A new year brings a new beginning and a fresh start. As this New Year begins, I am starting to think about what I want for this New Year. What do I want this year to be about? As I prayed about what I want for this year, two words came to mind: Brave and Freedom. These words have played a part in my journey during this past year, and I believe they have a role to play in the year coming up. I made a list of things that desire for the year ahead as I incorporate these words into my life. I am not talking about New Year’s Resolutions, we tend to think that we will not complete our resolutions. They are normally just stated to help us feel good about our plans for the New Year. The idea behind what I want out of this year is growth and adventure. I want these items to contribute to how I interact with others and God.
- Cross at least one item off of my bucket list.
Life is meant for good friends and great adventures. The adventures of this new year comes from taking chances, stepping out of my comfort zone. In the spirit of being brave, I desire to take new adventures and check things off of my bucket list. Sometimes you have to allow yourself to pursue the things that you want, even if it just to say you did.
- Make new friends and deepen friendships.
2015 overflowed with new friendships, and I want 2016 to expand those relationships and make new friends throughout my adventures. Charles Swindoll writes, “I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun”. I do not know where I would be without the amazing friends I have and the ones I made this year. There is a moment when you meet someone and something clicks. You become friends, and they impact your life in ways you never thought of. This year I strive to be more vulnerable with the friends in my life. Inviting the people I love into my heart and life.
- Be brave.
This appears general, but this word brave has been a theme for my senior year, and I want to continue to strive to step out in faith, being brave in the life God has given me. Brave (adj.) is defined as ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. This is who I want to be. I want to be a brave and audacious woman who embraces life regardless of any fear. This does not mean I will never fear hard situations or trials, but I will approach the situation with courage and grace.
- Embrace the life of freedom I have been given.
As a child of God, I have been given freedom. I am no longer a slave to fear, perfection, and insecurity. I can embrace life with an attitude of freedom because Christ had given me life. Freedom from fear and insecurity is something that I have been wrestling with over the past year. This year, I am choosing to live in that freedom and embrace the Creator of the Universe.
- Learn to make each moment, good or bad, count.
The thing about living a brave and free life is that I want to make every moment count. I do not want to look back on this year and regret the passed moments and missed opportunities. I desire to look back on my year and say, “Wow. What a year!” because of the relationships I made and the moments that I allowed myself to live, I mean, truly live. I want to live life to the fullest, as I take step out of my shadow and be brave with my decisions.
- Be intentional with the people in my life.
As I deepen my relationships, I desire to be intentional with the girls on my floor, my RA staff. I want to reach out to the people around me. As I am intentional with my conversations, I can invest in people’s lives. At the end of the day, accomplishments are amazing, and material possessions are nice, but relationships are the only things that we can take with us to Heaven. People matter.
- Spend more time discovering who God is.
This new year is a new opportunity to spend time discovering the Creator of the Universe and me. My relationship with God is the most important relationship in my life. I desire to spend more time intentionally getting to know God and allowing him to love me. To love the places in my heart where my deepest insecurities and hopes lie. Beth Moore writes, “May God remind us daily—no matter what kind of obstacles we face—that we are loved and empowered by the One who brought the universe into existence with the mere sound of His voice. Nothing is impossible for Him”. As I get to know God and delve into His word, He continues to love and empower me. He pushes me out of my comfort zone into places that I never thought about, but that are so incredibly better than I could have planned.
- Figure out what makes me tick, what I feel passionate about and delve further into it.
As I bravely and vulnerably surrender my time to Lord, He begins to show me glimpses of the woman he created me to be. I bravely try new things, develop new habits as I discover new interests. As I celebrate my twenties, I desire to use my time this year to discover new passions and bravely explore the place these passions interact with my life. Whether it is volunteering at a free clinic, helping with an afterschool program, or raising money for a cause halfway across the world, I desire for this year to be a defining year of me interacting with the lesser known passions and desires in my heart.
- Cry unashamedly.
Crying signifies vulnerability, and I hate being vulnerable, truly vulnerable. This year, as I bravely become more vulnerable with the people around me, I give myself the freedom to cry. Not emotionally crying all the time, but to cry when I need to cry without being ashamed of tears. Sometimes, being strong means not holding back the tears but letting them fall.
- Worry less about what people think.
I have tendency to be reserved and cautious because I am afraid of what others think of me. I selfishly think that they care about every little thing I do. The reality is that as I live in freedom I shake off the perceptions of other and the expectations I place on myself. The only expectations that matter are God’s.
- Do one random act of kindness each month
Kindness puts a smile on others faces. It is as simple as that.
- Complain less.
Complaining is being ungrateful for what God has given me, as well as it can drive people away. It can taint the personality. I do not want to be known for complaining about things that I cannot do anything about.
- Step out of my comfort zone.
This is one of the biggest things that I want to focus on changing about my life. I find that some of the most rewarding moments of my life happen when I step over that line into areas where I am unsure. I have to rely totally on God, and guess what? He always comes through with a life-changing experiences as I learn more about myself and my abilities with God by my side. We walk hand in hand as he guides me through life.
- Continue to dream big.
This new year is a big year, I graduate Nursing school and have to figure out what I want to do. I have dreams about travelling, marriage, the perfect job. The idea is that these dreams are held loosely, but I still need to dream. I still need to allow myself to dream of the impossible, because my God is big enough to do anything. I should not put him in a box as I try to tell him the path that I want for my life.
- Embrace and enjoy the little things of life.
The small moments matter. The smiles. The breezes. The quiet. These little moments like holding hands, reading a book for fun, the reassurance that I am heading on the right path. These moments are not flashy moments, but rather they creep up into your life. You can miss the significance of the moments, if you are not paying attention.
- Accept myself.
I am pretty, smart, awkward, quirky, organized, vivacious, entertaining, outspoken, and introverted. I am fiercely loyal to my friends. I have an obsession with colored pens and planners. I love reading. I am learning to accept myself exactly as God created me quirks and all.