2015 is coming to a close, and I am in awe of how fast this year has gone. It’s such an overused saying, but last New Year’s Eve literally feels like it was yesterday to me — or at least, not an entire year ago. A lot has changed this year — a lot more than I ever thought would. I started out 2015 basically letting life happen to me and just following the plan that was always laid out for me. I didn’t realize for the longest time that I was living passively, but suddenly I knew a change had to come or I would be miserable forever. So I made a change, and one seemingly simple decision turned into the best decision I’ve ever made.
Do you ever wonder what life would be like if one teeny thing hadn’t happened to you? At first, I think life would have been almost the same if I hadn’t quit grad school in January — Kayla still would have gotten married in February, I still would have had a fun 23rd birthday, but then I remember… I wouldn’t have taken my old job back with the Bradstreets, I wouldn’t have had time to go out with that guy a few times, Michelle and I wouldn’t have had the freedom to go to the beach on a whim in March, I wouldn’t have gone to Colombia… Everything about my life would be almost entirely different right now because of one simple decision.
2015 has been the best year yet, and it all started when I decided to stop letting life happen to me. Over the course of this year, I have been trying as hard as I can to enjoy life to its fullest potential. Sometimes, that meant the Lord had to pull things from my hands, but as I was reminded by Matt Chandler the other day, “You have a loving Father, who loves you enough not to give you everything you think you need.” Instead, He gives us the things He knows we need. He gives us our best friends to get us through the hard times, the person that’s going to inspire us to get going back in the mission field, the friend who’s willing to drive to Florida at 7pm on a Saturday night. He provides us with the finances to spend two months in Colombia to serve Him and His people, the strength when we’re too weak to make it on our own, the words to say when we don’t have them ourselves. He knows what is going to happen and when it’s going to happen, which is why I ended up with a last-minute Jon Foreman ticket when one of my closest friends was going to need that show the most. It’s how I knew I’d need to be back to Colombia at the end of October to visit the greatest people I’ve ever met, in a rehab facility that holds my heart. It’s how I ended up with a job promotion right when I needed that money. He knows what we need so much better than we do. How often do I say that? I am so grateful for it.
I’m sad to see 2015 go, but I know that what’s ahead will be better. My friend Kelsey has been such an encouragement this winter in embracing the seasons as they come (these 75 degree December days have also helped). Rather than hating the pale, dreary days of fall and winter, I have continually chosen joy this whole year. I have chosen to plant my feet in faith in the Lord, and with that He has provided everything I will ever need. Joy in the Lord trumps happiness of the world any day.
So with that, I’m wishing everyone a very happy new year and pray that 2016 will be the best year yet (again).