Oh 2017… You have been one of the best years of my life thus far. This time last year I never would have thought I’d be where I am today or would have made the friends that I’ve made. 2017 was the year of trusting more, and learning to love people the way Jesus did.
During the start of the year, trusting that God had everything in control was a bit of a challenge. But as the year progressed, I started to do more of what I loved without hesitation. Trusting God has completely turned my world upside down in a great way, and has granted me some incredible memories.
One of the incredible things that happened this year from just trusting God was to leave my job as an event planner and begin work at a local ice cream shop called Cruze Farm. This was really scary and jarring because I had finally gotten to be in a position that I’ve wanted for a long time. But one day God told me it was time to leave. So after weeks of wrestling with this I finally broke down and said okay.
Through that one giant scared leap of faith I have been met with the most amazing bunch of people and have seen God’s insane/amazing work come to life. These people truly inspire me continuously to never stop going after what God has placed in my heart. This job has helped me see that by following my passions of music, art, writing, and loving people are not for my own fun and happiness. They are in me for a reason. These passions were given to me for God to use in incredible ways, but even knowing this I was reluctant in what He was telling me. Thankfully, God is not afraid to break people down until they say “okay”. So broke me He did, and “okay” I said.
God showed me again what can be done when I lay my pride down and trust Him to use me for His glory. These people that are not only dreamers, but incredible examples of making their dreams come to life, and I am so incredibly happy to have taken that leap of faith to switch jobs, and to just say, “okay.” to whatever God has in store.
This year was also about loving others in a wholehearted way, and wanting nothing in return. To love people the way Jesus did. And Jesus loved in the most breathtaking way. He saw that many souls were looking to the world, and just needed to be reminded of God’s amazing love and promises. Jesus served others selflessly. He did not love others and do things for others out of expecting them to do the same. Instead He just loved others purely.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. –Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
Loving others the way Jesus did was something that I desperately needed to learn how to do. And goodness was it difficult… It’s so difficult to love without expecting anything, to continuously love someone even if they hurt you, and to love someone that you don’t even know. It really is hard! Especially when we live in a self-loving world where it’s all about “me”. The “what’s in it for me?”, “How does it benefit me?” culture that we live in makes loving the way Jesus did challenging and painful. Painful because the flesh is so absorbed with itself and it has to be severely broken.
So when that moment of God severely breaking my heart came, I was actually excited. Excited to finally be freed from selfish loving ways, and dive fully into selfless loving ways. I could finally begin the journey to loving the way Jesus did. I could finally constantly put others first without expecting anything in return, and not feel weird about it.
Because let’s face it. Loving the way Jesus does is weird. But the good kind of weird. The weird that leaves a lasting impression. An impression of love, joy, and kindness. A love that leads us to Live Happily Inked.
SO here is to you 2017. Thanks for being one incredible year.