May 2021 Be Filled With…

Hey all! I have definitely been bad about posting in December, but work has been busy and so was Christmas. Speaking of which I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! 

But now we are to the end of another year, and granted one of the craziest and most difficult years. Filled with new common words, division, fear and a lot of unknowns. For me it was also filled with college graduation, a job search, and starting my first full time job. And I wanted to take some time to reflect with you on 2020 and look forward to the New Year.

There has been a lot to learn and grow in this year for me personally. It has been more difficult to be positive, I have had to learn how not to plan, and I realized I only have hope in Jesus; because life has thrown me for a loop. And it is not always the changes with school(in the first half of the year), a job search, and a job; or the changes with a crazy virus and constant news cycle; it has also been the changes in community and relationships.

I am sure that this happens with most recent college graduates, but I think covid has made it even more difficult to find a good community after college. There just haven’t been as many people who stuck around Lincoln, and there are not a lot of places that offer community for this age group, and if they do right now it is hard to join because of covid. It has just made finding new consistent friendships and relationships difficult. Then you have people moving home, moving away to new places all the time or getting married , and even though you can still talk it changes the dynamics of the friendship.

I would be lying if I said that this season of my life has been great, or one where I have a ton of super fond memories. I have told people that I hope what these seasons of life have been like is not what the rest of life is like, or even what 2021 is like. But, it is all of this that makes me thankful for my faith in Jesus and the hope I have in that, and it makes me want to hold on even tighter to the promises of good and eternal life that is given to believers of the gospel.

Your 2020 might not have included some of the same difficult things as mine, but I am sure you have had to navigate the joys and valleys of this year too. And there have been joys this year too; ways we all came together, things to celebrate, and new ways to make memories.

Our stories may not be exactly the same for this year, but we are sitting in a place of wanting something magical or crazy to happen at midnight as we start a new year. To snap our fingers and have a world that changes instantaneously. We get so used to instant gratification, but it can’t always happen like that. 2021 might be better, and it might only be better for some. But that is just it, we don’t know.

2021 might not be easier. It might not be everything I imagine, plan, dream, or pray for. And that stinks to think about, but it is honest and it is true. 2021 may still have hard decisions, it may still be lonely, I may still have to fight for a positive attitude or better circumstances. 2021 might not end up being what any of us wants. But, what I have been learning throughout 2020 as I look back on it is that sometimes it is giving 100% to the things you can control, and giving the rest to God for him to control, because it is honestly better that way. Thank goodness for that, because if living in this world were to be the only heaven I ever knew, there would only ever be fleeting joy and hope and that is truly the last thing I would want.

My word for 2020 was transition. And I think I knew transition was going to happen, but then I think God said “Let me show you transition”. Yes there was graduation, job search, starting a job, new routines, new small groups, and new seasons for relationships that require more intentionality. Then we added in a pandemic where things got more difficult, people moved, there were doctors appointments, new things to manage, more things to consider, and things to learn and accept. 

There was a lot to take in this year, and a lot to handle and sometimes it feels like you have to do it perfectly without any problems, mistakes, or missteps. And it just isn’t that simple. I would have to say I still feel very much the theme of this word as we end this year. I feel stuck, unsure of myself, and kind of ehh; while at the very same time more self-aware, confident in the Lord, and ready for change.

So as we get ready to enter 2021 I took some time to look back on 2020 and think about what I wanted out of 2021, and I came up with a new word for the year. It was hard to figure out what word I wanted to choose, or what word Jesus was calling me to. There are things coming up this year, goals I have for the year, and probably some difficult things too. It is not like God is going to stop using situations to change, grow, and mold me. And there definitely won’t be a finger snap when the clock strikes midnight, we do live in the world, not of it as believers. All that to be said, the word that came to me as I was thinking about this next year was delight. And so Delight is the word I have chosen for 2021. 

For me right now I think delight will mean finding joy in current circumstances, trying to be more positive, and being more confident. It will mean enjoying the day the Lord has given me, while drawing nearer to him and the hope to come. It means trusting in God’s promises, and trying to be present as much as possible; while worrying less about the future. It means taking opportunities and saying yes more because it brings stories and memories. Delight will include trying not to do everything to meet others expectations, but taking care of the things I can control. Delight will include times of rest and reflection, so I can see how the Lord is working. It will be trying to make progress, but knowing there will be grace when I fail. It will be putting in the effort necessary, but being confident that it is okay if something is not enough. It is being accepting that God’s got it, and what He has given us is beautiful in His timing. 

So here’s to 2021 it might not be perfectly all that we pray for it to be, but it will be full, and just the way it is supposed to be.

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