On this last day of 2017, I sit back and reflect and can say, “Wow!” I know that I am not the same person that I was a year ago. In 2017 I started the year with big goals, but if I am honest….I never truly felt as though I could accomplish them. It’s hard to “be strong” if you don’t believe in yourself as strong. As a young girl, you are always told to “be careful”. The world is a big scary place, don’t go anywhere alone, never take added risks because as a female….life is already risky. After hearing that repeatedly, you think that you really can’t do certain things. It was cemented in my brain that I wasn’t strong or capable “ENOUGH”. Reclaiming and overcoming my fears and sense of “enoughness” has also been hard this year!
A huge moment for me in 2017 was when Dave and I were driving away from Baxter State Park, after completing my “big goal” of hiking “The Knife’s Edge”. Suddenly, I was overcome with so many emotions. I was exhausted as we hadn’t showered in 3 days, slept horribly in a “lean-to”, and I was in pain from recovering from Shingles, but yet…I never felt more beautiful. I suddenly started crying and I mean “ugly crying”…. as in sobbing. The crying was a result of realizing that a part of my “old self” was left back there at that mountain. I said to myself, “I will never be the same person that I was just a few days ago “. I never felt more proud of who I was or what I had done. A few people have already asked me….so what’s on your list for 2018? I will say, I’m not one to tell, there are some BIG goals I have and some small hurdles to jump, but I’m taking one step at a time. Some highlights from this year include:
- Crossing the Frankenstein Cliff Train Trestle
- Hiking a Mountain in Winter
- Strengthening old friendships and adding some new awesome ones!
- Hiking 2, 4000 footer mountains in Winter
- Visiting the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- Educating myself and sharpening my Photography skills
- Visiting Acadia and hiking Beehive Trail
- Experiencing Sunrise on the top of a Mountain
- Hiking to the top of Mt. Washington via Huntington Ravine Trail
- Training for and finishing my first 4k race
- Camping without electricity or plumbing
- Hiking to the top of Mt. Katahdin and traversing “The Knifes Edge”
- Completing a few woodworking and sewing projects
- Training a puppy all over again
- Going to Disney as a family
- Visiting and staying in a yurt
As I look at this list….I am proud, but I also want to say to all who are dreaming about 2018….please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that accomplishments will bring true fulfillment. Yes, accomplishing these goals changed me and empowered me, but even if I didn’t accomplish them….That would be ok. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone else or even myself because I always have been ENOUGH. No matter how many big and small things I accomplish! As I am making my list for 2018 there are two things that I I want to have as a constant thread shaping my list or perspective.
(1) The Son of God came to suffer, die, and claim victory over sin. And he did it. He fulfilled the Father’s will. As he hung on the cross, he did not say, “Keep trying, guys. Spend your whole lives striving to earn the approval of man and God. Hit the treadmill daily, climb more mountains, eat organic kale chips.” No, he said, “It is finished.”
In that moment, I know that I can find rest. Our unmet to-do lists, our lost tempers, our failed projects, and all of our sins fall silent. I am no longer racing alongside the world’s standards in an attempt to earn or prove anything. I have realized this year, the most important goal that I didn’t even see coming was that….I have everything as long as I have Christ. I can REST, while attempting to humbly and joyfully set my eyes on Him and all that He has done for me.
(2) Because of the work of the cross, we are no longer rebels. We are the beloved children of a good and perfect Father. Only from this position do we understand our identity and purpose. Christ never said, “I’m going to need you to find yourself. Spend your time and resources figuring out who you are at your core. Know yourself. And please make sure everyone else knows you too.” That would’ve been a most exhausting and fruitless charge. Instead, he told us to lose our lives in the pursuit of him.
This is how we find true joy and purpose: pursuing Christ and obeying God’s word. Rather than wandering around and wondering about God’s plans for us, we have the person of Jesus as our example, the Holy Spirit at work within us, and a God who has always been and will always be faithful to his own plan. Our role is to obedient, which requires knowing what God has said about how to live in a life worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Do you see my point? Yes, make goals, strive to be more organized, eat more salads. Please exercise if you want to. If you see an area of your life that needs adjustment, make adjustments. But let the heartbeat of your plans for the year be peace and know that no matter what….You are Enough and always have been! Let all that you do be done to the glory of God.
So I leave 2017 empowered from the things that I accomplished in stepping out and hungry for more “life encouraging moments”, but I also learned that no matter what….”I am Enough”. Goals will be made, but at the forefront of all of these goals….I will remind myself that 2018 was never about me…
Highlights of 2017