2011: Reflections

Looking back on my 2011, one thing is clear: it was definitely a year of transition.

There were some difficult parts, but as I reflect on the past year, I can’t help but be thankful for all that transpired.

I remember standing on the roof of my friend’s townhouse in downtown Baltimore last year on New Year’s Eve, staring out across the rooftops of the city, wondering where 2011 would take me. I was getting ready to finish grad school, and I had no idea what was next.

Actually, I had a few ideas. But somehow, staring out into the night, I felt like anything was possible. I remember telling myself, “I could be in Korea next New Year’s.”  It took faith to believe that could be possible back then, but here I am. (Though technically I welcomed in the New Year in Taiwan–something I never imagined).

Last January when I turned 24, I felt like I became a “real” adult.

Somehow I had this sense that for me, 2011 was the year of growing up. I think that was true in a lot of ways. I am certainly a different person than I was that night on the rooftop of a Baltimore City townhouse. I am much more sure of myself, able to make decisions on my own, bold about dreaming big, and unintimidated by the unknowns of the future. I have grown in independence and confidence.

But interestingly enough, I think that the most important way I have grown this year is in my identity as a daughter of God.

That identity is what gives me the strength to pick myself up when I fall down, step out into new territory, and face challenges with boldness. It comes from knowing that I’m not doing any of that alone.

When all is darkness around me and I feel stripped of everything I usually depend on, when I feel empty creatively, exhausted physically, incapable intellectually, unstable emotionally, alone, lost, fallen, broken, when I can’t remember who I am or what is true, He is there.

And He tells me: You are my daughter; I will never let you be put to shame.

When I was 10 years old, the Lord came to me on a dark night when I was feeling particularly alone, incapable of trusting anyone, unable to hope in anything but myself–and even that hope felt desperate and small–and he told me that he would take care of me. He said that he would never let me down, that I could depend on him.

The other day, God reminded me of that momentous night, and He re-spoke that truth into my being. “That promise wasn’t just for you as a child. I didn’t mean that I would take care of you until you became an adult. That was a forever promise. I will always take care of you–you will always be my little girl.”

So I walk into 2012, another year that will be marked by much transition, in joyful confidence, standing on that promise.

I can face anything, because I have an infinitely good Father who will never tell me to handle life on my own. He loves it when I cry out to him for help, so I gladly make myself vulnerable to him, full of anticipation about what this year will bring.

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Are you making yourself vulnerable to Him? Or are you trying to do it all on your own?

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Elizabeth is an American living in South Korea who believes in destiny, miracles, and living life intentionally. She holds to simple faith in a complex world, values the beauty of the everyday, and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is always learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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