Is it New Year’s again? (Unmet expectations of 2014)

2014 is over after tomorrow. This year was nothing that I expected it to be!

1) I expected to go on a date every month:¬†I got 7 out of 12. The other 5 months I was leading a bunch of missionaries who aren’t allowed to date so I thought I should probably not date either…you know, for them.

2) I expected to stay in Georgia: I only stayed for six months AND THEN, I decided to pack up all my stuff and move out of a house I love, away from my closest friends, and spend five months with 43 strangers.

3) I expected to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary and rejoice at God’s faithfulness in their life and marriage. The legacy they have built for me in the spirit gave me such excitement to share this special day with them. However, my flight was delayed in Johannesburg causing me to miss my connecting flight in Abu Dhabi. So…I spent my 28th birthday in the United Arab Emirates and missed the anniversary party by about 10 hours. I cried in the airport but also had a memorable 28th birthday…you win some, you lose some.

4) I’m not going to lie…last year on my birthday I expected to be in a relationship by this time. Alas, I’m not. And I’m reminded every time I go home for the holidays. An older lady at my parents church looked at me with sad and longing eyes and asked, “Have you met anyone…you know, special?” I’ve learned to smile and move on but I wanted to tell her it was none of her business. I’VE NEVER TALKED TO YOU, LADY. Just because you know my grandparents, doesn’t mean you know me. Okay, rant over. But all in all, I’m truly not disappointed. Sure I have days when it feels incredibly hopeless and I don’t think I’ll ever meet a man my age who is normal and single. I want him to be awesome too but on those hopeless days, you can’t reach too far! Other days, I’m at complete peace and confident for the man God has for me. I know he is freaking amazing and passionate and caring and kind and generous and hot and then some. AND I am so thankful for everything I experienced this year because I was single! I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

5) I feel like I need a fifth expectation that didn’t happen for me because 5 is better than 4. Or is it? Well, I can’t think or something else that didn’t happen as I expected but I can think of one that did. I expected God to be faithful and to carry me. HE DID. Gosh, he always does! He’s so good to me and he took such good care of me this year. And with that, I am confidently walking into 2015 knowing that God is walking with me and he is directing my steps. He asks me to be brave, he asks me to surrender, he asks me to love. And every time I do, it’s worth it.

ūüćĽ Here’s to 2015, a year filled with GOODNESS.

amen.

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How Joseph Saved Christmas

On my last night in South Africa,¬†I celebrated Christmas with my WR squad. We sang songs, ate cookies and read the story of Jesus’ birth. As we were reading about this groundbreaking event in history, one part stuck out to me more than ever before.

It was about Joseph.

Mary gets tons of credit (rightfully so, she was a champ). But if you really think about it, God put more responsibility and risk on Joseph. Joseph was the one who carried the lineage of David. His involvement in Christ’s birth was a vital piece to the fulfillment of ancient prophecies about the Messiah.¬†Pregnant Mary¬†without Joseph could not have accomplished the purposes of God nor experienced the promises of God.

The Spirit can fall on anyone and work miracles like an immaculate conception. But only a man within himself can choose to obey God. Joseph made that decision.

Joseph could have said no. He could have chosen fear (of the unknown, of societal pressures, of the opinion of man…) but he chose to obey the angel Gabriel and believe him at his word.

His decision partnered with God’s plan in a way that required free will and choice. God could not control Joseph’s answer. And yet God rests the entirety of Christ’s fulfillment to scripture on this one man.

God still has faith in humanity. He still has faith in you.

What decisions do you need to make with your own free will to bring about the purposes and promises of God on the earth? Decisions that will not only affect you but those closest to you and future generations. It’s time to change history with our decisions. This Christmas, let us be like Joseph and decide to refuse fear courageously obey God.