2013 was a year of surrender, transformation, and tremendous healing. I could guide you through all the major happenings of my past year, but instead I’ll just reflect on the three things I’m most thankful happened.
1. I changed my relationship status to “in a relationship”… with Jesus. Although I’ve been raised as a Christian all my life, in 2013 my faith and relationship with Christ really became my own. It’s been tough and I’ve been challenged greatly by the call to surrender all and follow.
After several “that was a God thing” moments, I was led to a Christian campus ministry called College Life. I’ll never be one to say that a church or a ministry or a mission can change lives (because that’d be misattributing the credit away from God), but my interactions with people in College Life and its affiliated church have truly allowed me to understand what it looks like to follow Christ. I was living like a Christian, not like a Jesus follower. I was all talk and no action because I believed that “it’s not about what we do, it’s about what we believe.” Yeah right, God proved me wrong. Because believing in an almighty God should transform everything and anything we do.
In November, I was re-baptized (without water and all that jazz) at my new home church in Davis. It was an amazing opportunity to publicly declare I am ready to live for Christ, at any cost. I’ve been remarried… to Jesus… and I’m being made new.
2. I went the distance…13.1 miles that is. What started as some summertime running–– primarily to pass some time–– turned into one of my proudest feats.
Maybe this doesn’t seem so huge, but about 2 years ago, I told myself I’d never go back to competitively running again. I was mentally exhausted by the sport after a disappointing cross country season my senior year. I didn’t feel good or fast or serious enough to compete anymore, so I just gave it up.
Although it seems strange, as my relationship with Christ grew, so did my desire and passion and ability in running. I made mental peace with my high school’s cross country program by spending a month of my summer coaching the team. My daily training runs became enjoyable. I no longer struggled through, wishing it would be over. Some days I just run into the wide open spaces of Davis and look up and know that I’m glorifying God. Amidst a busy schedule of jumping from class to work to Bible study to coffee date, I can find rest and peace and insight on my runs. It’s a time to put in my iPod, blast a little Rend Collective Experiment, and reflect on God’s Grace.
Even though I expected very little out of myself, besides finishing at a decent time, my November half-marathon went so well. I finished 2nd in my age division and a minute faster than my best-case-scenario goal time. It was all God.
3. I met an angel. You see, there was this girl in my linguistics class who always sat in the row in front of me and kept giving me interesting looks… like she knew something about me that I didn’t. At some point in the quarter, I started sitting next to her. And then one day she asked me to be her roommate the next school year.
Now we’re best friends. Zoë and I are kind of a packaged deal. She is an answer to so many of my prayers: an amazing roommate, a true friend who lets me be me, the sister I never had and always wanted.
Besides appreciating my constant Bridesmaids quoting, she shares my love for eating and cooking good food; she embraces my (at times immature) humor and tolerates my uncontrollable laughing at nothing; we enjoy long walks and cups of tea together. Most importantly, Zoë cares to get to know me on a level no one has. I share with her my walk with Christ, my highs and lows, and my scariest thoughts.
I genuinely could not have been blessed with a better soul sister.
I want to thank everyone who made 2013 actually life-changing: Zoë, my favorite Aussie Kirk, my Bible study coleader Sarah, my mentors and friends in College Life, my growth group girls, the people of First Baptist Church of Davis, those who do life with me in the name of Jesus, my friend since childhood and “homie homester” Tara, my family, and of course, Jesus. I love you all dearly.
Now, let’s press on in 2014!