Another year has come and gone and now I'm here to reflect on the end of my teenage years. This past year has been significant for me in many ways and was filled with both joy and sorrow. I started the year in a state of discontentment, watched dreams fall to the ground, and came to terms with the idea that God wanted me where I was, even when it meant sacrifice. I asked a lot of life question, some for which I received answers, or at least some insight. I watched friends go through the unspeakable pain of losing a child. I had new opportunities like going to Boston (my first trip on my own), I learned to understand what I have to offer, and I've walked alongside some amazing people who have been both mentors and friends.
Earlier this year, I was informed that I wasn't going to be where I was next year. The business I worked for the past almost three years closed this week and for a long time I couldn't see past this year. I knew I would be free to move on and do something else, but I didn't have a clue what that would be. There were things I knew I wanted to pursue, like studying literature and writing. I explored post-secondary education and prayed through other options, but it continually became clear they were not God's plan for me at the time.
Every New Year in my church, we pick up a promise verse and come back the following year to share how that verse worked itself out in our life that year. My verse for the year was Philippians 4:19: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." When I picked that up at the end of 2010, I thought I knew what it would mean for my life. I was wrong though. Before long, my income was cut while my expenses increased, but I always had enough. Then it became evident that I would reach the end of the year unemployed. Ironic, eh? But God holds to His promises and I'm not unemployed. I have a new position in a new field that I'm not qualified for, but I will gain new experience and have opportunities beyond anything I could have dreamed. God's goodness never ends!
This week also marks the end of my teenage years. It's kind of hard to believe that it's over and I've spent some time reflecting over the happenings in the last several years of my life. Do I have regrets? Yes and no. I didn't live a "normal" teenage life in terms of education, work and life in general. I followed a unique path and that I do not regret. But I do regret not having lived more fully for the Lord, not having pursued holiness in my life more passionately and not having fought more against sin. There are definitely many things I would erase if I could.
If I was asked to give my readers one piece of counsel from my teen years, it would be this. Keep a pure mind. Yes, it's extremely hard and I learned that with great difficulty this past year. I had originally expounded a lot on this, but it didn't fit, so let me just say this. Sin begins in the mind, and we eventually act on what we think on. By keeping a pure mind, we will save ourselves, those around us, and our future spouse a lot of pain. Be careful what you dwell on.
When I look back on this year, it was good, but it could have been better. I want to aim to make each year better, to grow more, love more and to follow Christ more faithfully. I can say though that overall I am much happier now than I have been in the past. Yes, a few chapters have closed in my life but I'm looking forward to new things and I'm excited for what 2012 holds for me. I would like to wish all my readers a very blessed New Year!