You were a steep learning curve, a real challenge, a series of setbacks and redirections… but I’m grateful for all that you have revealed to me.
It’s a privilege to even see your final day. On the last day of 2015, I proclaimed you as my “glow up” year (meaning, I would metaphorically shine brighter in all aspects of my life). And yes, I guess you could say I’ve been glowing, but not in the way I was expecting. But that’s the grace of God – He gives us what we need at the time, not always what we think we want.
As I reflect on this last day, I have so many vivid memories of you. Beautiful moments from hearty uncontrollable laughter; celebrating my graduation and 21 years of life; solidifying friendships and relationships; maturing spiritually; growing in my “purpose” and helping others pursue their dreams…
I’m so thankful that despite the lows of 2016, I can look back at you in your entirety, and still genuinely feel blessed. That in itself I know is a sign of God working on contentment in me. I wrote a blog post earlier this year entitled “Be Better, Not Bitter” which encompasses this notion – learning to be happy despite your shortcomings especially in comparison to those around you. It’s the same spirit of joy that fills you up when the many issues of life are trying to weigh you down.
I’m not perfect in this regard of course. I went through phases this year when I didn’t feel good enough or smart enough for some of my aspirations e.g. getting a training contract and becoming a lawyer. Which honestly just led to general self-doubt and procrastination. A useless combination.
But you, 2016, taught me the importance of believing in myself. If my confidence is truly derived from God’s power, I shouldn’t ever doubt my ability. And neither should anyone reading this.
We may feel dejected sometimes, but mastering the ability to trust God regardless and pick ourselves back up again is essential.
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who put their trust in him.” – Proverbs 30:5
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3
Like a famous certain somebody said, 2016 really was the year of realising stuff. Crucially, I learned that life outside the bubble of university is cold and hard. I have to be tough for the real world but at the same time, life after university is exciting because the only limit to my abilities is myself. It’s a cliché, but the world really is your oyster.
So here’s to you, 2016. You taught me that I need to be more patient but purposeful. I plan to work on this the most in 2017 and even beyond, particularly trying to use my time more productively.
I have other more tangible goals of course, like actually learning to drive (I say this every year, but I am desperately determined to get it out of the way now that my provisional license is expiring soon). And getting a graduate job that I can grow in. And travelling abroad now that I have finally renewed both of my passports (I haven’t left the country since 2009!)… amongst other personal development/life things, which I’m sure will feature in future blog posts 🙂
Thank you 2016, you matured me and helped me to prepare for another pivotal year.
To 2017, I am ready for you.
I just got back from dinner with my friends and I felt pensive. I wanted to write some of my thoughts on 2016 down, so it culminated as this – my last blog post of 2016.
Thanks for reading my musings. I pray you guys enter 2017 peacefully and joyfully, surrounded by those you love. This New Year will be great for us all in Jesus’ name, I’m so excited!
How are you spending New Year’s Eve? What are your hopes for 2017? Let me know in the comments down below/send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to pray for you.
God bless you and Happy New Year!