Here’s to 2018 but Also 2017

2017 was my hardest year yet, but also one of the greatest opportunities I’ve had the privilege of living.

2017 wasn’t all sunshine and roses. It actually was a lot of gray skies and stormy seas. I was tested far beyond what I ever thought I was capable of handling. Through the unthinkable actions of one man, I welcomed in the new year with a world full of hurt, anger, and sadness. It’s a full year later and I still can’t say with my whole heart that I have completely forgiven this individual nor that I will be able to fully do so anytime soon, although total forgiveness is the goal. But along with the unspeakable pain that this year brought, God brought love.

He brought community. He brought opportunity and He gave me new life, one healed from my pain. One that showed me regardless of the earthly outcome, God serves the ultimate justice, and God serves the ultimate grace. One that showed me forgiveness can be a long process, but it’s more destructive to hold hate in your heart.

2017 was the hardest year I’ve been through by far, yet one of the greatest years I’ve had the privilege of living. God surrounded me with an amazing community of supportive friends and exciting new opportunities and experiences. I found myself in more ways than one and began the joyous journey that we call love. I rededicated my life through immersion baptism and chased after my career passions. I tried new things and learned new life skills along the way.

Once again God showed me that there is beauty in every storm, joy in every pain and light at the end of darkness. Through faith I survived, because the light inside of me shined brighter than the darkness around me. That is why I’m still standing here, a whole year later, with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

So here’s to the new year but also to the old. Here’s to acknowledging this stage of life without rushing off to the next. Here’s to finding the sunshine amidst the rain. Here’s to a new year of growth.

 

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