2017, Where Will You Take Me?

Well…Hello 2017!

Even now, a week into it, I would be lying if I said I felt ready for this New Year. This feeling I have at the beginning of this year is similar to the feeling I have when I wake up too early, and accidentally knock my glasses off the side table; that awkward, half-blind, half-sleeping fumbling around, desperately trying to grasp the thing that makes it all clear.

I have absolutely no idea what 2017 will bring, and with each new day it is making me feel more and more fearful.

When I look back on the past couple years, its easy to see why I am perhaps a little skittish about what could be around the corner.

2015 was a year of transition. If I could sum it up in a word, it would be “change” or perhaps “uprooting”. I rang in the New Year as a new fiancé, my head spinning with all the paperwork and changes to come. I spent the next 6 months tying up loose ends, leaving jobs, filling out immigration paperwork, and trying to figure out how to leave everything behind. On August 15, I married my best friend, and spent the next 6 months learning to be a wife, and an immigrant, and a youth leader and the “new kid on the block”…something I’ve never been particularly comfortable with.

2016, described in a word? Hurricane.
2016 was the year that I confronted years of anxiety, a fight that was given new life by this new life of mine. It was the year I admitted that depression was robbing me of joy, that I was terrified to admit I missed my family, and that I had a serious aversion to the word “help”. 2016 was one of the hardest years of my life, which is hard to admit because I felt I should have been rejoicing as a new wife on the adventure of her lifetime. I have come out of it so grateful for the love of my family, the love and support of my new community here, and ultimately, endlessly grateful for my sweet husband who has shown me unending love, grace, patience, support and forgiveness. [Seriously, how did I catch this guy? He’s incredible, and I’m blessed beyond measure to call him mine.]

As I look toward 2017, in the wake of some recent upsetting news, a handful of financial surprises, and two years of extreme emotional highs and lows, I have to admit I feel timid and afraid to make any predictions, set any goals, or to commit to any theme words. With that being said, I’m going to dig back a few weeks to when the anticipation of a new year was still fresh in heart and I wasn’t feeling weighed down by the fear of unknown.

Before Christmas, in my introduction post, I made a declaration for 2017. Now that I’ve stepped over the boundary line between 2016 and 2017, I would like to reclaim that declaration. I wrote, still fearfully, but with excitement as well, that…

My hope is to start off 2017 with a focus on “Finding My Joy Again” and to let that particular phrase inspire the content of these posts.

That feels like the best declaration I could make for this year, and the best personal goal I could set for myself.

2017 will be the year I find my joy again.

Of course, with any goal, there needs to be the baby steps and the motivation behind it. The why and the how and I hope to define those things more clearly over the coming weeks, however, I know it will include things like spending time with family and friends, recording grateful statements, exercising and eating properly, finding time to relax and reflect,  but most importantly it will mean choosing to run hard after Jesus, again. Finding my joy again will mean finding the center of my joy, the source of hope through which all joy and peace and purpose flow.

So I guess what I’m saying that I hope and I endeavor to focus on my faith this year and to learn more about Jesus, more about what it means to be in relationship with Him, what it feels like to trust Him again, and let Him guide me through the uncertain, fearful places of this unknown future and this unpredictable life.

When I break it down, that is the simplest and the loftiest goal I could have…and its full of so much hope.