2018 Review: The Year of Endurance

Wow! We are literally days away from closing out 2018. Christmas seemed like it happened 15 minutes ago (which I do hope it was a joyous and blessed one for you and your family) as the new year is underway. With a few days to recuperate from Christmas Day dinners and chocolate chip cookie overload, it’s also been a time of personal reflection for me as I review everything that has happened this year.

There are many words to describe this year personally. If I could choose just one out of the myriad of adjectives, it would be “endurance“. From the beginning, this year has been an endurance run. I’ve been continually tested emotionally, at times physically, and most definitely spiritually.

In the dark backdrop of this year, there were bright and sparkly blessings that only came by God’s Hand. I was able to do TONS of traveling. I took a much-needed visit back home to California to visit family and I can NEVER forget the AWESOME trips to the Turks and Caicos Islands twice and The Bahamas with my husband.

South Caicos, Turks and Caicos Island (August 2018)

In the year’s rollercoaster ride of the highest highs and lowest lows, there were some takeaways that I believe made me a stronger, more resilient, faith-filled, woman ready for the next year and season to come. If I could share with you what God has taught me this year, we would be reading until April 2019. So I decided to narrow it down to 1 life-changing takeaway that I believe were vital for next year.

Taking Time To Seek Christ and His Word DILIGENTLY is VITAL

In my year of endurance of trials and testing, I’ve learned the importance of quality vs. quantity of spending time with Jesus on a deeper level. There’s NOTHING like intentionally being in the presence of God. I’m talking about going out of your way, putting plans aside, clearing schedules, your heart, and mind to be with Him. It’s just You and God.

I’ve learned when enduring the painful, confusing, and inexplicable moments in life this year, rushing time with God to see how many blessings I can collect before making a quick exit isn’t spiritually adequate. It’s like a taking a tall glass 1/4 filled with water, snatching it from the flow of the giant pitcher knowing that I’m thirsty. This repeated process leaves me unfulfilled, exhausted, and unsatisfied.

When I’m still in The Lord’s presence while enjoying and relaxing our unhindered time together (however long it is), both He and I are blessed. My spirit is filled with His strength as I’m able to brave what life has thrown at me.

So much of my depletion, exhaustion, frustration, and weariness this year came from not being in God’s presence, resting in Him, and allow Him to fill me.

I’ve also discovered that God’s Word is His loving vote of confidence in me as I climbed the heights and hills of life. During the times I feel like I can’t and won’t go any further, He gives me that jolt to keep pushing, keep enduring.

“The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like hinds’ feet and He will make me walk on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:19 (MEV)

Reflecting over this year, I would say that this year was unfavorable. I can’t say that I’m sad to see it go. I do, however, realize this difficult year of endurance was necessary as it strengthens me for what’s to come in 2019 and I’m grateful for that.

What has 2018 taught you? If you could give it a title, what would you call it? Comment below, I’d love to read your thoughts.

May you have a blessed and prosperous New Year!

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