Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: What a year!

Hello friends, on the last couple hours of 2010...the best year of my life by far.

I am midway into my senior year in college and instead of continuing my study abroad blog I decided to create another one, so here it is. This blog will mainly consist of my thoughts, musings, plans and new adventures on this next stage in my life....life after college. And while I have a ways to go before I get to graduation (Dec. 2011), I've already been wrestling with my post-grad plans and how it's all going to work out. After all that I've experienced this year, I still can't quite give God full control over my life's plans...but I'm working on it a little bit more each day. haha

Anyway, with the new year upon us, I have to take a little time and reflect on what a wonderful year 2010 has been. I hope and pray that it has been a joyful year for you as well, and even if it hasn't, I hope you have still learned from the trials and challenges this year has posed. You can always find the good in any situation if you look hard enough. :)

But what can I say about 2010? If you asked me to describe my year in a word....well, I just couldn't. Same thing about my study abroad experience...amazing, awesome, life-changing, incredible...the words just pale in comparison to what it was really like. Also, I can't even begin to list the new things I've done this year...or tell you what my best moment of the year was. Too many wonderful things have happened and so many dreams were fulfilled:
Going to NYC, going to Spain, living in Europe and speaking Spanish all day long, traveling by myself, finding out who I really am, making friends that will last a lifetime, going to Africa, trusting God fully in many situations, meeting and connecting with Spanish Christians, living life to the fullest, enjoying real friendships with people I never thought I'd be friends with, eating the most amazing food of my life...and the list could go on and on.

As I close out this year, my heart is overflowing with joy. God has been so good to me and has used me so much this year! Even when I thought I was doing everything wrong and had bad days in Sevilla, my daily life was still a shining testimony for Him. I could say that the things I bought, the food I ate and the things I saw were the most meaningful things about my time in Sevilla, but I can't. The thing that stands out the most to me are the relationships I've made with Europeans and Americans. I miss them dearly but I think God has wired my heart to be content with sharing bits of my time and life with people. I love and care about people deeply and some people will affect me more than others, but I can do well with not knowing people for very long. This goes the same for my relationships and connections in Jacksonville too. I am just so blessed to know and share my experiences with many, many different kinds of people and in many places around the world. I feel that God puts me in people's paths and others in my path for a reason and if two months is all the time that I will know them, I will make it the best time of our lives. If I've learned anything this year, it's really just to live each moment to the fullest and have no regrets. If the sun hasn't been out in days and it's shining brightly in your face and you're walking to class, just close your eyes and enjoy it. Or better yet, if there's a cute girl reading a magazine or newspaper near you...talk to her! What's the worst she can do...ignore you and keep reading (or laugh in your face---but let's not go there ;).
The point is to not let those moments pass you by! My life has become increasingly more interesting because of the risks I've taken socially and personally...and usually it comes with minor embarrassment, but I embrace it. You aren't living if you can't laugh at yourself! Geez. haha

Well, before this year comes to a close right before my eyes, I will leave you all with my thoughts on 2011. I am really sad to see this year go, as wonderful and life-changing as it has been, but I am excited to usher in the year in which I'll graduate college! But besides that, I don't know what this year will bring. I am still doubtful and uncertain about my many plans, but I know that God is in control of it all and has my (and your) best interests at heart. Take him at His Word:

[verses that have stuck with me this year]

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. --Lamentations 3:22-23


Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

I wish all of you who are reading this a wonderful and blessed New Year! May God bless you to overflowing and from that overflow may you be a blessing to other people. Live life to the fullest, fulfill your greatest dreams and make this year even better than 2010!

Feliz año nuevo y amor,

Sarah