A 2014 year in review, and a look forward into the possibilities of the new 2015.

When I began the year of 2014, my personal theme and mantra was, "God will make me new". And he has. But not because of this past year or because it was a theme. He has made me new because that is the kind of God he is. He is a new-maker of people. He redeems and he restores and he revitalizes and he cleanses and he purifies. Always and forever, he is the God who saves. He is the ultimate freedom fighter and he fights for our freedom in all kinds of big and small ways. I have many stories I can tell about this in my own life as to how he has done this and continues to do so.

But here's the thing, I don't look back at the year 2014 and think that I was drastically made new from that year. It wasn't like my mantra manifested in some big, over arching way. This year has actually been incredibly odd. One of the oddest I think I have ever had. Over half of the year was spent in limbo of me in deep struggle as to if I should uproot our stable lives here and move to Seattle. I thought for the longest time, we would. But there were so many red flags and overarching issues that I glossed over, until it clicked within me that I had to stay. I had to stay for our stability and safety. I took the risk not knowing what would happen or what would come of us, or even where we might live. 

Nothing changed. We stayed at our apartment, that is in itself, a wondrous blessing. And God gave me a new job. In faith I stepped out, and by God's grace, he answered. I told God that I needed a place to live, a new job, and a man. God kept us where we are at in terms of living, which I feel abundant peace about at this time, and he gave me a new job. As far as a man goes, God said wait. And so I did. So I have.

On that note however, another change has happened through this year sometime after I turned twenty seven while dealing with some of the trials and hellish aspects of this year that I have. I realized that I want to get married. I am open to having more kids. And saying that no longer panics me. I can say that with certainty and with peace. I can say that from a heart of stability and awareness. I have always desired to have a partner in life, but was never able to swallow the idea of marriage soundly because it was always more of a far off, distant thought. I think this change within me is a positive life shift. It doesn't necessarily mean that I have grown up more, it just means that I am ready for this in a way that I wasn't. And I think that's a good thing.

Also, I can say for the first time that I now actually feel ready to date. I have pretty much refrained from anything serious after Caleb's father. My primary focus was my son and our life and my need for a better job. My primary focus will continue to be my son and my success at work. This focus will never stop being a priority. Still, I am ready to date but am pretty intentional about it. I was recently talking to a very good, sweet man for awhile. I didn't mean to like him, but I did. He is just a special guy, and I have no doubt that whoever he gets will be a lucky lady for sure. But I prayed about that situation a lot, and I gave it to God over and over again. I was apprehensive because he wasn't necessarily a total Jesus lover like I am, and I need someone who is. That situation seems to have dissolved, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't saddened by the whole thing. But at the same time, I keep in mind that God knows what he has in store for each of us. He is bigger than my eye candy. He is a good, big God who knows my desires and needs more than I do. He knows what is right and what we need. And still I sense God continually asking me, "Do you trust me?" I must trust in him in all things. I must trust in him with this, with my heart, with his plan for our lives and our future. I must trust in him for our best For his best. I am grateful to God for his intervention in my life in the ways he has intervened, and grateful for his sometimes painful, loving, guidance. Because at the end of the day, my prayer is that my life matches the will of God. 

With that said, I look across the day barrier in between us and the new year of 2015, and all I can think and feel for this next year, is possibility. 2015 is the year of possibility. Just as Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory...in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" And God is able to bless [us] abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that [we] need, [we] will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).

I don't look at this year with demands for God as to what I want. I look at this year through the lens of hope, expectation, and desire. My desire is to excel in my work. There is much ground to cover to do this, and even though my management is incredibly kind with positive feedback for me in review of my performance thus far, I have deep expectations for myself. I also desire to stay in line with the will of God with my choices and actions. And I desire to trust in him all things, even with hard things to trust him with like men. I don't have a lot of dating experience. Barely any, actually. I was in a long term relationship for many years that did not end well. I look back on that person, the father of my child, with as much love as I can. Because for all my days, I will love and care for him still. But it is still contentious and hard and will be a challenge to deal with until maybe, hopefully, we can come to a better place of co-parenting and even kindness. That would be great.

God knows. And there is something exciting and great about that. 

So cheers for 2015! May it be filled with expectation, growth, love, beauty, and with Emmanuel, our God with us. Out of that, comes joy, which is greater than any happiness this world may sprout.

Happy New Year!