Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: New Year’s

What 2017 Taught Me About Hope

This blog post is co-authored by my boyfriend, Owen Wolf.

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A Year of Hope

2017 is coming to an end. Another year filled to the brim with memories that are already fading away as 2018 looms ahead with unwritten adventures.

This year has been a crazy one for me. I was heavily involved in my church and finished my last year at community college. Eventually, I decided to take a break from being a youth leader as I started my senior year of college. Not only that, but I’m also in a relationship (as you can clearly see)!

One theme of 2017 that Owen and I have clearly seen in our lives is Hope. Owen had lost hope while focusing on the temporal. He did not want to think about the road ahead.

However, I struggled to grip onto the anchor of hope in a different way. Anxiety paralyzed me as I tried to gaze into something not meant to be seen. I was trying to control my future, to set in stone what is really shifting sand.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the past or try to grasp for control of the future. But both ways of thinking can cause us to lose hope. As we have grown, Owen and I now see the importance of standing on the solid rock that is Jesus Christ.

 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:29 NIV)

Our salvation is secured in Jesus. We don’t have to worry about our past or future with God. He washes all of the old things away, and He makes all things new.

An Eternal Perspective

We need to start acting in the present while having a more eternal perspective. The Bible tells us to think about today and not worry about tomorrow, but it also tells us to focus on the Kingdom of God.

Eternity is not just some concept from the far away future; it is a reality for the past, present, and future. Eternity is in this very moment. We are eternal souls in temporary bodies.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-34 NIV)

What 2017 Taught Me About Hope

My challenge for you today is to look back on 2017. What do you remember? Chances are, you only remember the highlight reels of the good and bad times.

When Owen and I tried looking back on the past two years, we found that we could hardly remember anything!

The point is to remember that this life is fleeting. It is good to live life to the fullest and be present, and to plan for the years you may have left. However, it is even more important to have an eternal perspective. Ask God what that looks like for you, and what legacy He wants you to leave.

We can hold on to hope, knowing that God is with us every step of the way and that He is ultimately in control of our lives. He has great plans for us, and 2018 is only just the beginning.

Happy New Year, lovely one! I hope you have a fabulous and blessed 2018.


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The Only New Year’s Resolution You Need (With Free Printable!)

New Year’s resolutions–we make them and break them, feeling the pressure of all the goals we may or may not ever achieve. I’m terrible at New Year’s resolutions. Most of mine are the same each year–get good grades, write a book, and get closer to God. These are all good goals, but it never seems to be enough (and that book is always a work in progress).

I remember last year I made a resolution to start running. I have no clue as to why. All I know is that two minutes into jogging around the basement and I was dizzy and exhausted (POTS problems). I decided that yoga was my happy place.

What’s the point of me telling you about my New Year’s resolutions? Because lovely reader, I’m asking you to join me in ditching traditional resolutions altogether. Having goals and plans isn’t a  bad thing, but they seem kind of unrealistic in the grand scheme of a whole new year.

So what do we do instead? Eat cookies and celebrate! Just kidding (but not really). Here’s what we should be doing this New Year: We need to trade our resolutions for reflection.

We need to trade our resolutions for reflection.

We don’t know what this year will bring, but we already know what we have experienced last year…or do we? Perhaps life hit us head on like a truck, and we may not even recognize who we’ve become or where we’ve ended up. This is why reflecting over the past year is so important. You don’t have to dwell on the past for days, but consider devoting an hour to reflect on the changes and experiences of this year.

Not sure where to begin your reflections? Here’s a free checklist you can download or print to help you ponder (and even journal about) your year.

New Year’s Reflection Checklist (With Free Printable!)

  • How was I feeling or what were my thoughts last New Year’s?
  • What were some great joys/successes over this past year?
  • What were some painful times/hardships over this past year?
  • How have I grown from these hardships? Have I become a more positive or negative person?
  • Over the last year, have I grown closer to God, or has my faith lost priority?

 

(Click Here to Download Your Printable!)

This may seem like a daunting checklist, but don’t feel pressured to come up with a certain number of ideas for each bullet point. Start off slow and be prayerful about it–reviewing a whole year takes time.

Now that you’ve reflected on this last year, it’s time to set the only New Year’s resolution you need this year–in the form of a question.

How does God want me to grow this year, and how can I deepen my walk with Him?

This is where you should really start praying and perhaps fasting. When you devote your year–and your life–to Jesus, it doesn’t matter what you accomplish or fail at, where you go, or what goals you manage to check off. When you give Jesus your future, He will help you live the most incredible life you could ever dream of. 

I hardly doubt the twelve disciples had a clue about all of the incredible events that would happen upon following Jesus. They probably couldn’t even imagine half of the miracles they would witness with God.

The same is still true for us. When we give God control, He shows up in miraculous ways. This year, lovely reader, let Jesus be your guiding light into the future.

Let Jesus be your resolution. 

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV).


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