What Did Last Year Teach You?

You are a piece of the world around you.

Reflecting back on what the last year had to offer, I am joyful. Not because my year was financially prosperous, or full of monumental life change, but because I found myself on my knees in praise. And I learned how to do that despite the circumstances I found myself in.

2012 wasn’t always sunshine and butterflies, and for that I am grateful! It ended up being one of the most useful and emotionally rewarding years I’ve yet to live.

Here are a few things I’ve learned over the last 365 days.

Need comes in every color, shape, and size.

I’ve had many heart wrenching and belly laughing conversations with those I may not have expected.

I’ve had the honor of sharing purpose in life with a refugee discussing suicidal thoughts and watching their misery turn to joy. I’ve sat on dirt floors in homes of those who had never heard the name “Jesus,” and prayed with them as they excitedly welcomed Him into their lives. I worked with a homeless woman to discuss a brighter future for her children, held hands with broken people, laughed with the lost, and welcomed new believers into the kingdom.

I’ve learned that need knows no geographical boundaries—we were assured of this years ago. All we have to do is open our eyes and embrace the need around us. We are never at a shortage.

Less really is more.

After spending a decent amount of time with those who have “little to nothing” in the eyes of most, I realized they typically have the “most of everything” that’s really important.

Joy isn’t found in a mound of possessions or multiple zeros in one’s bank account—joy is found in appreciating life’s blessings that have minimal monetary value, and immeasurable eternal worth.

I’ve learned to keep a loose grip on things—possessions are meaningless, and the more we can give away, the better off we really are. There’s so much more to life than stuff, and it’s time we started freeing ourselves of it.

Our lives have purpose to someone else.

I know I’m not alone in waking up wondering my place in this world. Why am I still here today? What have I yet to accomplish? What is my purpose?

Instead of balking at this idea, and digging a hole to hide until I “have it all figured out,” I realized the importance in living life step by step . . . day by day . . . encounter by encounter.

God never makes mistakes. We don’t meet people on accident. We aren’t asked things outside of our means.

The most important thing we have to realize is that we have the choice to choose our place in this world. Instead of waking up questioning “me” everyday, I understand the importance of asking more about you—and praying over whom I’ll meet that needs a hand.

Looking forward to 2013, try not to get overwhelmed with pinpointing a specific thing you have to accomplish and have to tackle. Instead, why not spend time reflecting on what you’ve already learned and how you can apply it over the next year?

Make a point to be more available.

As I’ve said in posts time and time again, the most important thing you have to offer the world is you. Instead of waiting until you have the best version of you perfected, offer what you are now, and allow time and experience to mold you into something better.

Resolve to really live in 2013—the less you make your life about you, the more you’ll understand your piece in the puzzle of life.  

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Kristin Read
Kristin has been a writer and creative storyteller the vast majority of her life. She has a deep passion for hearing others stories and for sharing her own on www.kreadsblurbs.com.

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