2015 was full of challenges, but what made it memorable was the joy, freedom, and adventure I found in pursuing God and His plan for my life.
I realized it was up to me to live the life I wanted - one I’d fall head over heels in love with. In 2014 I went through a series of life changes that forced me to re-evaluate my priorities and consider what was truly important to me.
I learned how easy it is to get caught up in the day to day tasks and responsibilities, and before you know it another year has come and gone. Complacency can sneak up you, and that’s one of my greatest fears. It’s important to be content in your current season of life, but not so much that you forsake growth and new experiences. If you don’t set a standard or goal for your life, you’ll follow someone else’s or worse - not live by one at all.
My standard is found in Christ. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The more I grow in relationship with God the more I see that He created things for us to enjoy in hopes that it would stir in us gratefulness and worship that point our hearts back to Him.
It was no longer enough for me to use my college degree to get a job that may or may not pay well, work longer hours and buy more things for the sake of achieving “success”. It's not enough to date someone in hopes that person will make me happy and complete me, because they won’t. I was made for one purpose - to bring glory to God, and I decided that I wanted the full life Jesus came to give.
So I started dreaming, planning and praying. I took inventory of the desires and skills God’s given me and wrote down my goals and dreams. Then I asked God to show me how to find joy and adventure in this life - in the once-in a life-time moments as well as the day to day.
A full life is going to look different for every single person because God’s wired us all differently, but God's word urges us in this way:
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31
Things are not bad, but they are not God. We will never find the wholeness and joy we desire by chasing after created things instead of our Creator. Knowing God and pursuing relationships, careers, and experiences for His glory makes the ordinary extraordinary.
As I say goodbye to 2015 with a grateful heart, I’m going into 2016 with grand expectations for the plans God has for me and desires He's placed in my heart. I'm determined to travel more, love others as God loves me, love myself, grow as a writer, not give into fear, and above all grow deeper in my faith.
As you venture into 2016, I encourage you to live on purpose. Write down your goals and dreams, then pray and allow God to change and influence them as He sees fit. We have no idea what the future holds, but that’s where the adventure lies; journeying through the unknown with the One who knows it all.
Happy New Year!