A Look Back with a Step Forward

2010.

I remember this time, last year, thinking about what the year might have in store for me. Another decade had passed, another year had gone, and I stood there, counting down from ten, with floods of memories and lessons coming back to me, invading my every thought. It happens every year as the last ten seconds of the year tick down: I want to run back to the year that is leaving and relive some of the experiences and always remember the inside jokes. The new year is frightening because I don’t know what’s coming, yet exciting because I know it’s another adventure waiting to happen…still, some part of me holds my breath and can’t shout, “…ONE! HAPPY NEW YEAR!” I’m usually the last one to embrace it. Last year, every thing that 2009 wrapped up to be had impacted me in ways I could’ve never imagined. As people sang out, “Happy New Year!” and 2010 had officially arrived, I knew that something big was going to happen…whatever it was, I knew that God was with me and would help me every step of the way. So, I raised my glass of ginger-ale and exhaled my first breath of the new year.

I was right, something big did happen. A lot of big things happened, actually, yet here I am to tell the tale. 2010 was the year of firsts and lasts. My first surgery, my first car, my first time driving by myself, my first time dying my hair, my first time taking the SATs, my first time applying to colleges, my first time attempting at legitimate photography, my first time performing for an Open Mic, my first year of being a Jr. High youth group leader, etc. etc. etc…

With all the firsts, of course there would be lasts…
My last time taking the SATs, my last time applying for colleges, my last Renaissance Faire, my last year of highschool, my last year of highschool choir, my last youth group retreat, my last year of being a youth group student, etc. etc.

But what else did 2010 teach me? Besides thinking back to all these previous memories listed and realizing I had one busy schedule, 2010 taught me a lot about God’s plan for my life.

God opened my eyes to His love. He tested my faith through many different trials– everything from small frustrations to losing my grandmother. Through all my tears, heart aches, and questions, God stood by my side and said, “Why do you worry when I am here?” He proved this to me every day, by showing that His love was great and that He’d never let me down and He’d never break my heart. He’d always be there, through thick and thin, and walk with me through the obstacles He knew I could somehow handle. He helped me become stronger and wiser about things and gave me the words to write a few songs and a few blog posts; which helped me let out my feelings and proclaim that God is good, even in the midst of heartache and brokenness.

He gave me incredible friends that have helped, guided, and been there for me in ways that would take pages to describe and years to really explain how thankful I am that they are in my life. They comforted me as I cried (many times, I must say). They made me laugh until I cried. They hugged me when I just didn’t know what to say. They taught me things that I would’ve never learned if I had been by myself. They were there for me in ways I didn’t even know I needed until they did it. I know it’s cliche to say this, but I really do have the best friends in the world and because of them, I really can say that I’m okay and mean it. Yeah, they may be crazy and they may be the strangest people on the planet, but I love them all so much and really hope they know that I mean this from “the depths of my heart.” (I’m sorry, guys, I know that’s so cheesy, but it’s the first thing that came to my mind!)

So, here we go… it’s New Year’s Eve and 2011 is quickly approaching. I know that as the last seconds pass by, I will be filled with 2010 memories and lessons that I’ve learned. I know that I will still hold my breath as the clock strikes midnight and I know that I’ll be hesitant to start the new year without knowing what’s coming next. But…I’m ready to step forward, because I know God’s with me every step of the way. He’s given me the confidence to go into 2011 with my head held high and a smile on my face. I’m ready to bring in 2011, no matter what it brings with it. …Here’s to 2011, with a look back and a step forward…

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