2015 taught what’s most important

every year when it’s time to turn the calendar to a new year, it seems like the years keep going by faster. being a photojournalist, I can use this imagery to help me find what’s important. Life can be a fuzzy sometimes, but at the end of the day, I have to ask myself, did I take time to focus or was it a blur?

was God first? did I take time to recognize how awesome the people are around me or was I too concerned with me?

it’s selfish in nature to think of ourselves. I admit I struggle with this. In the Christmas season at church this year, a sermon was taught on Elizabeth. She was barren and it wasn’t until she was old that God had blessed with her a child. And at the same time, Mary was pregnant with Jesus. But Elizabeth’s response was different. In Luke 1, verse 41, Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit when she saw Mary. She told Mary in verses 42 to 45:

“God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

when I was at church during that sermon, I thought how often to do jump for joy or celebrate the blessings of others before my own? it me hard. yea, it’s easy in today’s age, when we can log on to Facebook and see other people getting married or having kids.

this year, I struggled with being content and wanting everything. I think it’s part of reason I quit my job writing that loved. but the American dream is to have a perfect job, a spouse and children. after hearing that sermon, God showed me that he has a different plans for everyone. for some people, he’s blessed them with marriages, families and jobs. for others, he’s still working out those plans.

yea, I’m 24, almost 25 in a month (woah I can rent a car!!!), single and I have a job. I know God’s still working his plan and I just have to be patient. while I’m being patient, I’m want to be genuinely happy and share in other’s blessings. that’s what I want to work on in 2016. I have the best family and I have the best friends doing amazing things for God in Africa, or that are in different states, or going to grad schools, or graduating from grad schools, or in law schools, or that have awesome jobs here in Sioux Falls or in different countries like Spain playing basketball or in England or in Arkansas and soon moving to Germany. And I met some new awesome friends down South that live in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. I’m glad I could be a part of their lives. you guys are awesome. 🙂

all in all, looking back on 2015. it was like a beautiful mess. I learned a lot. I smiled and some nights, at 3 am coming home from work, I cried ‘cuz I wanted to give up. but in all those long sleepless nights, I knew I wasn’t alone. God’s always by my side. i worked at a newspaper for a year in small town Iowa. I lived by myself. I learned a lot. I do miss it and do have regrets leaving now just ‘cuz I miss writing and making an impact in the lives of athletes. I loved capturing the joy of kids. I wrote a lot of cool stories.

I came back home to Sioux Falls. I took a job here. it’s a new experience and is shooting video. new experiences are good. they can give you new skills to keep with you for the rest of your life. I’ve learned that. I miss writing. but for now, I have to focus on where I’m at. God’s got a plan and it’s good. so good. I have learned to keep trusting and to have a faith that doesn’t give up ‘cuz God has never given up on me and never will.

In my job I write or tell about people’s lives in stories or video, God’s still doing the same in my life. I just have a job and am single. maybe God’s called me to singleness or maybe he still has the perfect girl out there for me. yea, I struggle with this. this year in 2015, I had met a girl. we talked for awhile, but then because I then I decided to pursue career first and keep waiting. I do wish sometimes I would have pursued it but I have to live with it. my grandma also tried finding a girl for me. I wrote a letter to her. but never got a response. I just got to remain patient.

again, I do miss writing. however, I have to accept the fact I moved on. who knows, maybe in the future, God will have a job for me to write again. life’s too short to have regrets so I have to keep focusing on how I can grow closer to God and how I can continue to be support the people I love.

all I am is Yours, God.

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