To say that this year has been “quite a journey” is an understatement. Making the decision to attend college (Hillsong International Leadership College- HILC) is the BEST decision I ever made in my entire life! Well, next to accepting Jesus into my life, that is. And that’s saying at least something given that I am 25! 😉
I’m not gonna summarize every event/detail of my entire year here in Sydney in this post. Because, let’s be real, that’s gonna take me days, considering I do talk a lot (that hasn’t changed!). What I’m gonna do is basically what the title of this post says- ‘Year End Reflection’.
I know God is faithful, loving, forgiving, gracious, amazing, wonderful, powerful, transformative, great, and all the good adjectives this language could ever have, but nothing could have prepared me to how He was going to show me life this year (2015). Let me take you back to the beginning of this year…
January— I was both excited and anxious stepping into a very crazy idea of doing Bible Leadership college. I didn’t know what to expect, both about college and Australia. I never dreamt of either. I remember vaguely, the moment I arrived in Sydney. After going through the motions of airport immigration, baggage claim, etc, I was in a taxi on my way to church when the reality of being actually in Sydney hit me full on. “What am I doing here?” was the first question I had, the only question I had. I was almost to tears which was crazy emotional even for me. But all of those irrational fears and anxiety immediately went away when I stepped into church. Where I was welcomed with loving hospitality and bright lights spelled “home”. Many years I’ve been a Christian but it still overwhelms me how God can instantly turn my fears into peace. Just like that. And that was just the beginning.
Throughout the course of the entire year, God broke down so many of my walls. I know a lot of us students from college (HILC) speak about God “breaking down your walls and building you up again- into the person you’re meant to be” all the time, but it’s true. If you only open your heart for Jesus to take the driver seat of your life, He’ll take you to places you’ve never ever dreamt of, or imagined possible. (Ephesians 3:20) I began to dream dreams and see visions of myself in the future- of where God is going to take me. I’ve never had such a FAITH-filled— testing, trust, wait, patiently— year in my entire life! The fact that I know this is not even a little bit of what He has planned for me, constantly. blows. my. mind. Okay, so I just went on ahead of myself there. I’m just gonna write and write where my heart and mind takes me now guys.
In my opinion, one of man’s greatest deepest downfall from the time of Adam & Eve is PRIDE. I’m the kind of person who prides myself with my accomplishments. It’s not bad, so long as you know who to rightfully credit all those things for, and as for me I glorify God with mine. But, something happened…
As some of you might know, I lost my Dad to cancer four years ago (whoa! four years already…), then two years ago, we had a “rough road situation” with my Mom. I won’t go into any details but to cut the story short she has her own version of the story, we have ours. In the end, she moved out of the house and remarried. A lot of crazy things happened in the middle but both me and my sister forgave her. However, we refused to have any connections with her after that. We put up a lot of guard against her. Personally, I was so afraid to trust any person with anything anymore. The situation ruined a part of who I was in a way. I was more skeptical about things, I couldn’t put myself to care about a situation just as I had before.
I know not so Christian after all, right? Hear me out!
My excuse before is that “if we connect with her now, it will just complicate stuff”. And I do message her once in a while.. That should be enough.. and we’ve “forgiven” her and that’s enough, right? Yeaah, no.
In God’s book, of course I knew it all along it’s something He will work within me. I was kind of hoping He will do it in a span of maybe three or five years (speaking from January 2015), but I didn’t really expect it to be this year. Because God works in unexpected unusual ways. His timing is not like ours.
Fast forward to now, 11 months after- I’m reconciliated with my Mom. We are friends, we are okay. You may ask ‘how did that happen?’. This is where it becomes tricky- not because it’s complicated, but because it involves faith. A lot of faith that I never knew I had. Not faith in me, but in God who can do anything. Even the most impossible thing you could ever think of. See, I do believe in miracles. But just not it to happen in my life. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but the moment I lost my Dad to cancer even after keeping hope and faith in God to heal him, even if it’s impossible. I haven’t lost my faith in Jesus, but I didn’t really believe miracles could ever happen to me.
But as I’ve been saying, God changed that. This year.
Generally, everything I could say I expected how this year could have gone was not how it turned out to be. The past few days I’ve been thinking of the perfect word to describe what this year has been for me and the word “overwhelmed” comes into mind.
Overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed by His goodness. His faithfulness. His Foreverness. (that’s not even a word I think) His love, He is LOVE. Constantly brings me to tears. To this little girl who only had little dreams, to be in this world, this part of the world experiencing these beautiful wonderful things. OVERWHELMED.
I don’t just dream hope now, but I see hope. I don’t just wonder about the future now, but I am in constant wonder. Constant wonder, with heart fluttering and eyes wide open. Knowing that everyday that I wake up is another day where God can show me and the rest of the 7.2 billion people in this world, who He is and the many miracles He can do.
My everyday will not stop at the end of 2015. But I welcome 2016, with a refreshed heart, mind, soul and spirit, with the constant hope, love and faith in Jesus, that He will be with me, and all His promises are true.
<3 <3 <3
random pictures I have on my phone from this year:
<3 <3 <3
[A little bit of a disclaimer: this post honestly took me days to finish because I just have so much to say but I don’t want to bore you all with a long post.]