Man I wish that I could welcome 2016 with open arms. The kind of open arms that are ready for change, ready for growth, ready for a new way of life. Because that is what a new year is supposed to offer, right?
But what my thing is is this: 2016 holds way too many “news” for my heart and head to handle.
“News” like the two new degrees that I now have under my belt, my daddy’s Parkinson’s diagnosis that makes me view life as that much sweeter, and a new plan of living with my parents rather than moving out on my own to the big world.
All of these “news” don’t sound all that bad until I step back and realize that up until 2 months ago, I thought I had all these “news” under control- under my control. But The Lord had and has a different plan, and man did that new plan hit me hard while I was student teaching overseas.
Here is the new plan: Rather than being ready for my future and excited for all that it holds, I am now scared out of my mind to apply for a teaching job, I do not want to live at home, and I don’t want to do that adult thing that everybody does after they graduate college.
See how the whole “new year” thing seems a little difficult for me right now?
But this is where I start to view 2016 as a beautiful thing rather than a scary thing: Yes, I may not have control over my future like I thought, but how cool is it to know that my Heavenly Father has plans way better than I can imagine for this new year? All I have to do is grab His hand and walk in faith for those new plans to unfold.
So in spite of my “news” being a little scary (well more like crazy stupid scary), I have decided to stop walking in the fear of my “news”, and instead walk in the hope of them all.
And here is how I did it:
I wrote a letter to my future self.
Now I love writing, but writing letters to myself isn’t really on my writing to-do list. The only time I have ever done something as cheesy as this was my freshman year of high school for a class project. I was stoked to see what juicy things freshman Stephanie had to say when I received this letter 4 years later, but much to my disappointment, all 15 year old Stephanie wrote about was the Jonas Brothers and Zac Efron. Seriously Stephanie?
Hopefully my letter reviewing my 2015 won’t be as disappointing as my freshman self swooning over hollywood stars, but I wouldn’t really know because I wrote it, folded it, and sealed it up until 2017 rolls in. I actually really regret not reading it before the forever seal, but the reason I didn’t was because I knew I had written what I wanted my future self to read: “2015 was full of so many highs but also so many lows. And you may not know what your future holds, but man can I not wait to see where the Lord takes you one year from now.”
Hope is really hard for me to hold onto right now, but writing this letter gave me just a little glimpse of it all- the hope my future holds because it is being held by my Heavenly Father.
I wrote out everything I wanted to do in 2016. And I mean, everything.
So I did this for 2015, and every bit of it came true- in the most unexpected ways ever. I won’t share this list because, well, its kind of personal (I know, totally not like me) but I will say what I learned from 2015’s list: don’t pray/hope for things you aren’t ready for The Lord to do/work in. (Actually you really should cause it is crazy to look back and see His hand through it all).
I am striving to see every day as a new day.
We don’t have to wait for a new year to change our ways. Yes, the beginning of a new calendar year makes for some great gym memberships and bible reading plans, but you don’t have to wait for another January 1st to start something new. Instead when we view every day as a new day, full of grace and hope, a new day covered in our Savior’s perfect love, we will start to see every day as the blessing that it truly is.
So if you are like me and you have a lot of scary “news” pushing you into this new year, hold on tight and jump in with both arms open wide. Because new things can be scary, but they can also be so wonderful, so full of hope, and so full of your Father’s perfect plan.
All you need to do is let go of the reigns and watch Him do His work.
See you soon 2016,