Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016/Hello 2017


A lot of people have been saying bad things about you 2016, and it’s true that not all of you was great.

But a lot happened this year and now is the time to reflect upon it.
The end of 2015, I had finished the first semester of my Senior year at a new college. Some of my friends weren’t coming back the following semester and I knew I only had one semester left until I was supposed to figure out something else to do and hopefully get a job in my major. So, 2016 seemed like a mystery to me. I knew it was full of possibility but I wasn’t sure how everything was going to unfold.

Well, let’s start with my last semester of college. I had some really neat things happen and really cool opportunities in my last semester. One of the major things in my life was getting to deepen in friendships made at the end of 2015 and make new friendships too. Of course, I never have forgotten the friendships made in the Fall semester of 2015 that I didn’t get to see as often, but it was nice to make more and grow with them too. There were a lot of Disney movie nights, coffee, and taco bell runs. But on the academic side, I also got the very wonderful opportunity of being a media intern for a couple of days at SUN’NFUN in Lakeland where I got an article published in their newspaper. I also got featured and had a newspaper article written about my friend and I in a newspaper as well. It was a lot of firsts and it really did grow me. I also got to be apart of my very first improve show put on by the drama club. It may have been a seemingly small thing, but I feel like it improved my acting skills and was something I’ll always treasure.

Now, let’s talk graduation. Graduation came and flew with bittersweet emotions. I was leaving something so very comfortable to me and something I liked. I liked learning and I liked being a student. It was something I have been for most of my life and I was leaving school behind. Thankfully, I got to graduate with a myriad of my friends and I had a great graduation really. But I knew the lingering question of “what’s next” wouldn’t leave me alone until I found out the answer to it. So came Summer.

Summer. It was a long Summer. But Summer taught me a lesson I already knew but to a different degree. I learned to wait. The previous Summer when my college “Clearwater Christian College” closed and I had to find a new one to go to for the Fall semester, I learned to wait and be patient. Here I was again with a different situation but the same problem. I learned to pray more fervently again. I applied like crazy, submitted online articles to online magazines, and even went to a couple of interviews. I thought it’d be easy to get a job for the Summer. It wasn’t. Nothing worked and nothing happened and a few times I felt like a failure. I had neglected to reach out to the preschool I used to work at because I thought God might have been calling me to a different workplace to get other experience.

However, as the Summer went on and I wasn’t getting anywhere, I finally reached out to the preschool and the very same day that school started back up again for my younger sister and my older sister Gracie started up her new job as a teacher, I got a call back from that preschool asking me to start as soon as possible. I knew there was a purpose and it was a blessing that God gave me a job that day. I also learned that I was wrong and I was needed back at the preschool. I also was reminded how much I love working with kids. I also, looking back, got to see the little blessings I received in not having a job for the summer. I got to go on a wonderful trip to GA where I went blackberry picking and made blackberry pie and went to a drive-in movie theater all for my first time. I got to help out with my church’s VBS which I am unsure if I will be able to do this Summer. I got to spend quality time with my El Salvadorian friend Claudia who was able to spend a week here in FL. I got to spend a lot f time with my friend Heidi before she got a job as a nurse at Tampa General. There were so many little blessings that I didn’t see right away but I see now.

The last part of the year has been spent working at the preschool which I am still currently working at for now. This year my goal and aim is to get my license and maybe then try to reach out and find a job in my major or seek an internship in journalism. I don’t really know what 2017 will hold because I have learned to wait and seek God and to not expect anything. I had plans, but they fell through because it wasn’t where God wanted me at that point in time in life. I don’t know how long God wants me to be at the preschool but I am content being where He wants me to be for now. I am waiting, and I am listening. I do not mind waiting anymore. There is no hurry. I don’t need a grand job right this instant. I will stay where He wants me and I will love these children while I am here and I can.

That being said, I don’t think 2016 was too bad for me. It was a year of change but I think changes happen every new season. There are many chapters in a year I have learned and a year holds a book. So, a new book awaits me. It’s entitled; “2017”. I am ready to see what it holds for me and hopefully I will hold on to this lesson of waiting and the beauty within the wait. I know I stressed and worried way too much that Summer of 2016 and though I am glad I learned from it, I don’t want to repeat it. I don’t want to have to re-learn it this year.

So, 2017, what do I hope for? I hope to continue working with the Rainbow Village ministry I am apart of and to continue to love the kids there and get to know them more. I hope to deepen my prayer life and pray radical prayers. I pray for patience at the preschool and to continue to love the children with God’s love. I pray that I learn to rest in God during the moments of waiting in my life. I hope to learn from my mistakes. I hope to go with God’s plan and to stop trying to figure out my own plans. I hope to invest in God’s word more so I may be ready to give answers when asked questions about God and His word.

2017, I am ready.

So, as the clock ticks away closer and closer to midnight, I wish you all a Happy New Year’s Eve and a Happy New Year.

I am ready for more memories, changes and moments.

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