Looking Back, Stepping Forward

As 2015 comes to an end, I have been reflecting on the past year, coming to understand the winding pathway it was with greater clarity. If I had to use one word to describe my 2015, I would say: Restoration.


One year ago, I was in a place of brokenness, my faith shaken, my hope crushed.

My grandmother had just passed away, and my faith and prayers seemed fruitless in a multitude of areas. I called myself a prisoner of hope, but my heart was quite heavy. I wasn’t sure if I could hope as fervently as before, pray with as much faith as before, or move forward with as much clarity as before.

Walking through a process takes time, but at the other side of this year, I can honestly say that I am stronger and more full of faith than ever. 2015 itself was not easy. I faced many challenges that shook me to my very core, but walking through those difficulties has made me stronger, more grounded in my identity, and more confident in the One who never changes.

Through the very battles that threatened to overwhelm me, I was restored.

I am thankful for the many happy moments of 2015. The adventures, the surprises, the joy and laughter. But I am also deeply thankful for the difficulty. Because without that, I wouldn’t have learned how to persevere. How to push past the limits of my faith. To believe farther than my own understanding and strength were willing to go.

I am thankful for the place of desperation that reveals your core. When you come to the end of all you know and are, what is left?

This year, I found that in the most distressing, confusing moments, God was the same.

The God who knows all, sees all, created all. The God who gave us free will and who chooses to love us every day. The all-powerful God who humbly came as baby to rescue us and who is coming again, to reign. The Light that shines in our darkness, the Grace that confronts our incompleteness, the Joy that renews our childlikeness.

This year, I found that at my core, I love Him.

I came to know more fully that He is everything to me, that I am willing to sell all I have to buy this Treasure. I choose to lay myself down as a living sacrifice to Him. He is worth that to me.

So I walk forward into 2016 with expectation of good, with hope of adventure, but also with steadiness. The essential things will always be the same. Whatever unexpected challenges I may encounter this year, I know He will be with me. And if I should lose my bearings, I know He will restore me.



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Elizabeth holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is currently pursuing her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, so when she isn't busy writing academic papers, she is usually out enjoying the LA sunshine. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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