Goodbye and Hello

It's time once again to say goodbye to one year and hello to another. Reflecting on 2016 and looking towards 2017. 

We all ask each other what we hope to accomplish and what our resolutions, hopes, dreams, goals, and predictions are or whatever you want to call them for the new year. 

My family does this too, but we now also have a tradition where each of us thinks of 3 words that we want to focus on and/or pray for for the coming year. Last year, my words were "plants," "friendship," and "love." I can honestly say that I think I learned SO much this year in terms of love and friendship, and I also ate a lot of plants haha. I'm not sure what I was going for with the whole plants thing, but it's cool. I guess I like eating them and I think they're important. 

My words for 2017: (I'm adding an extra...shhhh...)

1. Wait - Waiting for God's timing in everything and resting in the fact that at any given moment in 2017 -- whether good, bad, easy, or hard -- I will be right where God wants me to be at that particular time in my life. I struggle with control and wanting my timing for various things in life, but I want to learn to rest and trust in God's perfect timing for everything, whether that be for healing to my hip and adductor pain or for friendships and relationships or ultimately waiting in hope as I look forward to a new heavens and a new earth when Jesus comes to restore his children to him for good.  

2. Aware - This word to me encompasses many things: 1. Being aware of my friends and just their well-beings (even if they're studying abroad in other countries...s/o to my dearest food-loving friend Shannon K.). 2. Being more aware of my own feelings day to day and not trying to push them away, failing addressing them. 3. Praying for God to open my eyes wider to see his world and how he's working and what he's teaching. 4. Being aware of money and spending. 5. And lastly, just learning to be more mindful when eating food and with hunger and fullness cues and what not, which sounds SO easy, simple, and maybe even silly, but for some it can really be a challenge.

3. Simplify. 

4. Stoichiometry :D - Switching back to dietetics means CHEMISTRYYYY GALORE! Ow-OWWWW! Spring 2017, Summer, and next Fall will be challenging AF but I'm going to give it all I got and see what happens!

...

Since life can be so unpredictable, and we all know that we tend to fail most resolutions, I do not want to make such surface-y resolutions anymore. Side note: I don't want to bash on other people's goals AT ALL. Please don't take this as me looking down on them. I think goals, especially like physical goals and workout out more or getting physically stronger can be fine and healthy for some, but something that has been drilled into my mind and heart over the years, but more so this year than any year in the past, I have learned that these types of resolutions and dreams for a "better-looking-body" or however you want to look at it -- they will most certainly not give you the kind of satisfaction and fulfillment that you are really looking for. They just won't. We will always be wanting more -- always be wanting to go to further extremes to try and to fill up a void in ourselves that we long to be filled -- whether it's intentional or unintentional. 

I want to encourage you this year to look deeper. Look deeper than just "physique-goals" to other words that you can focus on that could actually bring true growth to you as a person and point you with an arrow in bolder font to the ONE who will eventually fulfill ALL the deep longings that we have as humans on this earth. 

There is so much more to look towards and look forward to and hope for and long for than such earthly things, like "getting abs," "slimming down," and just physical goals like these. Exercise and health and eating well are oh-so-important (hence the reason I'm studying dietetics), but it is not everything.

Yep, I said it.  

It is most certainly not everything. And so often in this day and age, there is a huge population that puts every single bit of their being and identity into looking fit and skinny and toned and attempting to attain that "picture-perfect" body that it blinds us from what we should ultimately be looking for and who we should be looking towards instead. I know this because I've fallen into this trap too. I've looked to SO many different trends and diets and workouts and seeing pictures of "fit" people that makes me want to achieve something that really has always just left me more and more empty. None of it works. None of it brings more happiness. None of it brings more satisfaction. None of it brings more worth to you if you look a certain way -- whether you achieve whatever you were hoping for or not. 

And whether my words in this blog post make sense or not, I'm sharing these things because I truly do not want other people to go down roads that I've personally tried and that have ripped me and my mind apart and left me feeling worse and worse and worse. I want people to know before they make goals and wishes and resolutions, especially physical goals, to know that there is SO MUCH MORE that will bring lasting hope and fulfillment than those things. It's a matter of how you're initially stepping into your resolutions and goals for the year and years to come -- the head and heart need to be in the right place before beginning these types of goals. They aren't bad in and of themselves, but when things like looking a certain way or even looking for someone like a boyfriend or girlfriend to satisfy loneliness are the only things you're living for and putting your hope in for fulfillment... you're just going to be sorry and feeling more empty and longing for more. 

The word "wait" is the main word in my list of 3 (...or now 4) words for the year. It popped into my mind a couple of weeks ago, and I decided I'd like for that word to be on my 2017 word list after a conversation with one of my older brothers. Ironically, today at church (January 1, 2017), the center of the sermon was on on waiting in hope. Right when I heard this being preached today, I knew for sure that this was going to be one of my words! I was like... "WOAH NOW HOLD DA PHONE!" (except no one says that anymore so I kept it in my head of course). 

Today, I am thankful. I'm thankful for a sure hope in Christ. He is who I want. He is who I want to want more. I know He is who my soul longs for more and more. He is my hope. He is a real hope and a hope that lives in me and who does life with me every single day! Talk about the best friend ever. 

He is who I'm waiting for.

He alone, one day, will fill that deep longing that we all have to look better, to feel better, to be in relationships, to be successful in our work and jobs, and so on.  

In 2017, and in 2018, and in 2030, I will continue to pray and wait in hope for Jesus to come again to restore this world and completely fulfill the souls of his dearly beloved children for good.

Come Lord Jesus. In your timing.