Oh, 2018. You were quite the year.
There were storms, shootings, scandals, messes, madness, losses, and pain. But there was also goodness and grace. There was sin and failure, yes, but there also remained God’s epic and perpetual faithfulness. There was hope. There was joy. There was life.
For me, it’s been a Year.
I rang in 2018 in Toronto, away from home for my first new year and that kicked off a year of insane travel. Tons of trips near and far — Iowa, Arkansas, Indiana, Vancouver, Michigan (twice!), and New Brunswick (over half a dozen times!). Oh, and my first international trip all by myself.
I also bought a car. I visited my first Trader Joe’s. I spoke a bunch. Halo Top officially came to Canada.
I started dating Joe. I traveled to record radio interviews with FamilyLife Today and Revive Our Hearts. I celebrated my book’s first anniversary and got to see even more translations of it. I got to go to The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference with my mom. I got to speak at two camps with my dad.
I stumbled head first into burnout this summer and took my first real vacation in years. I read less (and am resolving to read more in 2019). I got to see family I hadn’t seen in 5 years and attend a childhood friend’s wedding on the other side of the country. I got closer to friends. We hired 5 more employees for the Young Writer’s Workshop as it continued to grow.
Oh yeah, and I got engaged.
If there’s been one theme I’ve seen from the posts and pictures and year-end posts, it’s that you’ve probably had a Year too. Because most of us have. Highs, lows, plateaus, growth, stretching, refining, good, bad, horrible, wonderful, exhausting, exhilarating. And maybe that’s not so surprising… because that’s life.
That’s what it means to be human. To experience. To taste joy and sorrow and keep on moving forward.
And what it means to be a Christian is to plant our feet on the Solid Rock, so that when we have a Year or a Month or a Week or a Day, we are not destroyed. We are not absorbed into chaos. We are still standing, not overwhelmed by our experiences because we are rooted in the security of faith. We can keep trusting. We can keep clinging to Christ, because he will never leave us or forsake us.
I don’t know what 2019 holds. My guess is it will probably be another Year. But I want to look to it with confidence, not fear, because I know who holds 2019 in his hands. And I believe that he is strong enough and good enough to make this year exactly what you and I need it to be.
Happy New Year, friends.