Wednesday, January 1, 2014

a little low: 2013 in review

A year ago, I wrote a little post about a little word:

I remember being worried that I would forget about it. It was a whole new kind of resolution for me--one word from the Lord that would impact everything. Resolutions are typically forgotten, though, and I feared I'd lose sight of it altogether. 

With twelve months to my credit, I did not forget. 

I didn't always make the best choices to support that one little word, but I didn't forget it. 

I got irritated when I should have been grateful.
I judged when I should have trusted.
I spoke my mind when I should have listened. 
I splurged when I should have saved.
I rushed when I should have waited.

And every time, I heard the whisper: "Low." 

There were high points and good moments and right choices through the year, but I think my favorite part of 2013 was not that I perfectly achieved the goals I set...

I didn't forget what God had spoken. 

He held me just as accountable to it in November as He did in February. I think that's a resolution gone right. 

This year was hard. In a lot of ways, it felt low. This year was good, but if I could only use one word to describe it (sure it was an opportunity or growing or fruitful or stretching or rewarding), more than anything it was hard

I planned large events for the first time.
I made big apologies that were waiting to be made.
I moved in with new roommates and moved out two months later. 
I said a lot of goodbyes. 
I struggled with healing and processing. 
I prayed, brokenhearted, for friends who were helplessly hurt. 
I felt like a grown up. Like a surprised, unprepared, unsuspecting kid disguised as a grown up. 

Reflecting now, I wonder if maybe the Lord gave me "low" to prepare me rather than challenge me. Regardless of how He gave was the very word I needed. 

He's good that way. 

He's good in a lot of ways, really. 

I made some sweet new friends in 2013 and, even if it gets a little confusing when we have the same name (grin), it's been good. 

I went on a road trip to Arkansas with my daddy to meet the one person alive who is most like his mother. It was so good for me.

One of my most favorite friends got married and it was so good to celebrate with her.

I went on my first vacation in years with my parents. We had a blast. It did so much good.

I went on my first date ever. Y'all. It was good. 

We can't forget the time I met the Backstreet Boys. That was good. wink 

I laughed. A lot. That's always good. 

At the end of it all, I realize that it's not God's gifts to me that make me love Him or even by those gifts that I know He loves me; but those gifts tell me He thinks of me. That, I love. 

My hope is that, as your 2013 comes to a close, you can know in spite of --maybe even because of-- your low days, there is a Father who thinks much of you and often. 

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them! 
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand--
when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139:17-18, NIV

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