I am pretty blown away by this past year…
Kenya, Montana, Massachusetts, and Guatemala mark places I lived throughout the year. In a lot of ways, this was a very difficult year. But I look back with nothing but thankfulness.
I have a paper with my ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ for 2016 (written, of course, at the end of 2015) pinned to the wall in my room here in Massachusetts. The first resolution?
Tears well up in my eyes as I consider the gravity of those words, as well as what they have meant to me in these past two years. Twenty-year-old me had no idea of the implications of what it would mean to ‘choose God’. Even still, twenty-year-old me set her eyes toward one glimpse of hope: the only thing she knew mattered in this life and therefore catalyzed a life focused on being resolved to this very resolution.
I had no idea what it meant to deny myself, pick up my cross daily, and follow Christ (Luke 9:23) . I have not always applied each portion of this call to action in its entirety. I have failed time and time again. But I can say this year I learned. I received the message, grasped it’s meaning, and have practiced applying it.
God wants my all and absolutely nothing less.
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” Luke 9:24-25
These verses are the culmination of what I learned this year. You can have all you want (or thought you wanted), but still be so unsatisfied. It will never make you fully happy or fulfill you. The second you let go of that white-knuckled grasp you have on your life (your plans, your goals, your desires, your hopes, dreams, fears, rights…) is the same moment the Lord can and will give you true life. Beautiful and abundant.
Giving my life away for Christ is surely where I have found life. When I held tightly to bits and pieces of myself I was miserable. But when I surrendered fully, while it didn’t necessarily feel great at first, I can look back on this year and say it was the best thing I ever did. It was the beginning of me finding true life.
It will never be worth it to gain what the world has to offer, if it comes at the cost of losing connection with God. I desire to continually live my life for Him, no matter what it costs-no matter what I have to give up, no matter what I lose. God blesses obedience and has greater things in mind for my life than I could possibly imagine. I’m holding onto that truth.
In the upcoming year I look ahead to uncertainty. I’m very okay with that. I don’t have all the answers, or any really. I’m okay with that. To the annoyance or disappointment, even, of some I answer many questions with “I don’t know”. It doesn’t bother me. The Lord is on the throne-sovereign and in control and I believe that with all of my being. I will continue serving with Potter’s Field Ministries in Montana. I am hopeful and expectant, knowing that God guides my steps. He isn’t finished working in my life. He has called me to serve, pouring my life out for others, ultimately pouring it out for Him, alone.
So, my resolutions for 2018? I have only one:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”. Matthew 6:33