I want 2016 to be different

So I’m actually writing a blog post after nearly two years of, well, not blogging. I may never write another one after this one in my life, or I may write a bunch of posts that I only want to delete later. Regardless, I like the idea of sharing a few more of the thoughts from my journey here. My desire is to be a little more vulnerable (gosh, this is already scary) and way, way less preachy. Why is being preachy so easy? Anyway, that’s probably another story for another time.

Let me tell you about my New Year’s goals. I know I’m about 14 days too late for them to be sensational, but around New Year’s Day proper I wasn’t in any good place to be making resolutions. They would have been lame and fake, I promise.

So I was driving home from the Oklahoma City area last week. It takes me about 4 hours to get home from there, and I usually drink coffee, listen to loud music, or talk to my sister on the phone. This time I was listening to a podcast from Boundless.org (these have been immensely encouraging to me lately), and I heard Francis Chan and his wife talk how our church culture consumes so much theology without going out and making a difference. He said, “Just do SOMETHING.” Gosh, that hit home. I began to realize that somewhere, sometime along the way I had stopped taking risks and played life pretty safe. Maybe I’m afraid, maybe I’m lazy, probably both. If I think I might fail or even not measure up to someone else’s awesomeness, I don’t try.

Do you think it might be better to risk failure than not to try at all?

Do you think success might come from stumbling again and again and again?

Do you think we might only grow when life is less than perfect?

So I want 2016 to be different. I want to see what can happen when I put myself out there and trust Jesus for all He can do in me and through me. I want to spend a little less time watching Netflix (I do love me some Parks and Rec and Grey’s Anatomy though) and a little more time talking to people I know and people I don’t know that well. I’m training for a half marathon. I want to invite people over to my school apartment and cook pasta for them. I want to take pretty pictures on my phone. I want to try working with children again…not that I’m great with kids, but how in the world am I supposed to get better if I never get any experience?

And where does it stop? What if I tried to sing at church? What if I went to more events at school? What if I gave a little more of my life and my resources than is comfortable? I’m graduating from nursing school this May…what if I go somewhere new and different where I have to trust Jesus a whole lot more than I do when I’m in familiar places?

Looking back, I’m grateful for times I took risks instead of playing it safe. I went to New York on a mission trip with school last spring break. I just got back from a medical mission trip to Mexico this month. I got a job over last summer working as a nurse tech. I joined my school choir this fall. None of these were perfect; there were a lot of tears and discouragement along the way. A blind date and a relationship didn’t work out. I had to quit my job after only a couple of months. I’m not that great at singing. But really, I wouldn’t be the same person I am now without every single experience.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to portray myself as some kind of do-gooder. But life is out there, and I want to live it. It’s way more scary this way, but it’s also way more exciting and beautiful and well, more life.

Care to join?

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One thought on “I want 2016 to be different

  1. Ashley McKevitt February 20, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    Thanks for writing this Rachel. It was good to hear.

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