Looking Back at 2013 and on to 2014
January 9, 2014 § 1 Comment
Does anyone feel like 2013 was a tough year? It seems like most people I talk to give me a “yes” that comes from somewhere deep in their soul, like they’ve never felt like “yes” was a more appropriate answer to a question. While I am not a very superstitious person, I’m going to throw it out there that it was the 13th year. Thank goodness it only comes around once every century!
In all seriousness, 2013 was by far the hardest year I have experienced to date. I did not experience any extreme difficulties like a death of a loved one, loss of a job or a natural disaster, so I have much to be thankful for. My hardships were mostly internal. For most of the year I struggled with the loss of my identity, purpose in life and faith, at times. It was the first time in my life where I felt like I was really wandering and couldn’t find my footing. While normally being able to “figure things out” and “handle situations” through my type-A control freak personality, I really couldn’t control anything. Which just intensified the whole experience ten-fold.
Instead of going into all of the reasons this happened, I will share some of the things the Lord has been teaching me through this desert season:
- to be genuinely joyful for others’ accomplishments/good fortune/life events, even when things aren’t going well for me
- to not think of myself as the center of the universe (very sad I’m just learning this at 27)
- to wait (I still don’t have the patience and hopefulness parts down, but I am starting to realize that waiting is a very necessary and beneficial process)
- that the Lord is with me, even when he seems silent
- that I do have dreams and I was created with a purpose – but these things don’t happen overnight
- that his will for me may be more about who I am than what I do – making decisions for myself is not only okay, but a reflection of the Lord and how he created us to function
- that it is okay if I feel lightyears behind others spiritually speaking – this intense humility (I don’t say this in a “Oh, I’m so humble” way, but the real, “I feel embarrassed” kind of humility) recognizes my weakness and allows the Lord to show up big in my life
Did I want to learn any of these lessons last year? Were these my 2013 New Years resolutions? Absolutely not. And wow, it has been incredibly challenging to learn them. But I am so thankful that the Lord chose to overwrite my resolutions and teach me something of his own.
I remember sitting in church early in the year and praying during communion for the Lord to become real to me. They always say be careful what you ask for. I never would have admitted it as I was in the thick of these struggles because I really wanted to be a victim (truth hurts), but these lessons I was learning have taught me more about the character of God and what dying to self truly looks like than anything I could have read about.
All that being said, I am reeeeeeeeeeeally hoping that 2014 doesn’t have quite as many difficult lessons to teach me. Ha! A girl needs a break sometimes.
I’m still praying for the Lord to teach me things that matter. I don’t want to sacrifice meaningfulness for an easy time. But I do pray that there are a few more joys sprinkled throughout.
Just for fun, some of the things I’m really hoping to delve into this year are:
- I want to learn calligraphy (Joel bought me a calligraphy set for Christmas and a gift certificate to take a class!)
- I want to learn more about graphic design
- I am going to practice taking better photos with my new Canon lens and learn to edit them
- I want to watch what I’m eating, not diet per se, but just have a better knowledge of what I’m putting into my body and say no to things that aren’t really necessary
- We want to complete P90X 3; it sounds like a New Years weight gain thing, but we really just go in cycles of working out and then dropping off the band wagon every few months… so we’re just back on again
- I’d like to figure out how to volunteer in a way that is wise considering our busy schedules
- We want to join the church we’ve been attending for a couple years now
- Start a Bible study with some people from our church
- Finish Storyline with my friends
- And spend lots of time with my little niece Laney!
What were your joys and sorrows in 2013? Do you have any exciting plans for 2014?