A Letter to 2017

SavannahLessons Learned, New Experiences Leave a Comment

Dear 2017, What a year we’ve had together! You have been full of growth, although not in the way I would’ve expected.

Every year, I write goals that I would like to accomplish, a word I would like to find the true meaning of, a quote to remember and a Bible verse to memorize. I know it sounds like a lot, but having those things really help you to stay focused on the goals you have set for yourself. They will almost always come to mind when you need them most and remind you of the goals you made.

These are the goals I set for myself for 2017. My word of the year isn’t listed here but it was “thankfulness”. I wanted to learn the true definition of thankfulness and how to achieve the true definition.

I would say I have accomplished my goal of learning about the true definition of thankfulness. A missions trip to a third world country will take care of that. I found this truth not only in Guatemala, but in the most mundane of places.

I found it babysitting sweet kiddos. I found it in school work. I found it while serving at church. I found it while worshipping in church. I found it driving after dark to get all my permit hours in. I found it while lying awake in my bed scared to death of the future. I found thankfulness in all these places.

The funny thing about thankfulness is that it can oftentimes have a strange way of manifesting itself. Like the earthquake I survived in Guatemala. Thankfulness certainly made it’s way through the heart of each team member on the trip. Like my first flight on an airplane. Thankful does not even begin to describe the peace I felt when stepping off that airplane (people are so encouraging when they ask you what you’re going to do if the plane crashes into the ocean). Thankfulness made itself known through heartache this year. The heartache of losing babysitting jobs. The heartache of saying goodbye. The heartache of the unknown. I struggled with heartache, but that heartache was lightened by the people here and by those leaders and mentors at my church who aren’t pictured here.

I couldn’t be more thankful for these sweet friends I have than I already am!

Family is wonderful and I am blessed with the best!

The views I’ve seen this year have been wonderful and cause me to marvel at the majesty of God’s creation.

Views are great, but my Jesus is greater. And let me just say, the pictures do none of these justice for how beautiful they really were/are. Oh, and many thanks to Guatemala for giving me the best pictures this year.

Oh and one more thing. I am thankful for the ways that I have changed and grown this year. My views of the world and the people in it have been forever changed this year. That experience has taught me more than I ever thought it would. So, the first set of pictures is me through the year (technical difficulties could have been my words for 2017 because it seems as though that’s all I had). 2017, you were the best at times, you were the worst at times, but I never stopped believing the things you taught me.

I learned the joys and downfalls of being an adult and boy have you made me want to stay a kid forever. Babysitting can be wonderful, but also really difficult. Kids aren’t always as nice and cute as they seem. I picked up three new families and started helping out at the church and what a blessing that has been. I took my first ever college class and passed with an A. I took the SAT and ACT and learned all about acceptance and about how not to compare yourself to others. I managed to not pull my hair out while trying to do school, work, and still found time for church. I went on my final youth trip as a student (what?!?!) to Camp Caswell and every moment was marvelously bittersweet. I managed to get over my fear of the unknown and not only fly out of the country, but go on my first international missions trip and without my parents. I’m still working on the whole I graduate in less than five month thing though. That’s a whole different level of intimidation. I have done nothing on my own though, but it is entirely through Christ and His grace and mercy that I have survived.

Thanks for the fun, the hardships, the laughs, and the tears. You were a pretty great year 2017, but I can’t wait to see where 2018 takes me.

Love, Sav

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