Passing from one year to the next always feels significant. I don’t have any “New Years Routines,” but I usually find myself taking some time to reflect. My refections on the year that has passed, and the year that is to come have led me to discover two themes that will give me direction in 2014.
Theme One: Have mustard seed faith.
My first theme comes from something God spoke over me the night before my 19th birthday back in November. I was reading Matthew 13, and although I’ve read that passage many times, the parable of the mustard seed took hold me in a new way. V. 31-32 says, “He told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.” As I thought about that imagery, God whispered to me, “19 will be the year of mustard seed faith.”
Theme Two: Pursue fulfillment that isn’t contingent on my relationship status.
My second theme comes from a quote by Carl Wilson that I read on my favorite blog. (http://thelipstickgospel.com) To share this theme is not entirely comfortable for me, but I know the writing that impacts me most comes from the heart, and is vulnerable and honest, so here we go. As a 19 year old college student, the opposite gender is often on my mind. In the past few months I have had many friends both begin new relationships and get engaged. I know I am still very young, and not yet ready for marriage, but I often become disheartened, wondering if it will ever be my turn to begin my journey towards marriage. My flaw lies in my perception of the beginning of that journey. In truth, that journey has already begun. I cannot know another until I know myself. I’m building my character, discovering my interests, and pursuing my passions. As much as I dream of getting married, there is so much more to my life than my relationship status. In 2014 I may enter a romantic relationship… or I may not. “The future is an undiscovered country,” (Shakespeare) which is why I’m choosing to find fulfillment in other things.
A few blog posts ago, I mentioned an upcoming trip I will be taking to Romania and Moldova. This trip is such a beautiful culmination of my two themes for this year.
First, going to Romania and Moldova is a leap of faith. It will be my first time out of the country without another member of my family, I will have limited contact with the people I love, and I will be farther away from home than anyone in my family has ever traveled. To top it off, I have to raise $3600 in order to take this trip, and yet, I am so excited! I know this is part of God’s plan for my growth. It’s an incredible opportunity to increase my faith in his protection and provision.
Secondly, going to Romania is “fulfillment that isn’t contingent on my relationship status.” The two largest passions in my heart are getting married and raising a family, and traveling the world. Three and a half years ago I went on a mission trip to Honduras. While I was in Honduras, God awakened a passion in me for travel and culture. Although I do enjoy seeing new places when I travel, it’s the people I meet that truly captivate me. I love stepping into their worlds and hearing their stories.
Sometimes my passion for travel and my passion for a marriage and family feel at odds with each other. While I know God will somehow work them out together, right now he’s allowing me to wholeheartedly pursue my passion for travel. What a blessing! So I’m running into 2014 with confidence, strengthening my faith and pursuing my passions!