For some reason I've not been impressed/taken aback by a 2000's year until this year. Something about the 13 staring back at me made me realize 1. how old I'm getting, 2. how young I'm not getting, 3. how fast time flies, and 4. how great God moves + blesses + saves + redeems.
I remember 2000. Y2K. Everyone thought the world was going to end (everyone still thinks the world is going to end - #notmuchhaschanged). My family had just made the move from serving in a third-world country to the United States of crazily blessed Americans. I was my awkward self, but heightened to the nth degree because it was smack-dab in the middle of my middle school years.
I remember 2005. Graduated from high school. Got destroyed by God at our annual Senior Send-Off sermon by my beloved youth pastor. You know those memories you have where you don't really remember content but you remember all the raw emotions? I don't remember much about the sermon, specifically the part about me, but I remember weeping. This was probably the year I realized that I am a unnecessary weeper (kind of like how Kristen Bell describes her emotional reaction to having a baby sloth surprise her on her birthday). If you catch me watching a cheesy Nicholas Sparks movie, or hearing about how someone's friend's uncle's co-worker's grandmother experienced some awful, heart-wrenching trauma of some kind, or if I spend time alone thinking about all the awful things that are happening in the world...I'm probably weeping in the corner.
I remember 2009. Graduated from college. Got rocked by God. Put off grad school for a year. Worked as a youth director. Realized I have been called out of death to live a life of giving Him glory, honor, and praise. Messed up a lot of times. Made myself my own idol - worshipped my own talents, strengths, abilities. Got rocked by God again.
It is only the 7th day of the year, but there's something different about this new year air. It's both heavy and overwhelmingly refreshing. In the months leading up to the end of 2012 (and I'm talking since June), I've heard and/or read an absurd number of sermons/talks/interviews/blog posts about having joy during trials and suffering. At the same time, I've heard and/or read an absurd number of sermons/talks/interviews/blog posts about how the Lord is sovereign, and how He reigns supremely and justly especially during the hard, dark, lonely feels-like-I've-been-deserted times. All of this came together in a resounding crash! when I watched Passion 2013 from the comforts of my couch and computer screen and heard once more that if I'm eager to accept God's blessings, I will have to be eager to accept God's everythings - pain, suffering and sadness included.
And I'm ok with that. Because if there's anything I'm learning about my God, it's that He is good. All the time. No matter what. And if things aren't 'good', who am I to say otherwise? God is God, He does what He wants, when He wants, how He wants...in the most loving, we-wont-understand-because-He's-God-and-we're-not kind of way. I find comfort in knowing that at the end of the day, the world does not revolve around my ability to cross things off my own list of to-dos for life (or the fact that a list of to-do's exists, for that matter). I am loved by a God who beckons me daily to seek after Him, to seek after what He loves, who He loves. Yes, this is good news, good news indeed.
Y'all. This is going to be a big year. I can feel it in my dead-but-now-alive bones.