We have reached the end of another year. A year full of joy, love, loss, heartbreak, struggle, failures, successes, and triumph. This year has been a tough year for me in many ways, but also a year worth remembering. I will remember 2012 as the year that I grew up, stood up to many obstacles, became stronger as an individual, took responsibility for my life, and the lives of those around me that I care about most, and learned how to better love people.
2012 is the year that one very long chapter of my life ended, and a new chapter begins.
So what does 2013 hold? Should I be anxious? Should I be nervous? Excited? I know that I am more excited about life on this day that I have been before. Despite the extremely trying last week, I find solace in the hint of excitement of anticipation for the year to come.
I woke up this morning and did something I haven’t done in years…I wept. When I realized what today was, and everything I’ve been coping with over the last few days, I was overcome with sadness, and at the same time filled with a joy that brought me to tears.
Two days ago, I lost a dear friend whom I cared about very much. She was an amazing person who was full of life, and always knew how to bring me out of my pits of self pity and bitterness. She could make anyone around her smile or laugh. She was the type of person that lit up a room. She had struggles of her own, sure. But she was someone with such great potential in life. She had an amazing heart for people and a great love for art and creativity. We knew each other for about 10 years, and I will always remember her as a great person and a good friend that I will miss very much.
Upon dealing with the loss of my friend, I am reminded today even more so of the loss of my best friend growing up. Today marks 7 years since his death. He was one of the only people in my life who pushed me to be a better person. He would tell me that he knew I had the potential to be something great. He encouraged me to pursue my passions in life, and gave me the support and drive I needed to overcome so much in life, even after his death. I’m not sure what kind of a person I would have become without having such a great friend who invested so much in me.
Today also marks another major moment in my life. Ironically, today is the first day I am officially a full time musician. I have two jobs at different churches doing music that allow me to also pursue my own music career, as well as a career in music ministry. I’m excited for what these opportunities will bring, but most of all, I am thankful for the people who have believed in me and supported me in the last year. For 6 years I couldn’t find people who could take on the role that Josh filled in my life. But today I am so thankful for the people God has placed in my life. My family has become such an amazing place of security and sanctuary for me, and I have better friends than I deserve, who invest so much of their time and energy into my life and making my dreams a reality.
Today I reflect on the past, and look ahead to the future. The past has been dim at times, but there is so much to be thankful for, and so much to be excited about. It’s because of the past that I look forward with great anticipation. God has brought me so far, and taught me so much, that I know I am meant to do great things.
I believe today is the first line of a new chapter. My story is beginning to have a very different plot than I might have imagined. But its a greater story than I could have written on my own. I look at the last few years, and I can’t help but acknowledge the presence of such a great writer and creator. I have never been more humbled by an overwhelming love of a gracious God. My whole life, I’ve wanted nothing more than to experience God in a real way. I’ve known Him, learned about Him, and filled my mind with thoughts of Him and who He is, but seldom have I truly experienced God in such a way that It was undeniably divine intervention. But in this moment, I feel undone by the inarguable miracles of provision and grace that have filled my life. God seems to be working in truly incomprehensible ways, almost as if to say “I haven’t forgotten about you. You are never out of my reach.”
I am such a practical, logical, overly analytical creature. I have always been skeptical of experiential Christianity. I still am with most of it. But I can honestly say that there has been too much evidence in my life as of late that points to a great and gracious God who loves me, that I can no longer make an argument for anything else.
I hope today brings you as much joy, love, and grace as it has brought me. Today is the first time in 7 years that I am not just sad, but filled with joy. I feel Joy and excitement over the journey. The journey that crafts our souls and molds our hearts. May Jesus be the guide on this great journey, for this journey is a collection of experiences, memories and lessons. Ultimately,this journey will lead us home.
In this new year,
be blessed, and be a blessing to others.