Friday, January 5, 2018

Rooted.




2017. What a year. What a fantastic. Busy. Heartbreaking. Happy. Beautiful year. I am not sure I have ever lived a year with so many extremes of happy beautiful experiences and sad trying circumstances. Some of the highlights of this year included the birth of my (second!) niece. My sister getting married to the love of her life on a beautiful June day. Going back to school fulltime. Wholeheartedly enjoying being in school. Finishing a semester strong with straight A’s! Buying my first dog. Seeing relatives and extended family. Those happy occasions when our entire family was together! Being reunited with my best friend after seven long months. Dating Brooks. Getting engaged to Brooks. Marrying Brooks.

The low points of the year included saying goodbye to our pastor after eight years. Saying goodbye to my church after eight years. Moving. Missing my best friend for seven long months. Moving again. And…moving again! 

A lot happened in the short span of 365 days. Most of it was completely unexpected and unplanned. 

In spite of all the busyness and the moving and the activity in the last year, 2017 was a year when I became more rooted. More focused. More grounded. It was a year of growing into a deeper sense of belonging. A deeper peace. A stronger certainty of my identity and where I belong. It was a year of realizing God’s faithfulness more and more, even when my faithfulness woefully floundered. It was a year of letting go. Learning to trust. 

My biggest takeaway from 2017 was that life hardly ever turns out the way you plan. It can be far more painful and heartbreaking than you could have possibly expected. But it also can be more beautiful and good than you could have ever imagined. I had a lot of expectations going back to college. Most of my expectations were immature and not very realistic. I guess I had this fantasy of reliving the years I lost when I dropped out of school. I love being back in school. I enjoy the academia. I really enjoy the program I am in, the professors I have gotten to know, and the friends I have made through my classmates. But the fact of the matter is I am twenty-three years old and a little too old to enjoy the “college experience” like most students. And that is okay. Because most college students are still young enough to be searching, to be free, to have a world of options at their feet. I was there once. I am not there now. My life is more stable, more final, more committed, and more rooted than ever before and it turns out this has been the most fulfilling year of my life. I am just so thankful to have a God who knows my desires and my needs better than I ever could. College has been so fulfilling, but not necessarily in the ways I thought it would be. 

In 2018 I am looking forward to pursuing and completing my collegiate career as a wife. I look forward to the way God will unexpectedly change my plans. We make our plans. God directs our path. 

Another big takeaway from 2017 was simply realizing the faithfulness of God. It was really difficult to not grow bitter this year—toward God and toward the church. A lot of cynicism sprang up in my heart, causing me to grow apathetic toward my personal spiritual discipline and my relationship with the church. I saw how my bitter heart not only hurt my relationship with God but my relationships with everyone else. Praise be to God that His goodness and faithfulness to us does not depend on our faithfulness, but on the faithfulness of His Son and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf! 

I want 2017 to be a year of faithful obedience from a grateful and joyful heart. I want it to be a year of trusting God and having peace in my soul even when everything around me is chaotic and when I cannot make sense of my circumstances. I want it to be a year of letting go of control, letting go of resentment and sin, accepting my circumstances with grace, and loving others selflessly. I want it to be a year of growing more deeply rooted…rooted in Christ, rooted in my new home and new life, and rooted in the Word of God.

What happened for you in 2017? What are some of your resolutions for the New Year? Please share in the comments below! :)

6 comments :

  1. Congratulations! I also got married in 2017, and moved, and it was definitely a year full of amazing and difficult changes. But God really does direct our paths and make things happen in HIS timing, and it is a blessing to be able to rest in that.

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    1. That’s fantastic Bethany! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

      Dani xoxo

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  2. Congratulations on your marriage, Danielle! What a year! I am so happy for you, dear friend! <3 Many blessings to you in this new year! Also well-done on such a positive semester! That's great!

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    1. Thank you Joy!! I hope this new year brings you many blessings as well! It always so good to hear from you. :)

      Dani xoxo

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  3. It seems as if your year has been quite full in some of the best ways! It's encouraging to hear how the Lord was faithful to you, even when you felt that you weren't being faithful to Him. So often we think we need to have our ducks in a row before He blesses us, but the truth is, we never will have it *all* together. He is so good to us, even when we're still struggling. :)
    Congratulations on finding the one to spend the rest of your life with! ^_^

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    1. Thank you Paige! I definitely struggle with that a lot. Fortunately God's goodness is not based on our performance. Usually it's the opposite. Our performance improves when we acknowledge his goodness and live out of gratefulness with a thankful spirit! And you are so right. We never have it all together.

      I hope to keep up with you in the next year! It's been what - 2 years? - since our blogging acquaintance??!!

      Dani xoxo

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