2015 was a year of new experiences. It was year of some good times. It was a year of difficulties and lessons learned.
2015 was one of those years that helped to mold and define me more as a person.
2015 showed me these things:
1. There is a lot of hate, pride, murders, and materialism in this world, but....
There were many times this year that I felt as if I were losing my faith in humanity. I would see all the things people would say or do to their fellow man.
I also saw many of my Brothers and Sisters come together pray for a young man with cancer. They prayed for the family, friends, of a woman who had been murdered. They prayed for a little boy under that woman's care who had been kidnapped. Who, thank the Lord, was found safe.
I saw people pray for a family who lost their child too soon. I saw people "paying it forward". I saw a photographer giving people's stories to the world. They helped us become more empathetic and understanding. I saw the generosity of our community to my foster sisters on Christmas. Many came together to pray and help a world in turmoil.
I have to remember that the best thing I can do is pray. Pray for the people being hurt. Pray for those doing the hurting.
Change starts with me. I need to take the opportunities to do good and speak up about the Gospel. I need to take these opportunities and not look the other way.
In 2016, one of my resolutions is to reach out and do good at every opportunity. If I want to love as Christ loved, I must to be willing to humble myself. I must become a servant.
2. Perfection is Impossible.
In the Jan-May semester this year, my grades were less than desirable. After the semester was over, I felt horrible. I began to doubt myself again because college has been difficult for me. I was determined to do well, and was heartbroken to hear my final grades for that semester.
My family and friends reminded me that it was going to be OKAY. They reminded me that my grades don't define me. Sure, I messed up. But I learned what I can and can't do as a college student. As a result, my grades this past semester were ten times better.
The only thing I can do is my best, and to keep strive to push the boundaries of what I think is my best.
In 2016, I want to stop being afraid of mistakes and embrace them. I want to use them to be better than I am now.
3. Life is so Fragile.
So many things, including my Grandfather's passing, made me take a hard look at how I was spending my time. How much good are we doing for the world? Are we spreading the Gospel? Are we allowing fear to hold us back? What is holding us back from spending more time in prayer or in God's word? I want to stop looking for excuses why I don't have time or can't do these things.
In 2016, let's do more good for the world. Let's love more instead of talking bad about others. Let's study God's word more and pray more.
4. I Want Christ, not our society's Americanized version of Him.
Materialism. Obsession with politics and parties. Comfort. I want to have those removed in my daily walk with Christ. I want to look at scripture and actually see what He says without them. I want no part of this cheapened "Christianity".
In 2016, I just want to live the way God intended-my eyes on Him. I want my first thought to be to serve Him when I wake up. I want His word to guide my steps. Not our society's mindset.
5. I Don't Want to Be Held Back by Regrets and Anger
I am sure all of us have regrets we can't seem to break away from, and memories we can't erase.
In 2016, I don't want my focus to be on the past. I don't want it to be on everything I have done wrong. I want to keep moving forward and let these regrets go.
This year, and the past few years have taught me some difficult lessons. I have survived another year. Lord willing, I will have another. Each year, each month, and each day is our opportunity to do good. This time is God's gift to us. Are we using it wisely? Are we really giving Him our all?
Tonight I will bring in the New Year singing with my brothers and sisters in Christ. That is how I want to end every year, and start every year. God brought us through it, and He will be with us through another one.
May God bless you in the New Year. I also pray that you will seek Him with all your heart!