Happy New Year! Welcome 2017! Hope that you had a relaxing and enjoyable few weeks taking part in all the festivities! Before we are anymore immersed into January, let me share a little about what 2016 meant for me.
I began 2016 in Ireland and among family. At the time, I knew I would soon be moving to New Zealand and knew that time was precious. Although I usually spend New Year’s with friends, I brought in 2016 in the company of grandparents, parents and siblings. I remember before that night was over having a feeling of fear creep in. Perhaps, it was because Dad and I were debating on the subject of terrorist attacks, but either way, it was a feeling that I kept having to fight over the next few weeks. I wasn’t necessarily afraid to move to a new place, I felt ready for that! It was more irrational thoughts such as ‘ What if the plane crashes?’,’What if I get blown up?’, ‘What if a shark eats me and the world ends?’. Like seriously, what was that about? I think that all of these crazy questions really stemmed from the fear of the unknown. I didn’t know what was really ahead. I couldn’t yet imagine it in my head and I wanted to know the where and why’s and when? But these answers are not foretold, they can only be lived through. I guess that is one of the reasons why I love New Years as it forces me to reflect the past year and usually after I do so, I quickly realize that every single year God provides in so many ways. He knows the unknown and He keeps it, deciding to walk alongside it with us. Reflection of all the provision and answers makes me hopeful for the next year ahead and dissipates all the worries of what it might bring.
2016 unfolded to be one of the best yet, despite the fears of the unknown. And these are a few of the things that I felt privileged to be a part of.
1. I boarded a plane to travel across the world to a country that I’ve always wanted to visit!
4. I’ve been surrounded by a great bunch of young people who I get to share life with. With this has come life changing conversations and witnessing things that only God can really do within us.
5. I’ve walked up mountains ( never believe a Kiwi when they say ‘hill’, they most defintely mean ‘mountain’). I’ve had a go at ziplining through forests, water skiing, snow skiing and floating through glow worm caves with nothing but an inflated hoop. I’ve felt the heat of volcanic activity in the ground and I have witnessed an aray of beauty and colour around me in the ever changing landscapes of the two islands.
These are just a few and brief examples of why this year was so good. Although being one of the best yet, that doesn’t mean there were not times of confusion, sadness and tears. It is so easy to put up a photo of the exciting times and yet be removed from sharing those quiet moments that no one really sees. Those unspoken and inner moments where fear tends to breed. It was definately an adventurous year of stepping out for me. A year of change and a year of challenges. How did your year go?
In conclusion, at the end of every year, I would like to be able to say ‘this has been the best yet.’ Even if it has been the most difficult to go through. I want it to be the best because I have given my best and my all to living for God. I want it to be the best because it is becoming easier to understand that even if the path looks different that His ways are the best for me. I’d like for each year to be adventurous whether I get on a plane or not, because I have the perspective of one who experiences the excitement of trusting God in the unknown. God keeps showing us every year as the clock stikes midnight and the turn of a new year arises, that the unknown doesn’t have to be a scary, in fact it can be one of hope. God gives us hope for the future ( Jeremiah 29.11) ! I’m sure there are many reasons why we don’t possess knowledge of what 2017 will bring. We might run from pain, instead of allowing that pain to draw us closer to Him and others around us. We might decide to stay where it is most comfortable and never change or be challenged. We just might not want to know the path that is ahead. The only certainty for 2017 is that God is with us and He is already at the end of it too. He knows! I’ve been listening to a song lately that sums up that moment when you contemplate staying in the comfort or stepping out to be changed. I’m going to end this post with that and challenge myself and you; to allow the words to be pondered as the new year sets forth. That 2017 will be the best yet because we are stepping out into the unknown and walking with God through it. Every step of the way and every day that goes by.
I could just sit and wait for all Your goodness
Hope to feel Your presence
And I could just stay
I could just stay right where I am and hope to feel You
Hope to feel something again
And I could hold on
I could hold on to who I am and never let You
Change me from the inside
And I could be safe
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down
But You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You will lead me Lord
You have called me higher
And I will be Yours, oh
I will be Yours for all my life
-All Sons and Daughters, Called Me Higher