Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 Reflection

It’s funny how food can bring back a rush of emotions.

One Friday morning, as I sunk my teeth into a squishy, little pao de queijo, I was flooded with memories of my time in Brazil. They came rushing back, vividly filling my mind.

I’ve eaten pao de queijo actually many times since I’ve been home, but ‘tis the season to reflect on the path our year has taken us. The holiday and New Year season has a way of resetting us. We find ourselves reminiscing and remembering the mighty moments of our year, considering and contemplating what we want to do differently moving forward.

The weight and magnitude of this past year hasn’t let me go yet and makes me wonder how I can move forward to something greater after so many pivotal, life-changing events. Throughout the year I’ve reached peaks of joy, valleys of sadness, precipices of fear, and mile-markers of accomplishment and celebration. All to a degree that I’ve never before experienced.

Getting engaged to the love of my life.

Securing my first job.

Translating for a dear friend’s medical emergency in the countryside of Brazil.

Getting baptized, surrounded by my church family in Austin.

Trying to love and encourage the prostitutes, children and homeless of crackland in Sao Paulo.

Moving out of my parent’s home.

Being humbled beyond belief by Brazilian culture, language, lifestyle…everything.

Learning firsthand that my Savior truly has no boundaries to His awesome love and grace. He cares intimately for the orphan, the unloved, the used, the broken, the marginalized, the hurting, the weak.

God has shown me time and time again this year that His care for us goes beyond just the mighty mile markers in our lives. He cares for us in the minute, mundane moments of our day-to-day life. He can use us even when we feel useless and weak. I rejoice that God was willing to use me when I could barely communicate, to love and serve in Brazil.

Though this was a year never to be forgotten, I pray that God would do far more than I could ever ask or imagine in each and every year from now on. And I believe He will do this because He is the God that created the heavens and the earth, who parted a sea for the people he loved, who made bread rain down on the hungry, who gave children to an unloved barren woman, who healed a lame man because of his faith, who was willing to part with his only son, let him experience the most humiliating scorn and death possible, so that he could have a personal, reconciled relationship with the people he created. This is not a God far removed. He is involved, and He wants you to let Him be involved in your life.

Let us not forget God’s beautiful gift during this busy season. As you remember your year and look forward to the next, pray boldly and put your trust in Him.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. My faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” – Oceans by Hillsong

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