2018. What a year. As I’m sitting to reflect on what, from the outside, looks like a horrible roller coaster that I couldn’t get off of – I’ve realized that 2018 was a breakthrough year for me.

2018 started in disaster. One of the largest design projects I’d ever been asked to be apart of fell apart. My company lost time, money, and took us a solid six months to recover from the aftershock. Amidst all of this I was questioning myself, my purpose, and the reality that some things in life just don’t work out.

Amid all of this, I look back at what was truly an incredible year. Rather than focusing on the moments, because there were many, I’d like to focus on what I learned.

I was drawn back to my first love

If you know me or keep up with this blog, you’ll know I am not shy about my faith. This has been something that I’ve always been passionate about. In April of this year, I realized some of that passion had been lost. I wasn’t consistent at church or devoting personal time to grow in my relationship with Christ. It was through a passage in Isaiah, that brought me back to my desperate need for Christ at the center of my life.

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.

Isaiah 40:27-31

 

This passage brought me back. How thankful I am for this moment, it set the course for the rest of my 2018.

Bold is the only way to live

Through a series of events at the beginning of the year, I was brought back to a few of my passions. I learned that anyone standing in the way of your passion, joy, or happiness needs to be moved to the side. Not in a condescending way, but putting yourself first is important. Living a life that is dictated by others isn’t healthy and will ultimately lead to failed relationships, dreams, and emptiness.

God is Great, God is Good

If you grew up in the South, there might have been a time before a meal where you heard someone pray, “God is Great, God is Good, let us thank Him for our food.” I grew up saying that – knowing that God is Great and God is Good. It wasn’t until this year that I dissected that phrase. Why do we say that “God is Great, and God is Good.” The bible tells us He is these things, but what does it actually mean? I was re-reading Sun Stand Still, and in this book, it’s broken down.

God is Great = God has the ability to help us. In our time of need, when we are facing oppression, or when we feel hopeless. God has the ability to help.

God is Good = God has the desire to help us. Not only CAN He help, but He WANTS to help.

This revelation completely rocked my world when I truly understood this. Why is this important? It demonstrates not only Gods grace, but his willingness not to see us fail, but to succeed.

Hope is never wasted, Faith is never wasted

And finally, the biggest lesson I learned this year. Have you ever found yourself putting so much hope into something and it fails? Or maybe you’ve put a lot of faith in a mentor, leader, boss, someone who is leading you and all your faith is in that person then suddenly, they leave, or the project fails? This has happened to me more in 2018 than I can count. People and projects come and go, hope and faith being poured into each one. This is what causes burnout and turns new, and what should be, exciting things into complete failures because hope and faith have been wasted in the past. There must have been a dozen opportunities I missed this year, simply because my hope has been wasted so many times.

Here is what I’ve learned. Hope is much like a storage unit. Just because there is hope placed in people, projects, possibilities – when those things don’t happen, it doesn’t mean that Hope is gone. The same goes for Faith. It is never wasted, only stored. I didn’t learn this lesson until November. All of the times I’ve placed my hope and faith in things that have fallen through have been lessons leading up to November of 2018 – where my life changed forever. I won’t go into details now, but all the unanswered prayers, hope, and faith that I thought was wasted, relationships gained and lost, it all came down to a single moment where God revealed Himself in an unexpected, uncontrollable way that radically changed my life.


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I am wishing everyone the best in 2019. It will truly be a life-changing year.