I can tend to get quite retrospective on two days: my birthday and January 1. I love to look back at the year behind me and ask questions like: How have I become more like Jesus this year? Am I more like Jesus this time this year than I was at this time last year? What new struggles am I facing? How have I matured? What do I need to work on in the new year? What would I like to learn spiritually and academically? Am I fulfilling my callings as a daughter, sister and follower of Jesus to the best of my ability?
This year, though, I have thought about the last year as well as the last ten years.
Can you remember where you were 10 years ago? Can you remember who you were, what stage of life you were in and who were your friends? What was your maturity level spiritually, emotionally and physically?
Ten years is a long time. So much can change. So much can happen. I have lived in the same town the last 10 years. I did not know how to drive ten years ago. Ten years ago my dad was graduating Seminary. Ten years ago I did not have a job. I had not been overseas ten years ago. Ten years ago I was a little girl.
The last 10 years of my life, since I am only in my twenties, have proved to be the maturing, growing and developing years. I have passed from childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood. I have experienced more trials than I would like to recount. I have accomplished many things. I have laughed. I have cried. I have pondered. I have wept.
Many people dread the reality of getting older. There are so many methods that promote youth and postpone the aging process. But I am enjoying getting older. It comes with a new set of struggles and trials that I did not have to experience as a child. Yet, it also has its joys that a child cannot understand. I am learning that no stage of life has all of the benefits.
Except one: knowing God.
And this is what I love about watching another year of my life pass. I know Christ better than I did at this time last year. As I read my journal from July and August of 2005 I see how I have grown. CS Lewis in his book, Prince Caspian, describes it perfectly when Aslan seems bigger to Lucy, not because he (Aslan) has grown, but because she is older and is able to comprehend more of his character.
As each year passes I am able to see more and more of who God is... and at the same time realize with age that I have only scratched the surface of who He is!
It is a beautiful paradox.
I would not trade the painful trials I have faced the last 10 years. I know Him more as a result. I would not trade the joys with which He has blessed me. I know Him more as a result.
How long will I live? 75 years? 80 years? Not long enough to know Him as much as He can be known on earth. I guess that is what eternity is for....
The last fews years Isaiah 43:10 has been my life verse. It sums up who I am and what my purpose on earth should be:
"You are My witnesses," declares the LORD,
"and My servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe Me
and understand that I am He.
Before Me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after Me.