declaring war against sin, which is really helping me come out of this pit I dug for myself earlier this year. I’ve also learned humility and how crucial it is to ask for help, no matter how embarrassing it may be.
Other amazing events from this year include:
I now nanny for two families I’d never met before. I wouldn’t have met them or been able to bless them if I had stayed where I was at. I also now feel way more fulfilled than I ever have before. I was embarrassed for so long that I wasn’t using my college degree. Now, most of that embarrassment doesn’t exist. I love what I do and am grateful to be there.
I also was blessed to be able to go through a class called Financial Peace University. For anyone wanting to get better with their finances, I highly recommend this class. Though I still am learning budgeting and how to kick bad habits, I am beginning to have hope for my future. I will not be in debt the rest of my life!
2016 was hard, but I got through it. I learned to fight through it. 2017 will have it’s own challenges, but I’ll face them with the same tenacity I learned to have this year.
In 2016, God placed on my heart the word, Endurance.
The theme God placed on my heart for 2017 will be: Transformation.
I totally came across this theme by accident, by the way. I was getting a little desperate because I felt like no word I came up with fit. But one morning, during my devotions, I bunny-trailed from the passage for the day to this passage below (Why? I’m not sure):
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
When I looked it up online, the MSG translation caught my eye:
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of maturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Talk about conviction. Dang.
I knew instantly when I read this passage, that the word transformation was for me.
This year I want to focus on renewing and transforming my heart, mind, words, and actions.
I pray Psalm 51:10 over my life, that God would “create in me a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” I pray Ezekiel 36:26 over my life, that God would turn my heart of stone into a tender and responsive heart, a heart God-willed not self-willed. I also pray the Holy Spirit would come upon me and renew my thoughts and attitudes, as I cannot do that myself (Ephesians 4:22-24). I declare Isaiah 40:31 over my life, that God would moult the feathers on my wings to replace them with new ones, so I may “soar high on wings like eagles…” I proclaim Isaiah 58:11 over my future, that the Lord would guide me continually, giving me water when I am dry, renewing my strength. That when times get tough, I will be able to continue to walk in faith and perseverance through it all, coming through it victorious.
And, I thank God for His unfailing, unconditional love, which renews my soul like Zephaniah 3:17 says.
2016 was hard, but I thank God for it.
Let’s see what 2017 has in store.
I pray blessings for the year to come over you,
Woman of Purity~