Years ago, when I would journal regularly, I would finish the year and label that year’s journal with one word that I had found as a theme throughout the past 365 days.
I found myself a little torn at first with what word to assign the year 2012, but as I dwelt on what God has done in the past 365 days, I realized that although love, trust, hope, faith, forgiveness, and perseverance were all key elements and practical lessons learned this year, one word “understanding” was at the heart of it all.
It’s taken me a few days to really process this coming of a new year. I’ve found myself looking in the rear view mirror at the year that just flew by, and feeling truly amazed at how fast this year has come and gone and just how much God has done in my life.
In January of 2012, I quit Tim Horton’s. I loved that job, serving coffee and learning that I’m actually a huge fan of regular customers and being a constant source of love and joy in the lives of some very sad people I encountered. However, what a blessing it has been that God brought me to a law firm in Vestal, where I have worked as a legal secretary in medical malpractice and more recently, estate planning and guardianships. The stress level is minimal, and when I leave work, I leave work at my desk (Ok, a few times I’ve sent reminders from my phone to my work email, but these are few and far between.)
January was also my first 10k and the first time I went and raced without Adam. It was scary at first because I didn’t know anyone, but it was a confidence builder. I started running outside for the first time to save gas, and it changed my whole opinion of running and strengthened my legs and lungs. Also, instead of watching re-runs of CSI and Law and Order, I found myself praying through the miles, crying and fighting spiritual battles up the hills and rejoicing and praising God for what He was teaching me on the level planes and the downhills.
It was the summer of prayer, as I prayed through the Proverbs for Adam and wrote a series on praying for your spouse. We sought the Lord and wisdom regarding our plans for the future and His guidance and wisdom regarding decisions that needed to be made. It was the summer of our first week-long vacation since our honeymoon, and it was so needed.
It was a summer of new friendships and understanding what it means to be a real friend. It was a fall of a new ministry. We stopped working with the youth group and took on a new ministry of working with the young adults in order to spur on others to growth and true fellowship.
It was an autumn full of races. We ran the Race the Train in North Creek, NY, Adam ran a few Spartan races, I ran the Vestal XX, and we ran our first (and definitely not last) Ragnar 200-mile relay race.
It was the year of coming to understand the need for verbal communication.
It was the year of understanding the necessity of listening to God’s guidance and avoiding sinful temptation.
It was the year of understanding what it took to have intense discipline. It was a year of coming to understand how I’d succeeded in so many areas and failed in so many others.
It was the year of wrestling and fighting and coming to understand the truth of Jeremiah 29:11 and Proverbs 3:5-6, trusting God’s plans over our desires and His all-knowing and perfect timing over my short-sighted schedule.
It was the year of practical application for so many lessons we’ve been working through the past few years.
It was the year I grew to the love the Lord in a new way as I grew to understand new aspects of His Character. He is far too great for my finite mind to know and understand completely, but I am incredibly grateful that in the year 2012, He made Himself known to me in new, hard, and yet beautiful ways.
I look forward to all the lessons coming in 2013 and to the goodness, mercy, grace, and love of the Lord that I will have the privilege to experience.
What has He taught you in 2012?