All jokes about the… eventful year that 2017 was aside, I’m pretty in awe of what this year of my life has looked like. I’ve had three different jobs at very different companies. I moved clear across the country from NYC to LA. I bought a car, that car broke down twice and I’m praying it doesn’t break down again. I found a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica, reorganized my whole room at 8PM one Thursday night and get to go on runs to the actual beach. What I’ve done this year still has me catching my breath.
But what puts me in far more awe than anything I could have ever done is what the Lord has done this year.
He has completely romanced me to fall deeper and deeper in love with him. He wooed me to come to a city I had always sworn off. He provided logistically, financially and physically for me to be able to follow His call to California. He put on my heart to write more and eventually gave me a book concept to work on. He provided me with the most extraordinary group of friends who I get to encourage and be encouraged by in our pursuit of Him. He has allowed me the most gracious and laughter-filled time with family and healed relationships in deep ways. He has taught me – the supreme planner and worrier – to start walking in step with him day by day, not worrying about a month or a year down the road. If God is capable of getting me to give up my five-year plan, he is capable of anything. Can I get an amen?
If you had asked me one year ago where I thought I would be or what I thought I’d be doing at this moment in time, none of my answers would look anything like what my reality is. But this plan – his plan – is so much better than anything I ever could have come up with. It was never about my ideas, strengths or resolutions; it was always about his.
So as we come to the close of 2017 and I see my perspective so radically changed about this year, it is changing how I’m looking at next year. Maybe it isn’t about my resolutions and what I can accomplish on my own strength. It isn’t about gritting my teeth to get myself to go to the gym or clean my room more often. It’s not about setting lofty or even attainable milestones and chasing them.
Perhaps looking to the year ahead is all about waiting on Him and what He has and what He can do. I want 2018 to be the year where I stop chasing my own desires and assertions about what will make life fulfilling, and instead start chasing fully after Him.
My very wise friend Morgan and I were talking about our holiday breaks today and about the difficulties that the holidays can stir up. I’d told her I felt like I was in a funk – just somehow off and not as in tune with Jesus. And she reminded me that if we focus on Jesus and refuse to give any of our attentions to distractions or ways the enemy gets at us, then we get to have the beautiful seasons filled with Jesus that we desire. He is always accessible, always right by our sides.
So this year I want to boldly step forward in faith. I want to run after Jesus with everything I have, not worrying about other people’s thoughts or expectations or my own limitations. When we chase Jesus we get the ultimate reward – freedom. Freedom and Jesus sound like pretty good goals for 2018 to me.