Happy New Year everyone!
For those of you who had some form of celebration, I hope it was awesome and that you had a great time. For those who didn’t, good on you, I hope you’ve had a good time as well.
So 2016 is over. What a year. A lot of actors, musicians and other famous people sadly died (and I guess your opinion of Comrade Castro’s death depends on your political leanings), including Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher. Batman v Superman came out and man that was great. Loved it. I have watched and re-watched the Ultimate Edition so many times, it’s just so good. Batfleck forever. I’m getting distracted. A lot of bad stuff and good stuff happened this year. From Harambe to Batfleck, from Donald Trump becoming the president-elect of the USA to tiger numbers increasing. A big range right there. But as much as we like to pay attention to the news and pop culture, we also need to see what happened in our own lives.
What Happened in 2016:
Not gonna lie, I struggle to remember what happened two weeks ago, let alone a year ago but let’s give it a shot.
- I attended a bible study at college and actually started to take my faith seriously. That was a big thing for me. I was a Christian before but I feel like this year, I really started earnestly pursuing Christ. That was very important to me. And once I started searching for Him, I started to find Him. Not just in my heart, but in Scripture and in the world around me. I learned more about apologetics and the role it plays in the world today. I started reading important books like Mere Christianity (a very good book btw, highly recommend it), The God Who Is There (also a fantastic read, still busy with it though) and like nothing else, it was a busy year.
- Keeping with the spiritual theme, I also had a time where, for a few days, I felt isolated from God. Without His Spirit. Completely alone, which I would rate on par with my demon experience in terms of terror and fear. It was awful. But that experience taught me so much. Definitely something bad that had a far more positive result.
- Other cool things that happened in 2016 was that I got to go to Parliament! One of my classes for college got to visit for the day and sit in on some meetings and meet some MPs which was such a cool experience.
- I made some really cool new friends and actually became a better friend this year (I hope). I honestly began to really love my friends this year and became more social. This year I really learned how to have a proper human conversation and how to generally be a better person. Also got to meet some cool new people and make some really cool friends.
- One of the downer things that happened in 2016 was that it held the last interaction I would ever have with my mom. She didn’t die but due to the toxic and harmful nature of our relationship, the emotional scars that she gave me as a child and teenager kept opening up. I approached my minister and we spoke through it and ultimately the best decision for me was to cut her out of my life. It has been easier for me to think of her as having passed away than to continue exposing myself to that hurt.
- I was in a play/musical production! An original piece by two girls at my college, it incorporated dancing, singing and acting (I didn’t dance, oh helllllllll naw. Sang a bit of Frank Sinatra’s Blue Moon but that was related to the theme of the play). It was the story of how two people who haven’t seen each other in years, each with their own hurt and brokenness and past, eventually meet by chance and fall in love and get married, with themes of family, redemption and love. I played the sleazy roommate of the male lead, pushing him to pursue this woman. Seriously, it was one of my favourite moments of the year and I can’t wait to do another production at college this year.
- I met God in some big ways this year, finding Him in nature. Every day I came home from college, I would have to walk from the main road and pass by a canal. One day as I was walking along the canal, I had a very real experience with God. I cannot even begin to describe it but it was just amazing.
- I got back into piano which was awesome. Learned how to play Bethel’s Have It All and Hillsongs Oceans in a total of about 5 days. I also learned some other songs later, two songs Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls Online respectively. Piano is so much fun, I love connecting to God through it.
- Lastly, I started this blog! It’s been interesting, writing up some of my thoughts and feelings for friends, family and strangers alike to read. But it also helps when I need to get things off of my chest.
- I got baptized! Whoo! Haha, I love knowing that now I have well and truly chosen a side, given myself over to God wholly.
- Last and I wish it was least, I had about 6-7 depressive episodes last year. A record high (or low?) for me. They were generally short-lived but there was one a couple days after Christmas when my emotions and self-esteem took a pretty serious blow and I hit a massive pit for about a week. I’m glad that I have amazing friends and to my best friend, I don’t know if she is reading this, but N you are a literal life-saver. I’d say if there was any real lesson to be learnt from my depressive tendency, is that friends make all the difference. They can be there for you in a way that family just can’t be. And true friends don’t judge you, they accept you. Friends are so important. I love the friends I have in my life, wow, this year would have been so different if it wasn’t for them.
Wow, what a list! And that was just 2016. Have a funny picture before we dive into 2017 yeah?
I laugh hard, every time.
Alright, so, we’re now in the new year. 2017.
Looking Ahead to 2017:
This coming year has a few things that I know I need to face and I’m just gonna throw out my thoughts and feelings about the different things.
- This year is my last year of undergraduate. I finish my BA Psychology this year and hopefully move on to Honours. I really hope I get into Honours. My prayer is that the Lords will is for me to get accepted in, there are a few reasons. Honours is the next step in studying, I need a particular type of Honours to become a counsellor (which is where I believe God wants me) and also in South Africa, having a BA means nothing really. This final year of undergrad also represents to me, the ending of a particular journey. When I started studying, I was an atheistic pothead who had no intention of using my psychology degree for anything meaningful. I could go into more detail but let’s not. So yeah, this year I graduate. Just letting that sink in brings out a wave of emotion I cannot even begin to describe.
- SRC (Student Representative Council). Excuse me for a second but aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. This is a big responsibility. I’m still not sure why I was nominated for it. Seriously. I mean, I’ll do my best to serve the student body but I don’t know why people thought I’d be a good fit for this kind of responsibility. This is going to be one of those things where I’m trusting God to help me, to carry me more and more. Because I have no idea what I’m doing.
- Speaking of having no idea of what I’m doing, this year I turn 22. I have tried really hard not to contemplate my age and my expectations of my age over since I got close to turning 21 but jeepers it gets hard. My youngest sibling turns 14 this year. That’s three teenage sisters and a teenage brother. If only they were turtles and had ninja skills *sighs*… I have seen baby cousins grow up so rapidly, it feels like the other day I was congratulating the parents on having newborn babies. I was having a brief conversation with my minister’s children the other day and I told the youngest one something along the lines of ‘yeah but I’m not old’ and his face should have told me everything. He scrunched up and looked confused and said to me, without skipping a heartbeat, “Yeah but you are old”. Nothing ages you quicker than when a child calls you old. I could feel the grey hairs coming out. This coupled with the ending of my BA Psychology and my becoming the uncle/older cousin that you go to with your problems (seriously, my youngest cousins are going to be calling me Uncle Thomas) and my tendency to prefer whiskeys with leather couches, I’m starting to realise the passage of time. We truly are but a fog that appears for a short time and disappears. I’ve been house sitting for a while and have learned more or less how to cook, clean, wash, etc and I can see now how God is preparing me for adult life.
- Growing in my relationship with God. I look forward to this. A continuation of the growth I’ve been experiencing in my relationship with Him. Getting deeper into Scripture and walking even more with God. I feel like this year He matured me in ways that I needed to be matured and I’m excited to see what God has in store for me.
I haven’t included much on the list for 2017 because honestly, I want to leave as much open space for God to do His work in my life as possible. Whatever His plans are for me, let them be done in every second, minute, hour and day of this year. My prayer for this year and for you, is that you experience God in new ways and feel His peace and joy in your life.
Have an awesome day and God bless people 🙂