My mom once told me to be prepared for every year of my life to go by faster than the one before it. After this year, I can absolutely say that she was right. I blinked, and I went from worrying about the transition of leaving Campbell to sitting here preparing for my second semester of grad school.
I don't even know how to begin to review this year. There have been difficulties that I never expected to have to deal with. People have left without explanation. Relationships changed without either of us intending. Bonds have broken and distance has spread and that's been really hard for me to accept without being consumed by anger or sadness over the love lost. I hate losing people. I always have.
But God never lets something dark come without bringing light, too, and there have been a few relationships that have grown beautifully. Clayton and I go to school 850 miles apart now, but thanks to the beauty of FaceTime, he has become one of my truest, best friends. Holly and I were both nervous about living together, but for the most part, we have learned to treat each other like adults and friends beyond our sibling relationship. I found an amazing church family right off the bat who became my family without hesitation. And other relationships from my Campbell years have continued to hold despite the distance and time apart; Austin, my soccer boys...I am certainly not short on love. It never ceases to baffle me how blessed I am by the people in my life.
The process of leaving Campbell and heading to New York was a very interesting combination of terrifying, crazy, and amazing. God proved just how faithful He is by working out every detail down to the minutiae to set me up in the city and get me started in my grad school career. My life in New York is nothing like I imagined it would be. It's so much better. Even with the injury and surgery that held me back this fall, I am so at home there and I know that it's only going to get better in the new year. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to remember that this isn't a dream. I was really nervous and a bit homesick in the beginning, but I feel like I've adjusted to the culture shock and now, I'm just really ready to be back and get back to my life there.
My One Word for the year was rest. In some ways, I think this was a success, but there were a lot of things I could have done better. I definitely noticed an improvement when handling the stress of paying for NYU, both this summer and this fall, but I've still got a long way to go in letting go of my instinctive panic. I hope to grow in this next year, as I already know what my One Word for 2015 is going to be...
By moving 600 miles away from home, I hoped to find out who I am on my own, away from the ties to and constant drama of my family. That got a little sidetracked when Holly decided she was moving with me, but really, what I've learned is that the question I sought to answer is not one that can be explained in a year. I'm going to keep growing and changing as the circumstances of my life evolve. I sincerely hope things never become stagnant.
So my prayer for this new year is that I would grow more and more aware of God's will for me and my life, and that my eyes and ears would open even wider to where He wants me to go and what He wants me to do. I pray that my self-awareness grows a stronger foundation in the ultimate truth upon which my entire being rests: I am a daughter of the Living God, and I will fail in all my other roles if I lose sight of that primary fact.
I say this every year, but I mean it. Whatever God has for me in the next 365 days, I want it. I am in. I am all in. Because it's going to be way better than what I could ever dream up.
Happy New Year, friends. Peace, love, and grace be with you and yours.