One year ago I predicted that God would show me hidden treasure.
In my One Word 2016 post, I laid out my life path as a treasure map with Jesus as the ultimate X and Prize to pursue. I wrote in faith that “He is far greater than any riches this world could give me,” and though I wasn’t aware of what journey would help lead me there, I was expectant.
Let me share some of this past year’s treasure with you...
First, I found the treasure of Foundation: who I am apart from any title, position, talent, or accomplishment. I was known not for things I have done or things I can do but was known simply as Kaitlyn.
I found the treasure of like-minded Friendship with writers, musicians, actors, artists in general who challenged the capacity for my own thinking and creating.
I discovered the fascination that is Personality study, of which I have now relentlessly bugged all my friends (and really anyone who would listen) by teaching them about cognitive functions leading to why we do the things we do.
I explored a new Hobby of salsa dancing, of all things, which was a source of joy, cherished laughter, and refuge from discouragement all year.
I joined the rest of the world finally and discovered The Office and Parks and Rec shows…pure gold right there.
I saw God’s glory most clearly in beauty, adventures, and conversation. Little did I know, treasure would also carry the name Reconstruction.
My original post’s introduction told of tear-stained scribbles of journal entries, but I failed to mention their origin: I didn’t realize it at the beginning of 2016, but I hadn’t fully dealt with a rejection in my past. From this hurt, my world became a snowball effect of changes; suddenly I wasn’t doing or pursuing the same things I had been known by (hence the treasure of Foundation mentioned above).
So this was the year to allow my heart to be mended – meaning it was the year to fully feel my hurt, to embrace the reality of loss, and to be honest about my disappointment with God. I believe “treasure” was the most fitting choice of words because once the healing was in motion, every good gift from the Lord in my life seemed especially precious, rich, and sweet.
In retrospect, the most intimate gift of treasure I received is the fact that God hasn’t restored what’s been lost; He’s completely Reconstructed me into someone new.
Now I’m walking out of 2016 into this new year with more awareness of how treasured I am by my Creator and King.
2016, meet 2017…
Thanks to the much-needed internal growth from the last year, I feel prepared for a new year of outward expansion and movement. With this freshly reconstructed heart, I’m making goals of becoming more disciplined, proactive, driven, intentional. Words like “awake, present, alive, breathing, alert” come to mind for 2017. I’m sensing a shift forward in my motivation because I feel more healed and whole as an individual.
I’ve been skeptical toward New Year’s resolutions. That’s probably why I chose something super vague and metaphorical for 2016. Joking aside, though, my hesitancy stems from approaching past resolutions with a motivation of shame. When I haven’t reached my expectations, I’ve been crippled to keep trying or believing for any progress at all. So by this time next year I’d love to be able to say that the above things were true of me – that I attained every single goal with no sweat, grew exponentially in my relationship with the Lord, essentially became the epitome of perfection. But that’s not reality, and I’m revisiting the purpose behind progress…
My friend Katelyn Grant explained it well, “Without the Creator of any and every good idea and endeavor, everything I “do” in 2017 will be dry, empty, powerless. It will surely fail. I will grow bitter towards my fallen goals. It wasn’t rooted in a desire to see Him lifted up, to see Him poured through each and every success…Making your mind adhere to the sweet presence of God is what will fuel and purify the strides you take towards a better you.”
I don’t have to strive toward progress in order to gain significance from God or to prove that significance to anyone. My ultimate vision for this year and my whole life is to love God and love people; whatever practical goals help me achieve this purpose more effectively, I’ll set. For 2017, I’m excited to uncover even more life and love found in Jesus, and I encourage you to do the same throughout your own journey.
Last year our team wore Giving Key necklaces as symbols of our visions for 2016. Check out www.thegivingkeys.com if you're interested in purchasing your own reminder for a 2017 One Word challenge.
Recommended Track of the Week: "Out of Hiding" by Steffany Gretzinger