As a blogger, I feel like I have some sort of obligation to do some sort of New Year’s/New Year’s Eve post. I think there might actually be an unwritten rule about it somewhere. But in all seriousness, this year has been so completely insane that I thought I would write up a monthly recap of all the madness that’s happened in the past 12 months, because sometimes I forget about all of the huge things that were a part of 2015. So here we go.
I reconciled with my best friend after several months of whatever the heck we were feuding about.
I took my first ever real writing class.
I experienced suicidal thoughts for the second time in my life.
I started coming to terms with what I really believed about being a gay Christian and what that meant for me.
I started my last year of Welcome Week at Bethel with spring welcomes.
I continued to heal from the depression and spiritual attack I experienced in January.
I came out to my family.
I shared this blog publicly for the first time, coming out to everyone who read it.
I saw two of my favorite artists live in concert.
I decided on a new life verse: Ephesians 3:20-21
I experienced the start of my first relationship with another guy.
I had an article published in an online magazine for the first time.
I wrote a second article that was published in an online magazine.
I was interviewed and later appeared in an article in the Clarion, Bethel’s student newspaper that went on to gain nationwide traction, shared by the likes of Justin Lee and Rachel Held Evans.
I moved out to North Dakota for the summer and later discovered that I hated the 9 week linguistics program that I was in.
I started dealing with some demons that went all the way back to middle school as a result of the people who were in the program.
I experienced my first breakup.
I learned that one of my friends passed away.
I finished my linguistics program in North Dakota and headed home.
I had an emotional and mental breakdown with my family where the full magnitude of everything that happened in middle school, including my first bout of suicidal thoughts, finally all spilled out.
I reconciled that whole mess with my family.
I went back to Bethel to serve in my last Welcome Week ever and loved every moment of it.
The morning of the second to last day of Welcome Week, I packed in four hours and went to the airport to leave for my semester abroad in Spain.
I arrived in Spain and met my host family.
I got lost my first night in Segovia.
I watched wide-eyed as the first month went by.
I visited Ireland, the Czech Republic, and England.
I almost killed one of my annoying travelmates.
I realized I was hopelessly addicted to Spanish chocolate croissants.
I experienced my first Gnimocemoh (that’s homecoming backwards fyi).
I reconnected with a friend I hadn’t talked to in 4 months.
I missed a friend’s wedding.
I DTR’ed with another guy and saw nothing come out of that.
I visited Hillsong Church Barcelona.
I finally understood Don Quijote.
I talked with one of my friends the night his dad passed away.
I was acknowledged as a regular at my favorite Spanish bakery.
I missed another friend’s wedding.
I reached the tell-stories-cook-together-and-go-to-theatre-shows-together level with my host mom.
I wrote the suicide letter that I never wrote and sent it.
I started coming to grips with the fact that I was leaving Spain.
I started a massive 25 page paper (that still isn’t done).
I said goodbye to Spain.
I arrived home in the US.
I’m writing this blog post now.
Thinking about this list earlier today, I decided that this past year has been filled with probably two or three years’ (at a conservative estimate) worth of monumental moments, and I just think that’s absolutely mind blowing. I honestly don’t think that I would’ve expected all of those things to happen a year ago, and yet here I am, having experienced so many things this year that you’d think they wouldn’t all fit within one 365 day period.
2015 has been a lot of things. It’s been painful. It’s been wonderful. It’s been challenging, and it’s been growing. I’ve cried a lot this year. But I’ve also stood wonderstruck quite a few times as well. I’ve faced demons old and new. I’ve been to four different countries and probably been on just as many, if not more, flights than I have in my entire life before this year. And I’ve closed a lot of chapters of life that have been open for a really long time, as well as opening a few new ones.
God has once again proven Himself to be infinitely faithful throughout whatever we might struggle through in this life, from being in a place where I questioned whether life was worth living anymore a year ago, through healing from that, through having that thing in my chest broken and wading through many different kinds of loss, through providing friends and love in other places that I didn’t expect, through a semester in another country immersed in a different language, to bringing me home and instilling in me an anxiousness stemming from the excitement over the infinite possibilities that lie ahead in 2016 and in life in general. This year has been nothing less than an emotional, spiritual, mental, and personal rollercoaster of all the twists and turns you could ever imagine, but He is the one thing that has remained constant throughout all of it, planted steadfast as the one thing that I can rely on when everything in my world seems to be up in the air, spinning completely out of control.
So, I’m not really sure what the next year has in store. As I’ve said countless times already this year, everything after graduation in May is uncertain. 6 classes stand between me and college graduation, and I don’t really know what comes after that. I’m applying to grad school, but other than that, I’m trusting that God will continue to lay out His path for me as the time comes. Though I’d like to know a more detailed plan of what’s to come, I suppose I’ll have to be content with that for now. I had no idea what to expect a year ago today, and then a thousand crazy things happened over the course of this year that left me speechless as to the unpredictable ways in which the Lord chooses to work. So, I guess I’ll just use the same plan for this upcoming year. It seems to have worked out alright.
So, I guess I’ll end this sort of sappy roundup post this way, by resharing my new favorite couple of verses as of this year from Ephesians 3.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”
- Ephesians 3:20-21
I might not know the scope of what’s going to hit me in 2016, but God does and He promises here that it’s going to be immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine, and that just gets me excited to see all of the crazy, supposedly impossible things that God is going to do over the course of this next year. I’m just glad to be along for the ride.
To everyone reading, thanks so much for keeping up with everything that I’ve written and everything that I’ve experienced this past year. I wouldn’t have made it through without Jesus and without a lot of you guys.