The last days of 2016 were filled with reflection. Thoughts of the previous year, and hopes and fears for the new year, filled my mind as I went through the motions of Christmas break. New Years Eve held not only the transition from one year to another, but also from one stage of life to another. 2017 will be a year of change, of trust, and of growth.
I’m overwhelmed by thoughts of AP exams, scholarships, and other stressful events. I obsess over whether I should have done something different, or better, or not at all. I wonder if I’m good enough.
With my senior year drawing to a close, I find myself looking into what feels like the vast unknown of my first semester of college. Several paths branch out before me, forking off in different directions and bending out of view. I’m standing before them all, trying to see as far as I can to decide which path to take.
Throughout the past few months, I went through the process of applying for an ROTC scholarship. I spent hours rereading essays and double and triple checking questions. I got up an hour early most mornings to run a few miles in preparation for the physical assessment. I’ve made myself sick from the stress of wondering if I’ll get the scholarship and questioning whether or not I did enough.
I grew up hearing and repeating the phrase “hurry up and wait.” But for the first time, I feel its meaning personally. I worked hard to get everything in on time for the scholarship. And now all I can do is wait and see what God does with it. As I head into this year of change, it seems appropriate to make a few resolutions.
I’ve always thought New Year’s resolutions were pointless. The celebration of the day in general has always seemed the same way. When you wake up on January 1, nothing from the previous year will have changed except the number on the calendar. There’s no magic reset button at 11:59 p.m. on December 31st. Why wait till the beginning of next year to make a change? Start today (whatever day “today” happens to be).
1) With all of the question marks looming before me, I resolve to lean on the Lord and trust in Him. If ROTC is a part of His plan for me, then those doors will be opened-regardless of my mile time, my interview, or my ACT score.
2) As I go through this year of change and uncertainty, I will look to God for my identity and my purpose. I will not place my identity in other people or in my success; I will focus on who I am in Christ and who He is creating me to be and what he is preparing me for. I will ground myself in His word and allow Him to take the reins.
3) Every once in a while, I will remember to stop and smell the roses. This year is a big year, and it will be a stressful year. But it will also be a year of growth and learning, and I will give myself room to be still and soak in the lessons the Lord has for me.
Instead of heading into 2017 with unease, I move forward armed with the truth that He goes before me to prepare my way, that He will provide for me, and that I am beloved by Him.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3.