2016 is drawing to a close, and along with the end of a year, nostalgia makes its way to me yet again. As I reflect on all that 2016 held for me, I am struck with many lessons and insights God showed me over the year.
One insight I noticed is for me is that 2016 was a year of marked stability. Lately, most years have been wrought with transition, big changes, turmoil, endings, and beginnings. Most years lately have been hard for me emotionally, yet filled with beautiful spiritual milestones that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
However, 2016 brought nothing new to me. Nothing crazy happened. The people in my life at the beginning of the year are the same people in my life now. I have stayed constant spiritually, mentally, and emotionally while juggling the same rhythm of life throughout the year: work, school, church, family, friends. While this may seem like a stagnant, boring life to some of you, for me it was a breath of fresh air. Reaching a rhythm in life taught me something new about God’s character:
God is a stable God. He stays constant no matter our circumstances. While I fluctuate emotionally based on what is happening around me, my God stays true to Himself and to His character. Riding through 2016 has helped me solidify my faith on God’s constancy; my emotions do not always reflect reality, and my faith is not based on my current emotional state.
So even though nothing extremely exciting happened this year, I know my God is good. Whether I find myself on a mountaintop or a valley, or somewhere in between, my God is a good God. My faith is founded upon Him in the storm or in the calm.
Without this understanding, I will continue to live my life in fear based on the circumstances around me.
Fear that this good life I have will come crashing down.
Fear that a dear love one of mine will die.
Fear that I won’t find a job or a place to live.
Fear that I will fail, or mess up, or do something against God’s will for my life.
All the way up until this day, I have lived much of my life in fear. This affects me physically: I have anxiety that gives me intense stomach pains, muscle pain, and tense neck and shoulder muscles. I need more sleep than most people and I freak out over needless issues: the icy driveway, airplane delays, working out. If I cannot control something, I get anxious about it.
Why am I like this? I am still learning the answer to this question. Maybe 2017 will show me, as well as ways in which I can combat this pervasive fear in my life. All I know, thanks to 2016, is that even through my fear, my world and my circumstances are happening regardless. Even more, regardless of my fear, God is stable. 2016 taught me that God’s stability gives strength to my faith.
This calms my fears.
Thanks, 2016, for the lessons you taught me.
Here’s to 2017: I look forward to the lessons ahead.