To be honest, there were a lot of things that my 2018 didn’t hold.
I didn’t move to a new city or new dorm or a new country for even just a few months… I stayed in one place for a whole year. Summer and all. I didn’t really have a schedule change… no new classes or new hall of freshmen babes to love on or even really a change of scenery. Even when I moved from working at one coffee shop to the other, it was simply moving down the road to a place that I already frequented everyday. For the first time, I lived through a fall where literally nothing changed. I kept my same exact schedule with my same exact friends in the same exact city. And the adventurer in my heart noticed all of this while sitting in my favorite shop on January first… and kind of wilted.
I wondered to Jesus, “Did this year matter? I don’t have anything to show. It all seemed so mundane and ordinary… it all seemed so minuscule.”
And it took about two seconds for me to realize that the goodness of this year wasn’t weighed by my Instagram pictures or cool new stories… rather this year the change has been measured by the inner work that Jesus can do only when runners like me choose to stay planted in seasons of sowing.
And that’s exactly what this year was for me, a year of sowing. It was a year of planting seeds and watering and praying. Not to say that this year was fruitless, just that the fruit was found in the growth of my heart, the seeds I’ve scattered, and newly budding relationships. Jesus has a lot for us in seasons of sowing… I know this because He has a purpose for each and every season in our lives.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
Friends, be encouraged that if this year was also a sowing season for you, that there’s a lot to be proud of in the mundane, daily work of showing up and loving those around us. There’s a lot to be proud of for blooming where you’re planted, even if in the end you still feel like you’re trying to build a home. Homes take years to build, as do communities and the deep, meaningful friendships we long for… not to mention that even the tree planted by streams of water in Psalm 1 only yields its fruit in season.
Even though 2018 felt a bit stagnant, there’s a lot to be proud of for each and every day that I showed up to my job and smiled at everyone that ordered coffee. There were seeds scattered through learning how to write blog posts and devotionals. There were so many skills that were learned each and every day last year that I can take into this year and pray for harvest. Not to mention that I know Jesus more intimately today than I did a year ago, simply because Jesus used each day of sowing to teach me more and more trust in His character and faithfulness. And if that’s not the point of life, what is?
Friends, I don’t know if 2018 was the best or the worst for you. I don’t know if you met the love of your life, got your dream job, had your big break, or if it was a year of continual setbacks and disappointments… or a mix of both. But I know that we can look back on years that could’ve been labeled names such as “stagnant” and choose to name it a name of hope, like “planted.” Jesus is with us in the good and the bad and uses both for the glory of His precious name, so let’s thank Jesus for the lessons of 2018 that will lead to a harvest of righteousness and trust in Him in this coming year.
All my love,