A couple weeks ago, I was playing catch up on the phone with one of my mentors from Birmingham. We were reminiscing on the different things that had happened in 2013, and specifically our feelings towards the year. So much of 2013 was extreme. Pows and wows (highs and lows).
If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, then you might know that for several years the Lord has revealed to me a word to focus on for each year. Usually, whatever that word is He constantly reveals Himself to me in it, gives me scripture, and life experiences that help me to understand and appreciate the word and it’s meaning. My word for 2013 was “peace.” I find it interesting that it was my word, because much of 2013 was anything but peaceful, by the worlds standards.
The year consisted of: being emerced in a wonderful young adult group led by great leaders who acted as parents away from home and then leaving them,… being deceived, but then it helped me break a stronghold of fear in my life,… my car breaking down and me purchasing a new one (during the busiest week of the year in student ministry at Trinity),… reaching an all time high of students coming to a spiritual retreat that I was a part of, but feeling alone,… friends getting married and beach trips, but having anxiety to try not to get sun,… growing in my faith through personal studies and writing curriculum,… raising quite a bit of money for The Bell Center,… going to London,… spending several weeks of the summer traveling and getting to see God work in students lives,… living out of a suitcase,… getting a job opportunity at a wonderful church at my favorite vacation spot,… feeling inspired enough to actually begin writing my book,… making hard decisions,… saying goodbye to friends, co-workers, and students,… excitement for new opportunities,… moving to a place where I didn’t know many people and being far away from family,… having volunteers, families, new friends and co-workers make me feel at home,… one of my best friends getting extremely ill and thinking she wouldn’t be able to walk, and then her recovery was so good she can actually fly now,… lots went on in 2013, but not really much of it was exactly steady and peaceful. In fact, the last three months I have still had all my belongings in Birmingham and been living with a sweet family here, since I couldn’t get out of my lease (those things are tricky).
You know what though? Through it all, I have learned so much. No matter what was going on or how I was feeling (good or bad), my peace is in Christ. Sheila Walsh was correct when she said, “Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ,” I now also understand what Philippians is talking about when it talks about “the peace that passes all understanding.” When you trust in God and are immersed in Him, you can still have peace no matter what the circumstance. I am not perfect at this,…but I will say that I no longer am a slave to fear and worry like I used to be. I still have some of that, but it is a fraction of what it used to be,… and what a peace that is!
I am so happy to say that I have finally made it (almost) to 2014 all in one peace,… literally,…I now have all my belongings in the state of Florida, but also spiritually,…I am all in one peace…the peace of God.
For 2014, the word God is having me focus on is “hope.” A few things I hope for or to do for 2014…
-learn to play the drums (random, I know)
-continue my lifestyle changes in eating healthier
-work on getting some of my curriculum published
-find a way to serve in the community regularly outside of the church
I am sure there will be more to come… that is it for now!
Have a Happy New Year, and may the peace of Christ abide in you!