Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful (and safe!) celebration and made all of your new resolutions… 🙂 A friend posted something on Facebook recently that I found to be quite true in my life, maybe you can relate as well: My goal for 2015 is to accomplish the goals of 2014 which I should have done in 2013 because I made a promise in 2012 and planned [it] in 2011. That being said, even if our resolutions stay with us for one, two, maybe even three months if lucky, there is something liberating and invigorating about having a clean slate. You just wake up one morning with the realization that you have a 365-page book (if this is leap year, please feel free to correct the number) to fill with adventures, stories, wisdom, mistakes, humor, love, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I hope that this new book is your best one yet!
I honestly cannot remember what 2014’s resolutions were but they were probably along the cliche lines of work out, play nicely with others, find purpose in life, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now don’t get me wrong, these are perfectly fine plans to have – they are even incorporated into this year’s set in some way, shape, or form – but seriously, how much did I stick to them? Or more importantly, how often did God end up taking me above and beyond my wildest (or not so wild… actually probably quite tame) imaginations? A year ago, I was still trying to figure out how I was supposed to recover from the previous rough (and by rough I mean, terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad) semester. I had no aim, goal, or purpose to life. But no worries, ladies and gents, my woeful tale does not stop here!
Story time! I have always wanted to take a year off of college to just travel. I was torn between wanting to be an SM or enrolling in the Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) program. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with ACA, it is a program set up by Adventist Colleges around the world where students in the system can take a year, semester, or even just a summer to study in a foreign country, learning the language, culture, and earning credits [how’s that for a run-on sentence!].) I finally made up my mind to enroll in ACA and go to Bogenhoffen which is a school in Austria. I planned to study for the year and backpack across Europe the following summer. In my mind, it was the perfectly mapped out plans I had been waiting for! However, God had other ideas. He piqued my curiosity about being an SM and while I was exploring their webpage, I “accidentally'” submitted an application. Fine, I thought, I’ll just delete it. But it WOULDN’T DELETE!!! I might’ve, sort of started slightly panicking, but then soon forgot about it amongst the flurry we call finals week. Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuunnn!
Fast forward a few weeks or so and I’m starting the new semester and I, being the good student that I am, thoroughly ignored my school emails over break. Although, once I got back into the groove of things I found that I had received an email from the student missions office. *gulp* It said that they received my application and that they would be happy to proceed with the process after they got some more information from me – i.e. signed papers, place choosings, t-shirt size, class registration, SSN, my first born child, my soul…!!!!! *double gulp* No, it wasn’t that bad, but my brain went full-on panic mode! This was signing a year of my life away; to just let God place me in whatever god-forsaken, heathen place He wanted! I emailed the SM office back and told them of my indecision to which they were greatly understanding and offered to let me at least go through the class and paperwork so that if I did end up going later on, the process would be that much quicker. Side note: please, go and get to know your local SM office, even if it’s purely for relational matters. They are really cool people and trust me, they’ve been around the world a time or two 😉
To make a long story, and a longer blog (sorry, folks), short, God showed me that His plans for me are so much better than what I could even begin to plan for myself. Honestly, He knows our stories from the beginning to the end. We live one page at a time because as humans, that is all we can see. Sure, we might have plans and goals and whatnot, but who are we to really say what can or will happen. Last year I made plans to be a bit more sociable – maybe eat at a random table once a month or something (I know, big plans) – and yet here I am in AFRICA! Goodness, that could never get old… Africa AFrica AFRica AFRIca AFRICa AFRICA AAFFRRIICCAA!!!! Okay, I’ll stop, but you get the picture.
I wish you the best with all of your New Year’s resolutions both new and old. I pray you don’t fulfill them…. I pray you exceed them. I cannot say for sure what 2015 will hold, but personally, I’m pretty stoked about discovering what’s in store! Although it’s going to be hard beating last year with coming to…. I won’t say it…… I still won’t say it……. gaaaahhhH!! Africa! Sorry! I couldn’t help it! *I am ashamed of myself* That and bungee jumping 111 meters off a bridge connecting two countries over a river on the last day of 2014, but that’s another story for another time 🙂 Peace