“Hindsight is 20/20.” That is the main reason why I like to take some time at the end of each year to look back and see what I learned. This year, I am amazed at how many dreams came true. 2017 was good. Of course there were struggles, but I was usually able to look past them in the moment.
A big thing that made this year so good was that God was proving His goodness to me all year. He gave me the grace to see the good in the hard stuff and placed me in community with gracious, caring people over and over and over again.
- I took Music Appreciation with fantastic people and we had the best teacher. They, along with other friends, made school a joy.
- I got my first “real” job: as a biology tutor. And then got another fairly consistent part-time job.
- I finally got my driver’s license. It was a huge step toward adulthood for me.
- I bought a piano: a gift straight from God. (Ask me about the story behind this one.)
- I visited family friends in South Carolina for a week and a half in the summer. While there, I learned more about what God-centered family and community looks like. (And I learned to cook better, which was the whole goal of the trip.)
- I was able to make friend- and adventure- time a priority over the summer.
- I took a day trip to Virginia Beach with my brother and some friends. It was a blast, until it was time to drive home. (Would never do this again.. lessons learned.)
- I got to take Chemistry with my brother and completed my associated degree.
- I learned how to let my friends and family be there for me through the hard stuff, and got more involved in my Bible study group.
- I changed churches.
So to say a lot of big things happened might be an understatement.
Sometime near the beginning of the year, I felt drawn to a verse and I wrote it in the beginning of my journal:
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).
If that doesn’t describe 2017, I’m not sure what does. The Lord really has proven His heart to me this year. He has shown me that He is the Good Shepherd by providing, protecting, and leading. He has been gracious and gentle in the way he led. He has been gift-giver in ways that I could not provide for myself. He has been a guard over my heart and mind so many times when I needed protection.
So this year, I’m thankful for much. Most of all for the friends I’ve made and the way that God drew near.