My amazing friend Rachel did this on her blog, and I thought it was a great idea. I'm changing it a little, but here it is.
So, here's an overview of the year represented by the songs, quotes, verses, etc. that meant the most to me or best described me at that point in the year.
Start of the year, I was feeling lost between my convictions of living on fire for God and my common sense that seemed to say that the average life is okay because.... that's what everyone else is doing. The song "Somewhere in the Middle" really captured me, and I am still challenged by it each time I hear it.
During speech season as I did a whole speech on the topic of living on fire for God, I learned more and more about acting radically and stepping out of your comfort zone when God calls you to. The quote that struck me in the middle of a tournament was:
"God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called."
And even though tournaments are the perfect place to mess up, get embarrassed, and "fail," I started to see 2 Corinthians 12:9 truly play out in my life. Whether or not I can do something is not this issue because God is glorified when I trust Him enough to act outside of my ability and instead lean on Him.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
And more than any other quote this year, the quote by Jim Elliot which I used in my speech inspired me to keep living in the light of eternity. He pointed out in his words and with his life that Jesus is worth everything.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
By summer, I was fully determined to be fully abandoned to God. I discovered this song which seemed to really speak to what I'd been feeling.
I was developing more and more of a sense that living the way everyone seemed to be living in America wasn't the most God-glorifying life, nor was it even the best life in general! I wanted something more than what most people seemed to be content with. So I needed to do something different. Like Anthony Robbin's quote:
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."
With summer in full swing, I was finally feeling the sheer awesome-ness of God and the amazing-ness of Jesus and His love. I can't give an overview of this year without putting in this kid's song, one that we heard about four times a day at Canby Grove, and yet never grew old. Instead, I started loving its simple, yet profound words. And it just perfectly demonstrates the overflowing joy that comes from being in love with Jesus!!!
I've lived the rest of the year with a motto by William Borden. I first heard it in Lauren Reavely's Persuasive and I've heard it over and over again from then on. Through the summer and up until now, I've held up this short phrase as a constant reminder of how I want to live.
And with that phrase comes the song that so perfectly states what I believe many of us feel: a need for more than going through the motions.
And, with that, I transitioned into a whole new phase of my earthly life. My entire focused changed rather suddenly, even to where my plans for the future (college, career, etc.) changed so dramatically that I had no idea where I was going! Yet, I loved it. God gave me a vision to be a full-blown missionary, something I'd never actually strongly considered before. Now, I will never be able to settle for anything less. What else can I do with my life but devote it to proclaiming the gospel to the millions who need it? This quote by Carl F. H. Henry really hit me:
"The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time."
Not only is proclaiming the Good News the calling which we are all commanded to take up, it is urgent! And it is desperately needed. It is not important for me to be on fire for God just for my own benefit (which radical love does have incredible personal benefits), it is absolutely necessary so that the lost can get found. This song convicts me and makes me joy-filled at the same time.
All in all,this year has been absolutely amazing, and I am continually praising God for opening my eyes to everything He wants me to see. We are so blessed to know the Truth.
As New Year's Day comes, we focus a lot on the past year and the one to come. Hopefully, we focus on these years because we want to make the most of them for our Savior. But sometimes I find myself falling into the trap of focusing on these years alone, instead of remembering that these few, short years are only the beginning of my entire, infinite existence. Please watch this short video by Francis Chan if you didn't watch any of the other videos on this post. It could change your life. It could change your year. It changed mine!
God, You are beyond good. You are beyond any love that we can even imagine. You are beautiful beyond description. You've given us life better than any we could achieve for ourselves. Please let us use this new year for You and You alone because, after all, You are worth everything I am and have, and more. I love You, Jesus!