The obligatory post reflecting on 2011.
So what was 2011 about for me? Learning what it means to fully trust God.
In my post last year when 2011 started, I hoped for love, restoration, and joy. When I said that, I had my academics in mind but God, of course, exceeded that goal. Yes, it was looking like a really sucky year academically when I knew He had promised me some change and restoration but all I was getting was more withdrawals and higher levels of academic probation. I got intensely frustrated at God wondering when He’d finally let up on teaching me this ‘trust’ lesson. Every time I got frustrated, I calmly tried to remind myself to be grateful for what I had, the fact that I had the opportunity for this kind of education, and to just stop complaining. But hey, I’m human, and I forgot frequently when things kept going downhill.
Through it all, I had moments when I thought it was my fault everything seemed to be falling apart. God taught me how to forgive myself and to walk in His grace. I had moments when I wanted to give up because it was impossible to last through the summer term of 2 science classes. God taught me that it’s not about my abilities, because He’s the God of the impossible. I had moments when I didn’t think God was really doing this for my good. And now I know that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28
“Pain might not look like love at first, but it’s God’s way of saving us.” -Pastor Dave
Yup. There was so much pain through it all that I even stopped talking to God out of pure frustration for a while during the summer. Somehow during it though, I tried my best to have faith that I just couldn’t see the plan. That the taste of joyous freedom I got randomly would actually last. That I would find delight in His presence first and foremost. “That God is using this blog in bigger ways than I could have ever imagined, so I’m going to wait on His timing to share the true gravity of my situation.”
He’s faithful so everything came through. Sometimes people don’t seem to even understand why I seem so okay with things when it is worrisome, but I think I finally got a taste of what it means to fully trust in and depend on God. For example, I’m hoping to get put off of academic probation within the next few days when grades go up, but whatever happens, it’s going to be okay. I love my major and I love Tufts and that’s good enough for me. Through this lesson on trust, I learned other things too. About how freeing my identity as God’s daughter can be. About what grace really meant when I forgave some people who deeply hurt me in the 5th grade. (click) About finding full satisfaction in knowing Him alone. About letting go of expectations to let God work in you in His own timing (thanks to KRUP).
Now looking back on 2011, I thought it was absolutely insane that the trials and experiences were somehow for my good, but God remained patient and faithful whether I was joyous, weeping, or angry. Everything was worth it because now I’ve come out stronger, leaning on the everlasting Rock. As the song below goes, “[I’ve] walked through fire, but You made [me] brighter.”
So since He’s patiently proven to me His faithfulness and that everything truly is for my good, for 2012, I’m going to obey. I’m going to train to stop being a doubter of God’s plans for me. As a hymn I’ve heard in church goes, I’m going to “trust and obey, for there’s no other way.” He’s going to continue to test me, teach me, and love me. We’ll see where that takes me. This journey NEVER gets boring!
First stop? Passion Conference 2012 in the Georgia Dome. Watch the main sessions online while I’m in the audience! Maybe starting off the year with Passion in 2012 will be as big a blessing as it was in 2011 We’ll see!
“Just like the sunshine
You have been our light
Leading us into beautiful places
We’ve walked through fire
But You made us brighter
Leading us into beautiful places
Faithful Jesus, healing savior
Compass, center, bread of life
Faithful Jesus, cherished treasure
Our portion, wisdom God’s great light
God You are here with us
Constantly here with us
You are our everything
Faithful and true”