Today is the first of June. I am currently typing this sitting in a church friend’s home salon getting my kinky, long hair touched up after almost a year of leaving it alone to grow out. Just like my hair needs its periodical touch-up, I believe I also need a mid-year self-evaluation.
I had a theory once that years accelerate as we get older, but I concluded that it depends on the amount of life-altering happenings that happen that year. However, I still slightly find it to be true.
2017 is halfway done, my daily journal is more than three quarters full with experiences and learnings, and I am appalled at the speed that time is passing by at. I can still remember starting this year with prayer and fasting and writing down all my hopes for the year, praying over them and committing my plans to the Lord. Since then I have established new relationships, took on challenging roles in school and in extracurricular activities, and made plans in involving myself more in the ministry.
Well the year is halfway over, and my plans have already been altered. Not completely, but things are going to be different for me and my family this second half of this year.
Thankfully, God has given me the grace thus far to be resilient to handling this adjustment, but this is only the beginning. I know I must continue to place my trust in Him do that I can experience the continual outpouring of His grace.
When I got the news however, I was not particularly mournful of the change itself, but was downcast on how the change would affect me and my personal plans. That called for a heartcheck. I knew my thoughts were stemmed from selfish intention.
After five days of prayer and fasting and asking the Lord to search my heart and reveal Himself to me, I realized just how self-centered I’d become.
It’s an effect of being a pastor’s kid I guess; God calls our parents, our parents respond, and we the kids just kinda have to put up with it. But just putting up with it shouldn’t be my response. I’ve learned that after the plenty of adjustments I’ve had to make for my parent’s ministry. Just putting up with our parent’s ministry will eventually just make us miserable. Once I realize that God isn’t only going to work through my parents, but he’s also giving me the opportunity to be used by Him, I see being a pastor’s kid as a blessing.
I am confident that this next shift in my family’s life will be a good experience, because it’s within the plan of a good God.
The one new year’s resolution that I wanted to focus on this year was making and developing more meaningful relationships. That’s sort of a broad topic to call a focus, and I don’t think I even knew what I exactly meant by it. But I just knew it is what I desire and something I want to put into importance.
I guess, my idea of meaningful relationships was to just have an intimate circle of friends or community that I can just be myself around. It’s still that issue of being bi-cultural I guess. It’s a bittersweet attribute to be able to identify into both the American and Filipino culture, because while I can blend in both ways, I do still encounter some identity crisis here and there. But, I try my best to not make it a problem. God’s been good in helping me handle that issue.
I asked for more meaningful relationships, but for God that meant taking away some or showing me that there are certain relationships that are not meaningful. Sometimes when we ask God for something, He’ll reveal it to us by taking away the unnecessary.
So far this year, I’ve found myself meeting with people who I never expected to be so close to and discussing faith on a level so personal. So while I’m not really getting my personal idea of having that meaningful relationships thing, God has given me a greater revelation:
Christ connects people, and Christ gives meaning to any relationship centered on Him.
Reading the Psalms
One of the Christmas gifts I received on the first day of the year was a special print of the book of Psalms. from my high school discipler. I saw it as a great opportunity to make it a goal this year to meditate on each of the 150 Psalms.
I began the year faithfully reading a Psalm a day, reflecting on the chapter and journaling about it. But to no surprise, I skipped many days here and there. I joined a 21-day Bible challenge in the month of May which focused on chapter 119 of Psalm. It was then that I realized it’s not about really getting to read a whole chapter everyday, but more on getting the substance of the message.
Although I’ve had lapses, my quiet time so far this year has been very fruitful compared to the past. It is so refreshing to fellowship with the Spirit each day and I find myself hungry for it the more I experience it.
I pray I remain hungry for His word and His presence and continue to fervently pray in Spirit and truth.
There are still six months left in 2017, and 3 more months of being twenty. I’m glad I decided to do this evaluation because writing always helps me see the bigger picture. The first half of the year was just an introduction of the whirlwind of trials and triumphs coming in the next six months. I have a whole list written in my journal that just scares me yet excites me at the same time.
I walk in confidently knowing God is fighting for me, Jesus has overcome the world, and the Spirit is walking beside me step by step.
“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in Your ways.” Psalm 119:36-37