Well, it is now 2018.
And almost the end of January.
I know I’m a little bit late with the “2017 Recap” post, since I haven’t been as consistent with blogging lately. I planned a “book highlights of the year” post, but a different topic has been on my mind the last few weeks. With the start of a new year and the promise of new adventures, I’ve been reflecting back on how 2017 went. The changes that occurred. The fun memories. The things I accomplished. The ways God grew me between January 1st and December 31st.
2017 was a pretty big, crazy year, full of some pretty big changes I wasn’t expecting. I transferred colleges. I switched majors. I got a new job. I (finally!) self-published Reintegration. Plus some other big, exciting life changes occurred. 🙂
My life changed a lot, and I changed a lot too. Like every year does, 2017 brought with it some difficulties, mostly in the form of big decisions (anyone who knows me knows I don’t like big changes or big decisions!). Situations that all helped me “grow up”, I think. If there is one big thing I learned in 2017, it’s that hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Sometimes we say we wish we could forget negative events. Sometimes we feel that certain seasons of life were a waste and wish they had never happened. Sometimes we get overwhelmed with “what ifs…?”
But 2017 taught me that even when things don’t go how we wish they would, or when we want to ignore any hurt we’ve endured, God can use those things to draw us closer to Him. Sometimes He uses those things to later give us wisdom to help others going through similar things.
This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about.
A question I’ve been asked a few times in this new year is “what do you wish you could change about 2017?” Sure, there are certain things I wish I could make happen differently. Ultimately, though, my answer is that I wouldn’t change a thing. I can see how if some things hadn’t happened a certain way last year, I wouldn’t be in the place I’m in now. I have a lot to be thankful for.
I’ve learned what a true blessing it is to be able to look back and see how previous experiences prepare us for our current ones.
Now I can look back and see how God used those circumstances to prepare me for where I’m at today. I know, because of how I was treated by some, how better to treat others. I have a clearer idea of what I want to do in life. I’ve gained some life experience that could better help me know how to give advice to others. I can tell that I’ve “grown up” since the year began.
I’ve also been presented with some pretty fantastic new opportunities–ones that wouldn’t have happened had I not made a big choice like switching schools. Sometimes big decisions can be scary. Sometimes we worry that we’ll regret them. But I believe that God uses changes–and negative experiences–to grow us and shape us.
Maybe your 2017 was amazing. Maybe your 2017 was painful. Maybe it was a little bit of both. Either way, we have the unbelievable blessing of being able to look back and see the things God used to grow us, save us from harm, and steer us toward new and better things.
God is good.
And I’m looking forward to the new adventures of 2018.
What are you looking forward to in 2018?