Thursday, January 24, 2008

Reflections On 2007

{Note: I wrote this the first week of 2008, and I sent it out as an email to some friends, but only now have I finally gotten around to posting it.}

2007. With the word comes a tumult of feelings, emotions, and fresh memories; a chaotic mix of joy and grief, love and hurt, peace and fear. Strongest of all, comes a sense of the truth that through it all, God was there. Guiding. Calling. Leading. Side by side. Hand in hand. Through the thick and the thin.

A Few Quick Things I Discovered in 2007:

-John Piper, of Desiring God ministries, is definitely my favorite author. In terms of food for thought, his work is healthy (theologically sound), easily digested (understandable), and needed (applicable).

-We live in a hurting world. A world desperate for hope, crying out for love, dying for purpose, yet rejecting or ignorant of a God who offers all of that and more.

-Even Christians can hurt terribly. Christians still die, Christians still get sick, Christians still battle the old nature, Christians still backslide, Christians still are frightened, Christians still are tempted, Christians still fail.

-No one ever promised the sold-out life for Christ was easy… but it's totally worth it. In July, I went to an event in Dallas called The Rebelution Conference and it changed my thinking. I was inspired to rebel against the culture's low expectations and Do Hard Things. Check out their amazing website:

-For some reason, I'm naturally the kind of person who can whip up plans for my future right and left. I've got so many big dreams, so many delightful plans, so many driven goals. And why shouldn't I? After all, that's the question people ask me, "What are you going to do after graduation?" It's almost as if I don't "get a life" until the day I receive my diploma. Of course, I should be prepared and have plans, but since that comes so instinctively to me, and I don't know for sure what God's will is yet, I have to remind myself that I shouldn't have my focus on "someday". I should focus on today, not tomorrow. Live now, because later will come soon enough.

-Smiles are contagious. So is laughter. Joy is too. I wish I could spread them as well as I spread the colds I get. ;-)

-Time is precious. Where does the time fly?! I wish hours would go into the recycling bin so I could use them over again. Or else I wish I could buy minutes like a cell phone. But, alas, my dreams will never come true... My family is amazingly flexible as a whole, and I've been raised that way my entire life. Now, almost surprisingly, God is teaching me that I myself need to be more flexible. For example, when I'm left with an unfinished to-do list at the end of the day, I don't need to feel frustrated or overwhelmed. God hasn't called me to do everything I want to accomplish. He's called me to do whatever He wants me to accomplish. After all, He's the Potter, molding the clay (though sometimes I'm an awfully stubborn lump). When I mess up, His grace is always waiting for me.

-Here's simple algebra: Christina = human, Humans = sinful, therefore, Christina = sinful. It's just plain fact. We all fail, and we all fall. Yet it's then that I feel His strong, gentle hand lift me up, His tender embrace surround me, and His ever-patient voice beckon, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." We look to the cross, the blood shed, and the empty tomb, and we find forgiveness.

I could write on and on and on because there's so much more to say, but I won't. I doubt I wrote one thing you didn't already know (except for the personal information), and I didn't write a single thing that I didn't know before 2007. Then why did I say I discovered them? Because although I believed they were true, God showed me just how real they are.

It's wonderful to know that God was with me through everything. But the most beautiful part of the thought is that He is still here with me. This very moment. And He always will be. Forever. In 2008...and beyond.

God bless,

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