Here’s To 2017

It’s me again! Late night, trouble sleeping… here we go.

It’s currently 47 minutes until the end of January 1st, 2017. As I’ve attempted to sleep I haven’t had much to do but to think on this new year and what it’s going to hold. Of course, how does one think about the future without comparing it to the past?

For me, leaving behind 2016 is like getting off of one of the wildest roller coasters you can imagine. You get off the ride wide-eyed, not sure exactly what happened, adrenaline pumping through your veins, slightly sick in the stomach and debating whether or not you want to do it again. Of course you want to do it again! That was awesome and totally worth throwing up to experience again! But this is where the analogy falls apart because, well, you can’t.

2016 for me has been a most incredible journey. I started the year off newly engaged and surrounded by friends and family. I loved what I was doing and who I got to do it with. I was looking forward to a wedding later in the year and what the future would hold. I was all but certain that I would be where I was for a while longer, too. I couldn’t imagine life looking more positive.

God had a different plan. I wasn’t going to be able to stay with friends and family. I was going to have to find a new place to call home. So I started the search for a job and God was faithful to provide. Through family, God provided me with a place to stay for a brief transition period. God then provided me with an apartment to call home for both me and my soon-to-be wife. God protected me as I traveled home, got married, and enjoyed a most amazing honeymoon. God then brought us safely back to our new home. That’s been life for the past few months. New job, new home, new state, new friends, new wife, practically new life.

It’s all been amazing but it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. I’ve had times where I’ve wondered what in the world God was doing. What could God be planning that required moving me from everything I hoped for and expected in my life with my new wife? Surely God knew that it was going to be enough of a new (and beautiful) challenge to adjust to life as a couple that I didn’t need any more stress on top of that, right? Stacking so much on me at once has at times felt so overwhelming that I collapsed in tears and panic.

But you know what else happened in 2016? God taught me more about Himself in 2016 than I ever thought possible. Through His Word He has shown me His character in ways I never knew. His promises, His love, His mercy, His glory.. Now I know that He was preparing me. I may not have known the future but God has been working ahead of me every step of the way.

While I still don’t know exactly why God has me here right now, I know He has a purpose and a plan. A plan, ultimately, for prosperity and free from harm. Because of that I will remain faithful. I will press on in faith, in ministry, in prayer and in love.

God, I pray that you will give me the faith to follow you every step of the way. I know you are guiding me through Your Word, so help me to meditate on it and hold it in my heart. Let my love for you overflow to my wife, my family, my friends, and anyone I meet. Let my eyes be open and let me be prepared for the ministry you would work through me daily. When I don’t understand why, let me trust that you do. When I don’t like it, help me to cast aside my flesh so that the Spirit can continue the work in me that was started many years ago. Teach me more about you. Reveal more about me so that I might step into the identity I have in You. Give me joy that never ceases. Be my sustenance and my protector. Be my light and my guide. Be my authority, council, and, when needed, corrector. God, be my everything. Thank you for 2016 and thank you for each moment you give me in 2017.

So, here’s to 2017!

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