So today I turn 26.
This year I've faced some hard times, but also some really good times.
I've questioned and searched and more importantly learned.
My worldview has shifted and my ideas have been challenged.
It's been a growing year and for that I am so thankful. Even though physically I sometimes am so tired that I feel like I'm wasting away, I'm living that Bible verse in the fact that inwardly I'm being renewed everyday. Not just in my mind, but in my heart and soul as well.
I can accredit these changes to a few things, but the three that stand out the most are as follows:
The Word of God
This year, especially over these past few months, I've felt the Bible completely come to life for me once again. Verses are popping out left, right and center, and even with my very poor memory in other areas, I'm remembering lots of what I'm reading and I'm able to apply it to my daily life. It's incredible how loud the Word of God can speak, especially when we are purposeful in listening.
In September I did something that I've never done before- I went away for a weekend alone. Just me, the bush, and some wild animals outside. I was kind of scared of the silence beforehand, but I learned to love and treasure it not long after I arrived. So much so that before cottage season was over, I went back out for another solo weekend. During that time I was able to think, reflect, plan, and dream like I hadn't done in quite some time. As much as I like people, I learned that sometimes it's very healthy just to be alone for an extended period of time. It gives you clarity that an hour or two of solitude just can't always give you. This summer I plan on going back for more.
I know this kind of contradicts what I just wrote about alone time, but I've really learned the value of having quality relationships rather than just quantity. Over this past year I've become really good friends with two new people in my life and these relationships have challenged me in what I believe and have made me a better person. I'm very grateful for their presence in my life and I value my time with these people so very much.
So that's a brief summary of year 25. What lies a head for 26? I'm not sure. But I do know that whatever comes my way, if I continue to renew my mind in Christ, I will be more than prepared for whatever it may be. Because in both the good times and the bad times there's nothing like having Christ in you as a reminder of your hope of Glory.
"People always want to define you by what you do. I started saying, ‘ I’m not too concerned with what I am going to do. I am more interested in who I am becoming. I want to be a lover of God and people.’ I was convinced that what we do is not nearly as important as who we are." (Shane Claiborne)
“I tend to live the way I drive. I want to get from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time and by the easiest route possible. But I’ve come to realize that getting where God wants me to go isn’t nearly as important as becoming who God wants me to be in the process. And God seems to be far less concerned with where I’m going than with who I’m becoming." (Mark Batterson, Wild Goose Chase)