I’m determined to write a 2012 recap post. I love turning around to catch a glimpse of where I’ve been, what I’ve done, what I learned. Through the hundreds of posts I’ve written over the past year, I can dig deep into what He’s already done; get my bearings, and step confidently into what He’s yet to do, because past give reason for present, and faithful then can’t be anything other than faithful now, faithful to come.
There’s a thread of redemption story, of God’s character and grace, winding throughout 2012, and there’s a personal story,too. This blog is a personal account of my life, my heart, and my story is nestled small in the grand narrative of God saves. And that’s what I want to see when I look back at 2012. When days are lined up alongside longer days, and months are tipped end to end in line, I want Him to shine bold amidst the snapshots of life that make up this blog.
I started 2012 in Mexico, ringing in the New Year with the hearts that I call family. Birthday, Christmas, New Years; I soaked in every moment I could, but the cold came every night and I laid in bed in my sweatshirt, blankets piled on top of me, and dread of school settled heavy and tight in my stomach.
A semester that I look back on as rocky, unsure, stressed, I landed hard on God’s gentle grace at every fall, and God’s provision rocked me to the core. Three months of stress culminated in a two weeks in Kenya, during spring break. The western world, the world that I’ve spent my life spinning through, is clean and neat and suffering and death sweeps easily under the rug.
Not so in Africa. There is no rug in Africa and sickness and death is the backdrop of millions. Nine months since my return to this country, and I still don’t know why I went to Africa; man places a question mark on I don’t understand, but God’s will is unmistakable in hindsight and He put Africa in my heart, and maybe someday He’ll tell me why.
The spring semester ended like a marathon, and the shroud of school life stayed thick around me for a while after. School breaks are a funny thing because they inevitably come after days, weeks, months, of fast-paced academics. Go, go, go turned to wait, relax, enjoy in the blink of an eye and I hesitated for a moment, shuffling back and forth, swirling uncertain between a long semester and a wonderful summer.
But life waits for no one and summer 2012 vaulted itself into action with a running start. Weddings, Grandparents, WOW camp, Michigan, cousins, Mexico and marched together, one long train of events created their own routine, and I landed back at school in August excited for another semester.
God’s not more real this semester than last, but He’s close, and we’ve gone back and forth. He knows words before I speak them, whisper them, yell them, and His response pours grace, mercy, healing on a heart that He holds always. Friendships developing in the spring found new depth, and He continued to grow me into who He says I am.
There’s much more than I could say, there’s always more that could be said. But I’ll stop now because I’m not ending; a year is a continuation, not beginning to The End, and there’s not resolution because God’s still working.
I still alternately fight against grace and lying powerless and grateful against its incomprehensible redemption. I still shrug off Child of God, forgetting that the grace-work of my salvation is not a blanket for cold days, but a heart-deep stamp that changes everything I do. I’m still unsure, sometimes stumbling where I wish I was stepping, and falling where I thought I’d not.
2012 was grace and mercy and learning, and 2013 will be, too. Because faithful then is faithful now, and changing dates don’t change a thing to change to character and heart of the God who’s been God since time began.