What 2017 Gave Me

1:00 AM

On New Year’s Eve 2016, close to midnight, some friends and my family sat down in our living room and wrote out lists. These weren’t resolutions, these weren’t tasks for the year, these were dreams we had. We talked about serving a God that could do anything, and that filled me with such hope. My list was comprised almost entirely of things that I couldn’t make happen on my own.

I wanted to see a friendship restored.
I hoped to see my sister married.
I dreamed of seeing a family member, that we didn’t talk to much, come back into fellowship with us.
And there were other things on the list that were smaller but also dear to my heart. I guess, if you wanted the short version, I wanted to see God move some of the mountains in my life.

Now I sit here, and 2018 is here.
My sister isn’t married.
I lost a dear friend.
The family member feels farther away than ever.

As if this wasn’t enough, I have struggled with things that I have rarely, if ever, had to struggle with before.
Praying for relationships, even when there doesn’t seem to be any hope of restoration.
Watching a sibling go through something I couldn’t understand and didn’t know anything to do to help.
Walking alongside friends who are dealing with marriage, pregnancy, and miscarriage.
Sitting with my good friends and being the only person who has never even had a guy express interest in me, much less dealt with a serious relationship.
Feeling a restlessness like God is preparing me for something, but having no idea what.

2017 was nothing like what I expected. I cried a lot. There weren’t the happy endings that I was hopefully expecting on that New Year’s Eve in 2016. Yet, I was given some pretty amazing gifts this year.
I lost a friend and gained a new appreciation for God’s grace. An appreciation that I honestly don’t think I have ever had before.
My sister had a broken heart, and I watched my family pull together, be stronger after healing, and experience an outpouring of love from others.
A family member wasn’t restored, but God has taught me never to give up hope, never to stop praying, and to always have a heart open to receive them.
I’ve found that while I might feel alone, I never am. Not only is God always with me, he normally sends people as well.
Despite my apathy in looking for it, God led me to a church home. It isn’t perfect (when you let people in what do you expect?), but it is a wonderful community of believers.
I was privileged to watch several friends pledge their lives to another. I loved watching lifelong dreams come true for these godly people.
I got to meet some authors that I have dreamed of meeting for a long time.
My most treasured gift of the year? Being able to hand Jesus all my broken dreams, my hurts, and my failures and know that He is going to make something beautiful out of it.

I’m almost afraid to make a dream list for 2018, but I think I am going to. I serve an amazing God. He doesn’t always give me what I want, but I know that He always has my best interest at heart.

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  1. This is such a beautiful post, that I relate to in so many ways. I don't say this usually, but this was a hard year. But it was a good year, because I feel so much more ready for the future. I'm glad you were able to pull through and that you will still be dreaming for 2018. Our dreams shouldn't die because of past hurts. Pain should make us more determined! :D


  2. I really hope 2018 will be a year of blessing for you. <3 Keep looking to Jesus, as you've done already. He's got the answers.