2016.

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Happy New Year! I wanted to write something about 2015, but also in anticipation of what I know will be a good year coming up. I had the immense pleasure of spending the countdown moments with my track teammates and I don't think I would trade that for the world. How amazing is it that people can come together and connect and share their lives over food with fun and games? Call me old fashioned, but I would much rather spend time with a small group of people and be intentional, versus a large party. I loved it. If you're reading this and you came out to my place, you are very much appreciated. Thank you.  

In retrospect, I guess 2015 was nothing like I ever anticipated. I always get this weird feeling when it turns to a new year - wait, what?! But...I want more of 2015! (or whichever year it is). The past 365 days have been the most life changing, fun, experiential days of my entire life and I can appreciate every single day for what it was worth. I cannot say that I have loved every day, because that you would be plain out lying. But I can say that God gave me a whole lot to take in, and in retrospect it becomes easy to say that I can appreciate the lessons learned and the days that I fought hard in.

 

This year, I fell in love. I think the word love could have been my word for the year. Instead, it was joy. I believe through love I found a lot of joy. And I'm not talking the romantic love, despite the fact that that was a large part of my year, rather, I am talking about a love greater than anything I could have ever imagined. A love from God, and a desire, almost a magnetic pull you could say, to know Him better. I don't know where it came from, and I don't know why, but I truly believe God called me to be His servant this year. That meant following Him down pathways and back alleys where I dared not to go by myself. This year, God asked me to totally surrender to Him and ensure that my faith was the most important thing in my life. As I mentioned in my last post, it can be easy in reflection to understand the meaning of how our lives unfurl. We can see a birds eye view of what happened and even if we don't fully know all of the details, we can get a better picture of what happened and see why God moulded and shaped us the way He did. Despite it being a potentially easy understanding, I believe that it is a beautiful thing. If we could understand God's movement and patterns in our lives, we would be without awe and our relationship with Him would be nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

 

Going into 2016, my word is flourish. At first I thought the word said "flour-ish" and I struck me a bit funny, but then after pondering a bit more I knew in my heart this is what my Saviour is calling me to do. It also can sound a little selfish I think - God wants me to flourish? He wants me to do well? He wants me to succeed? I think that is part of it, but I also believe it means flourishing in a different way. The word flourish itself means to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment. That word healthy strikes me as a very important one, in that we are called to live out Christ's love and word in a very unhealthy world. Despite our call to reach into those places, it is vital that we flourish in our own relationship by being with people who also love the Lord. This doesn't mean only spending time with people who already know the Lord, because that is stupid and not what Jesus asked us to do. It means being a beacon of His love when you are present in any situation. Today in our quiet time at training camp we had the chance to listen to Andy Stanley speak on Romans 12:2, and the transforming of your mind. Check it out and know that we are called to be people set apart with a different mindset. It's pretty neat. We are called to be in a loving community with both believers and non-believers and God gives us the chance to love all.

 

So, in 2015, I fell in love, chose to love, and was loved back. In 2015, I got very sick, started new track events, moved into my own basement suite and experienced my very first relationship. In 2015, I learned to trust God more, learned to pray more, and learned to love others as Christ loves us (that one is and always will be a working progress).

 

In 2016, I will continue to love and grow. In fact, I will flourish. I don't know what that looks like yet, but I know that we serve a magnificent Father who is capable of anything. This year, lives will be transformed, hearts will be renewed and minds will be set free.

 

My prayer for you this year is that you would grow with Jesus with a malleable heart - one that is open and easily bendable and shapable. Now, that is a scary thing, but it is also I think the most beautiful thing you could ever do. To allow a God so full of love to penetrate the deepest part of your soul and rescue you from your human nature.

 

If you are praying, I would ask for my own specific prayer requests. Can you pray that Jesus would use me in a strong way this year? A specific way, a way that would allow others to see His love and glory? Can you pray that I would be able to move on from past challenges, own up to my roles, and to pursue love in a Christ-like way?

 

Thanks for being a part of katie+words for 2015. 2016 will be wonderful, and I hope that you will be a part of my life moving forwards. You can anticipate more stories about Jesus moving here in Langley, stories about wonderful people, more short films, more creative photos and more loving words intended to bring about a community of love and grace.

 

seek Jesus. make disciples. love radically.

 

katie.