My resolution for 2012 was to be obedient because God has definitely proven to me that He’s trustworthy.
As I think about it, my journey has been incredible and there are infinitely more incredible adventures ahead of me. When I look back on 2012, I think it’s a year that I won’t forget. I saw so much fruit not because I was trying to focus on growing fruit, but I just dwelled within the Vine and I couldn’t help but grow fruit. I’m connected, in union with the vine. I’m a branch. How can I NOT grow fruit?! A good friend asked me what the highlight of 2012 was for me. I said that though I’ve been a confessing Christian for 4.5 years, 2012 was when I truly understood the magnificence and power of the cross. It didn’t change everything, but it did. Of course I wouldn’t have confessed Jesus as my Lord if I didn’t understand the cross to some level, but man, everything HAS changed because now I do really get it. Grace. Cross. Alive. God is good. Jesus lives in me>>> all words and phrases that are thrown around in Christian lingo, but oh now so much more powerful and meaningful. Everything I experience in life has to do with my understanding of the cross. Crucial!
Another part of my year….I just found out that I got on Dean’s List for the second semester in a row. Why is this statement so glorious and humbling?
Short version: Freshmen year solid GPA–>Sophomore fall academic probation I–>Soph spring academic probation II–>Summer term just bad. GPA suffers and lowest ever–>change to child development–>Junior fall removed completely from probation–>GPA is steadily increasing–>struggle to stop doing pre-med at Tufts (will finish post-grad)–>Junior spring Dean’s List–>Senior fall complete CD major–>Senior fall Dean’s List #2 with an almost completely redeemed GPA.
Long version in this post. It’s seriously long but all the details of my academic testimony are there. It’s a cool story in my opinion. Evidence of a faithful God, no matter how we react and flail our arms childishly when one little thing goes wrong.
The thing is, when I look back on how God came through I’m even more thankful because I see how much I have grown. In that long post, I claimed that I got angry at God because I didn’t know why all the suffering was happening when He could definitely handle a few grades. I shook. I thought I was in a desert place, a wilderness. Now if this were to happen all over again, I would confidently say I would not react the same way. I’m in the lushness of a Garden now, Jesus experienced a desert so that I would not have to. I am not shaken, because I am found on the solid Rock who makes me unshakable. I have everlasting joy. Through my experiences of being on academic probation, doubting my calling, failing to live up to my own and my parents’ expectations, being humbled, realizing God is my Answer and my Dream, knowing the power of open humility and sharing in community, and learning to live day by day, I now know identity’s fundamental nature. I realized more of who I am….a precious, valued daughter of God. When I got shaken, I forgot who I was. I let my situation determine my joy. Now, I KNOW who I am. I will NOT be shaken because I have everlasting joy. When a situation becomes troubled or difficult, I will testify to the truth of this everlasting Savior, who is Mr. Joy. Storms come to both believers and non-believers, but as believers, imagine how powerful a testament to the power of a relationship with Christ will be if we don’t depressed/angry/whatever when the storm comes. I’ve wanted to say this about my own academic story for a while now to my blog readers. Not to discredit where I was then, but to enhance where I am now.
In 2012, I learned how important it is to let God just love me. When I just let Him love me, growth and change just naturally happen. I don’t have to try. It’d be too difficult. My resolution to obey Him was me trying at first. When I just let Him love me, I understood His love to a deeper level. Then when He told me to do something, I wasn’t consciously telling myself “oh, I must obey God because He’s God and I made that my resolution” but rather obeying was a natural response. It wasn’t ever deeply challenging or contrary to what I wanted for myself because He never asked me to do something that wasn’t already in my heart (which is God’s heart so it all makes sense). His desires for my life are my desires too, so obeying was letting Him love me and show me more of His awesomeness through experiences. Going to Mongolia for missions, praying for people on the streets, becoming a Freshmen Small Group leader are all examples of obedience now that I look back. When those things happened though, I wasn’t consciously making myself obey. I was just going with the flow. Doing things that would love people and help me know God more! Naturally, fruit came. It’s really awesome to see change. I guess I always know my obedience does something. Maybe I can’t always see exactly what that something is yet, but I know that something exists….It’s very freeing to live like this, not feeling burdened or responsible to see the fruit but just knowing it will come!
And we 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
So my resolution for 2013 is…nothing. I’ve resolved to live every day as a lover of His presence. So I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing and let the King love me. I think that’s a good thing to live by for all my days. New Year’s this year didn’t seem as special a time to reflect on the year and make new goals. I think it’s because it really is just another awesome day with the King, moving into another calendar year, constantly excited for what He has in store.
Here’s a song that God reminded me of the day I got found out about Dean’s List, it’s simply perfect. Helped me celebrate it with Him with a lot of joyful giggles.