2017 was an interesting year...and that feels like an understatement. I don't think I'd before experienced a year that changed me so much. It was hard sometimes, but it was a truly beautiful journey and one that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.
At the beginning of the year, I chose my 'word of the year.' I had never did this before, but it sounded like a fun concept. So I chose cherish.
(If you've read Dandelion Dust, you're probably smirking at me right now. That book taught me a lot.)
When I chose that word I had no idea what God had in plan for me throughout the 365 days that would follow. I did learn to cherish, on a much deeper level than I'd had in mind. But I also learned how fragile time and life and beauty and love truly are.
We're not here by chance. Every single happening in my life and yours didn't come about by chance. It happened because it's a part of the amazing and intricate plan of the Father in Heaven.
I mentioned that I learned how fragile time is, but I'm also beginning to learn the mystery of waiting. For around a year, I've asked God what He wants me to do. At first He said 'wait, its not time for you to know'...which was not an answer Faith wanted.
But soon after, He gave me an answer. Not a complete answer, but one that's enough for right now. I asked what He wanted me to do, and He said writing.
And yet it took me months to even realize that; I remember the moment clearly. I was talking about writing with a lady at church and she said something about how wonderful it was that, at 16, I already knew what my passion was.
...I'd never thought of writing as a passion. In the few moments that followed that brief conversation, I realize that writing is my passion. I honestly don't think its the only plan God has for me, but it's what I'm supposed to be doing at this moment in time. And for now, that's enough.
2017 also brought a lot of change. Not changes like a move or a new church or a death in the family. But changes inside of me.
I'm a doubter, y'all. I constantly question things, and it's really not good for me.
But this year, I learned that some things are just truths. Things like God's love, how beautiful I am in His sight, and that He has a plan for every bit of pain, every rough spot in the road.
This summer, I learned so many valuable lessons. I discovered who I am in Christ. I grew closer to my Savior than I've ever been before. I held on to Him and learned to rest in His love. <3
(If you're extremely bored, hop over to Chosen Vessels where I wrote more about all that happened this summer.)
Last year around this time, I made a list of goals for 2017. Most of them I accomplished – I read more than 12 books of the Bible, kept a Bible journal for the most part, and grew closer to God. I strengthened my friendships and was (hopefully) a better friend. I finished and published Dandelion Dust *insert squealing* and finished War Tears. I wrote over 190,000 words. I read over 170 books. I started 12th grade.
There were three things on the list that I did not do – go to WinterJam (this year?), keep a writing journal (I legit wrote in it like 3 times), and learn to drive a stick-shift. But I'm not too worried about those things. ;)
A few weeks ago, Shannon Dittemore from Go Teen Writers posted a list of her accomplishments of the year, prompting me to attempt the same. It's quite encouraging to see all that's come about in the past year.
// 2017 accomplishments
> finished writing, edited, and published by debut indie novella (49k)
> finished writing two other books (127k and 63k)
> wrote 168 blog posts
> hosted/co-hosted two blog parties
> wrote around 190k words
> read 172 books
> went on a week-long youth/ministry trip
> camped with my family and friends for a week
> met one of my favorite authors in person
> one of my best friends from 1,000 miles away visited for 10 days
> finished 11th grade and started 12th grade
> took a week-long adult/semi-advanced ceramics/pottery class
> grew closer to God <3
I suppose that's enough reminiscing. Now for 2018...and for this year, I'm again choosing a word for the year. After flipping the question over in my mind for a few days, I finally settled on Light and Love. I desire to be a light in the world for Christ in everything I do, showing His love to others. <3
Goals for 2018...
>> Read 15 books of the Bible and continue keeping a journal.
>> Grow closer to God <3
>> Publish War Tears.
>> Graduate from high school.
>> Read 120 books.
>> Write another novel.
>> Write 125,000 words
>> Keep up with both blogs.
>> Meet two online friends in person for the first time.
Here's to 2018. May it be a year of beauty and growth. Of light and love. Of grace and mercy. Of lessons learned and stories woven.
To God be the glory,
**Images from Pinterest.