Author: Karly Grant
January is an interesting time of year. Honestly for me, it is often a difficult time. It is a time when people look back at the past year and forward for what they hope. For those that make resolutions, often it’s a time when they make the same ones as the year before—they didn’t succeed the previous year and know the change is still needed. While some are hopeful for the new start, others like myself can sometimes fall into a pit of feeling like they haven’t accomplished or have failed.
My birthday weaves into the beginning of January as well. For much of my adult life, January has brought heartache as I realize I am yet another year older, still not married, and my dreams of one day having children are looking more and more like fantasy. While I still have moments of sadness over these things, looking back on 2017 and ahead to 2018 provides brighter glimpses of hope this time around.
The reason is simple: God has shown me how He helped me to thrive. I clung closer to Jesus than ever before, and took scary steps of faith to follow where He led me.
God showed me how thriving very well could have been my word of the year for 2017. I just discovered it a year too late. That’s kind of how I roll. I’ve never been one to jump on the bandwagon of things just because everyone else is doing it. I’m too stubborn. Instead, I jump on later when it’s not longer popular. I know, I’m weird and stubborn, but God loves me and gets me. That’s why he gave me my 2017 word a year later. Maybe, I’ll reverse the trend and just start naming years after I have lived them. #onewordforlastyear
Being fresh out of a relationship as the year began, allowed me to cling to Jesus more. I saw that I didn’t need a relationship to thrive. My dreams of getting married and having a family may have been put on hold, but other dreams that I had forgotten about were about to be resurrected.
I had dreamed of furthering my education in a different part of the country and taking the opportunity to be adventurous. I let the realities of a relationship overshadow those ideas. I would have been tied down to a small region with fewer schooling options. Once the breakup happened, God reminded me what He placed in my heart. I truly believe I will thrive as I continue to walk through the doors God is opening.
In February of last year, after much prayer, I decided to take another huge step of faith. I gave notice that I would not be returning to my job in the fall as I would be going to school full time. By earthly standards, this may have seemed foolish, but God has provided what I need. While it is stressful and scary at times, I am at peace with where God is leading. I know He is the one who is guiding me to abundant life. I know He goes before me.
Spring brought some unexpected health challenges. God was with me each step of the way as I dropped out of classes that term and pushed my moving plans. I had to trust that His timing was better than mine. I had to rest and get healthy. Sometimes, with God, resting is thriving, and doing what you have to do puts you right where you need to be.
And now with 2017 in the past and full time school in the future, I trust God to use me as I thrive exactly where He puts me for such a time as this. A time where I am able venture across the country to follow where He leads. As I look ahead to 2018, I have no idea what is in store. I do know that God will be with me every step of the way, as He continues to help me thrive for His glory.
Readers, What challenge are you allowing God to move you into in 2018?