Today four of my friends are sharing their stories about life in 2014 so far. At the beginning of the year, I joined with a bunch of you as we "named our years" - we decided what it was that we wanted to see happen in the year ahead as we partnered with God. I named my year "Made for this" and it has transformed the way I view my life and challenges. I was so touched and powerfully encouraged by their stories… I think you will be, too!
PS... there are STILL 5 months till the end of this year…""Thinking back to the beginning of the year, I thought "a year of opportunities" would be a great title for my new year. honestly I haven't thought about it too much over the past few months, however thinking about it now, I've learned that it's a perfect title. God has given Brian and I so many opportunities this year. It's been a lot of small ones but they all grow into a big one. We still have our jobs, 2 sets of our best friends became great parents to beautiful daughters that I love calling my nieces, I'm assisting two worship leaders, I've moved into a new area of creative and media works, and Brian and I have been teaching more. There may be more opportunities with ministry callings at school as well. This is only some of what God is doing in the past 7 months and I can't wait to see what he has in store for the rest of the year!"
"Focusing on embracing everything that comes my way has made such a huge difference in my year so far! Moving 3000 miles from home and getting married has been both wonderful and challenging. Whilst some of the difficult aspects would've shaken me in the past, remembering the name that I had for 2014 has made these obstacles much easier to face. Trying to figure out finances has been quite stressful as I'm not yet able to get a job since I'm still waiting for my work permit but every month since I've been here, everything has come together for us and we know that we can only thank God for that. Embracing this season of unemployment by getting to know my new friends better by spending that time with them rather than stay home and panicking constantly about money has been so liberating. It's also really helped me to put down some strong roots here and despite missing my friends in the UK, I'm incredibly thankful for the new ones that I'm making here too."
"This year has been a roller coaster of emotions, hurt, and pain followed by God using that brokenness to restore me and the people around me. At the beginning of this year I committed to seek out intentional relationships and ways to encourage the people around me in Christ's love. Needless to say God answered that pray with practical ways to practice this, and these were ways that were beyond what I expected. Because of God's grace and my desire to have intentional, meaningful relationships I was able to have a different perspective on what was going on around me. I restored some broken relationships, encouraged friends around me to seek Christ in the midst of trials and suffering, and I strengthened relationships I never imagined would last. With God's guidance, and a lot of prayer, I have grown so much in the past six months just by trying to see people as God sees them and love them like Christ loves me. Relationships are a precious gift from God and I'm glad to have been able to experience all that God had planned. I cannot wait to see where God leads me in this next chapter of life as a college graduate, starting my first job, and getting to form relationships with beautiful families who the world views as broken and hopeless but I know God loves. The remainder of the year I will prayerfully seek to be a vessel of God's love to those around me who appear broken, defeated, and hopeless."
*bold/italic emphasis mine
It's not too late to name the rest of your year! What are your wildest dream for the last months of 2014? What would you name your year? I'd love to hear from you!
Want to read a little more about naming your year? I love this exercise of faith!
Read my original post on "Naming Your Year" by clicking here.
Read my post on why I named my year "Made For This" by clicking here.