It's my first post for the new year, and I write it with mixed feelings. My family spent the new year abroad this year, and I was given many opportunities to reflect upon the past and coming years. Yet in spite of that, it's been confusing.
The year 2007 was the most dramatic year in my life so far. There were many first-time experiences, many new observations, many awakening realizations, and many things that would leave permanent markings in my life's history.
Ministerially, I was pushed to my limits both in skills and in partnership. I grew through expectations and through friction. In terms of my family, I grew to realize how many things take effort. And in my widening and deepening social circle, I found new friends in numbers that overtook all the years before. I was put to the test in every area, in mind, in soul, in deed, in heart, and in spirit.
I coped with a changing identity as our church grew. I faced thrilling moments as well as times of depression. I learned to reach out to many young people dealing with questions in salvation, in friendship, and in love. I faced rejection from the university of my choice; I experienced the shattering of most of the "normalcy" in my life.
It was a year of pain and growth. It was a year of memories. Yet most of all, it was a year that made God all the more real to me. Never before had trust become more real than in those moments of pain and confusion. Never before had His faithfulness and love been more precious than in those times of uncertainty.
As I look to the year ahead, I can see no clear direction. It will probably be a year as dramatic, if not more dramatic than the year before. I feel unsettled, but I don't fear. The past year was a revelation of God's reality in my life, and the coming year would be the best chance for me to apply that knowledge into words and actions.
As a child, I used to long for drama, and I even complained that I did not have enough of it in my life. Yet now that life is starting to have irregularities for me, I'm experiencing how all the "dramatic elements" do not exist for their own sake, but to sharpen me for His glory.
I don't know what to expect from the year ahead. But God is real in my life, and that's all that matters.