The nostalgia junkie in me has always liked New Years, because it’s all about looking back. We flip through yearend “bestof” lists in our favorite magazines and we clink champagne flutes as we toast good times gone by and we recall our favorite moments through social media photo albums. We savor the last few moments of the past year as we count down to midnight and watch the ball drop in Times Square. The last few years have been full of trials for me, but looking back on the good memories has always helped me to stay positive about both my past and my future.
And 2014 was a pretty good year. It was peppered with its harder moments (uhhhm, tutoring when you have ZERO education experience? Never. Again.), but overall, I haven’t been this thankful for the year gone by in a long time.
And of course, New Years is all about looking ahead. And I don’t think that I’ve been this hopeful about what’s ahead since finishing college. For the first time since then, I feel like the whole world has been wrapped in a big red bow and placed in my lap. There are adventures to be had and lessons to be learned and experiences to be savored, and I’m ready for whatever awaits me on the other side of midnight.
So instead of doing a resolutions list like I did last year, I’m doing a simple review/preview list.
- I saw one of my favorite artists, Johnny Flynn, at a little venue in the Chicago area
- I got to live and work in the supercool city of Madison, WI, for a few months
- I saw one of my very favorite bands, Bear’s Den, for the third time
- I read The Hobbit for the first time since I was in middle school, read the first Lord of the Rings book, and I’m excited to continue diving into Tolkien’s books
- I traveled to Denver, one of my favorite cities, for a week and a half for a business trip
- I accepted my current missionary position in April and started in June
- As a missionary I’ve done cool things like lead camping trips, send kids down a zip line and up a rockclimbing wall, lead worship with Steve Angrisano, and teach kids about their faith
- As a missionary I’ve also gone to cool places like Washington DC, New York City, and San Antonio
- I’m back to discerning whether ministry is the right field for me, after pushing it aside for a bit
- I’ve reinvigorated my faith life and my relationship with God is stronger than it’s been in a few years
- I’ll soon be traveling all around West Virginia to promote Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center’s summer camp and to run youth nights
- I get to go to Kansas for a retreat with missionaries at other retreat centers/camps around the country
- I get to return to Washington DC and go to Baltimore
- I’ll start another chapter as my year at Bishop Hodges ends. I don’t know where I’m being called next, but I have a few options in mind and I can’t wait to see where God is going to lead me.
What about you? What were some highlights of your 2014? What are you looking forward to in 2015? Feel free to share in the comments section!