2012: “For I the LORD do not change;”-Malachi 3:6

I’ve been trying to wait for inspiration in order to write this post.

It’s really hard for me to write without, at least, a little inspiration, but, I’m just going to have to struggle through this because I’ve been faithful to the “End of Year” post since I began this blog, and I need to write one for 2012.

As I sit here drinking a cup of coffee (a habit formed in 2012, a year after becoming a barista…although, I shouldn’t call it a habit. I can fair well without it šŸ™‚ ) and gazing outside my window at the Banana River, I’m truly at a loss for words. Should I write random occurrences of my year in bullet form? Should I recap the highlights and the lows? I really don’t know.

I don’t know what I expected of 2012, but, I do know that whatever it was that I might have possibly expected, did not happen. It was the first year of my life that I had nothing to look forward to. I remember discovering that truth early on in the year and disclosing my feelings with a friend for I feared I would seek to create things to look forward to…make plans to leave the country or soĀ in orderĀ  to haveĀ something to look forward to. I didn’t want to make rash decisions based on my discontentment with average, mundane, every day life,…which definitely proved itself a harsh reality for me.

There was and is a lesson in that. Obedience and faithfulness to the Lord even when there aren’t any fireworks…when life is “dull”; following Him in the “wasted life”, not just in the exciting and the seemingly extraordinary. Learning what it looks like to be a disciple of Jesus and a disciple-maker in the every day, wake up, go to work, fall asleep, repeat. The fight for contentment in Christ alone and not in my circumstances, that at times, felt hard to bear. My God, My Savior, finding His rightful place at the bottom of my joy, as the foundation of my hope, and not placing my hope in a job, or a city, or a church, a boy, or friends, or my appearance, or my dreams…

Misplaced Hope. A theme of 2012. I so often misplaced my hope in things and people and not in Christ, which led to heartache and frustration.

I’m still learning.

The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know anything. The more I seek the Lord, the more I discover how unlike Him I am. I have seen the depths of my depravity every day this year, but, I have also seen the immeasurable depths of grace found in the Gospel.

The color of my Bible is fading where I have grasped it, and the pages are marked incessantly and worn. However, I have felt no closeness to my Father this year. I have fought with tears and heartache, and, at times, in anger. I have cried out to Him, and I have heard nothing. There was no nearness. I know He has never left me for a moment, but, this year has been dry…and, it has broken my heart. I am thankful that in His grace, I did not cast Him aside nor His Word. In the battle of my heart, it always won out…that God is good. He has always been and always will be. No matter what I feel or what I see.

Honestly, not a whole lot made sense this year. Perhaps one day I will look back and it will, perhaps not. Nevertheless, I will still follow Him.

Here’s to a year I worked four jobs, actually went on dates, and ran my first 5K. Here’s to making some new friends, seeing movies by myself, living in an awesome apartment with wonderful roommates, and reading tons of books. Here’s to two wonderful small groups, one being an amazing group of 12th grade girls I had the privilege of leading, and here’s to Steel City Pops; a true party in your mouth. Here’s to french pressed coffee and to Arc Light Stories. Here’s to the re-release of Titanic in 3D. Here’s to attending Passion and working one last time at Student Life…ah, they will always own me.

Here’s to growing up–even the extra grey hair I’ve obtained throughout the year.

Big changes are coming.

My circumstances are going to change drastically this year, for better or for worse. But, one thing I know, one truth I stand upon,

“For I the LORD do not change;”-Malachi 3:6

He’s not going to change.

And, it’s all going to be okay.

-Shara

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