What a Difference a Year Makes

What a difference a year makes. I want to go back to January 25th, 2010 and smack me in the face. I’m not going to say in this year I’ve gained a ton of maturity or learned lessons that I’ll never have to relearn, but in the past year of my life I’ve done a lot of growing and learning. Turning 19, I was very immature, completely focused on what everyone thought of me and trying to be the Christian that I thought I “had” to be. Last spring was full of a lot of striving. Striving to be the friend that included everyone; striving to be the sorority girl that didn’t fulfill the stereotype and striving to be the Christian that I was “supposed” to be. Sadly, I thought I could accomplish these things based on my own power, not relying on God’s power.

I became the friend so focused on her friends that she could never be alone. I can’t say I became the stereotypical sorority girl, but I was very materialistic (and still struggle with that). I became the kind of Christian who did things that I thought I had to do, not out of desire to serve the Lord. I wasn’t an epic failure, but I did very little that forced me to rely on God. I liked doing safe things and while I cared about my friends, I was not investing in anyone new. I looked at situations and how they directly affected me – if I could be glorified or benefited. Thankfully, God’s done some work in this heart of mine in the past year. It’s been painful and I’ve lived on the strugglebus for most of it, but I like to think I’m in a much better place as I turn 20.

This past year has easily been one of the hardest ones. I lost a wonderful grandmother – something that has rocked me to my core. I got the first C of my academic career – something that has forced to remember that I’m so much more than my grades. I moved into a house with 95 diverse and wonderful women – something that blessed me beyond belief, but also grown my patience. I stood on my feet for 36 hours for IUDM – ahh that’s pain. I also experienced growth in many friendships that has forced me to remember that Jesus is my best friend – He’s with me during everything and He will never disappoint. He’s my rock, He’s who I should be turning to in ALL situations.

In this past year, through seeing the terrible person I am, I’ve been able to be more and more captivated with Jesus Christ – the author and perfecter of my faith. I feel so loved by God that all the love I feel from others is just a bonus. Sunday night I was praying as I went to bed that my birthday would not be about me or bringing glory to me. I’ve felt God delighting in me, so I didn’t want people to. Today has been a blessed day. I want to tell everyone to stop being so nice. I’ve had a permanent smile on my face – it’s been a day of blown expectations because didn’t expect anything. That’s a wonderful feeling. Almost as good as being able to say that I’m in my twenties. And that’s almost as good as knowing that even as I was a selfish person in the past year, God still used me. He uses the lowly of the world to exalt Himself. How cool that He chooses to use me.

Thank you God for using me this past year. You didn’t have to, but it grew me so much. I’m truly blessed.

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