I thought I was ready for it, but once the clock turned midnight on December 31, I felt blindsided by the fact that 2017 was indeed upon us.
And yes, I am not publishing on the first day of our new year, but it's only because I've been very reflective these last few days. Reflective on myself, my resolutions, who I am as a person, as an individual, as a human on this earth, and most importantly, as a Christian.
2016 was a difficult year for me. I'm not going to go on a long rampage about why it was so hard and all the bad that occurred in it because 1) I hate complaining and 2) I know God had a reason for everything that transpired.
What I will say, though, is that I learned a lot. About this world, about people, about who I can trust, about myself. I learned how forgiving I am, and how often I give people too many chances to stay in my life when in reality, it's unhealthy for myself to allow them to be close to me. I learned what it means to love and lose someone. I learned that when I feel like I'm at the end of my rope, He is gonna be there. Either to catch me when I fall out of pure exhaustion, or to come through at the last minute and be like "Oh hey, I got you."
One of the greatest examples of His provision is the fact that I am writing this, sitting on my new bed in my new home in a completely new town. After house-hunting for almost 4 months, God provided a perfect little spot for me. I was commuting 40-60 minutes (one way) to work and now, that time has been cut to more than half. I am indeed blessed. And He provided it at the last minute. Isn't that how He likes to work?
Like I said, 2016 taught me a lot about myself. And that's something I'll always be learning more about. My personality, my heart, my emotions. These are all good things to learn. It's hard sometimes. And the more I learn about myself, the more I see my need for a Savior, and how often I fall short of His glory.
The title of this post is a line from a song by one of my favorite rapper's. I feel that many Christians try to put up a front about their lives and who they are and try to never appear like their life is hanging on by strings, or that they really screwed up in something recently, or how they really don't always want to make time for God.
These are all real struggles.
These are all part of life.
Being a Christian doesn't mean that we're suddenly perfect individuals. I sin every day. I do things I regret every day. I say things I wish I didn't. I go places I know I shouldn't. I talk to people I know I shouldn't. But you know the two things that override all of my mistakes?
The first is that I am trying. Trying to be a better person, trying to be a better Christian, trying to live a better life.
The second, and ultimately, the most amazing point to all of my struggles and the greatest example of perfection amidst the mess is simply - God's grace. His grace covers a multitude of sins. His grace upon grace upon grace upon grace is sufficient. Nothing can be added to it to make it perfect. Nothing can be added to it to finally cover my imperfections.
The word "Christian" means Christ-follower. It's not a definition of a perfect individual. It's the definition of someone following the perfect One. And I pray to God that this year I can live a better example of that lifestyle and calling.
God is good. Welcome, 2017. I'm ready for you.