As 2016 ends, I realized I learned a few very important things at the end of this year that I want to carry me over into the new year. One thing I like about ending one year and starting another is that I get to reflect on experiences and lessons that helped me grow throughout the year, and I can start a new year with new goals and aspirations of who I want to become and what I want to learn more of as I journey throughout this crazy life. These are just a few points that stuck out to me recently as the year ended and what I want to take with me into this new year.

Sometimes, for running, a really good coach will “detrain” his or her runners from their bad habits in order to build them back up stronger and into more faster and efficient runners. I think God works the same way. He detrains us from our bad habits by letting the world overwhelm us and break us down so that we realize how much we need God. Then he comes in and builds us back up in his image–in the image God has planned for us. We just have to let him do his work. 

I am in the process of detraining, both literally and spiritually. Breaking habits is difficult, but trusting that my coach and my God will build me up in the best way possible takes difficult to a whole new level. Recently, I’ve gotten to the point of running so fast on my track of life, filled with the lanes of school, sports, and friends that I have lost sight of God, my finish line. Becoming selfish and too focused on oneself takes away from the race God has planned for you, but focusing life’s race on God will always always bring about a grand finish that you never could have imagined. Trusting people can be 50-50, but trusting God should always be 100% (now I know that’s easier said than done). Invest your training in God and the rest will fall into place. 

Do not ever forget where your blessings come from. You may think you own your talents, but news flash, God still owns them and can take them away in the blink of an eye. What will never fade or diminish though, is God’s everlasting love. Don’t forget where your strengths and talents come from; use them to glorify God. 

Even when we quit paying attention to God, he never stops pursuing us. God is constantly running after us, there to pick us up when we fall. This brings me so much security knowing that no matter where I wander in life, God is always tagging along behind, waiting for me to turn around and admit that I need his help. I want to be joyously racing towards the cross; towards the God who welcomes me with open arms. I read a quote a few days ago that said, “If you think you’ve ruined God’s plan for your life, rest in this: you, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful”.  I love knowing that whatever mistakes I think I make or wrong paths I think I choose, that God had a plan for me no matter what. No matter what I choose in life, as long as I keep my focus on God, I cannot make a wrong decision. God has a grand adventure planned for your life. As you may go through some tough changes or harsh realizations, don’t ever forget that God cares for you and wants the best no matter what. you’ll go through hard moments in your race, but the finish is worth the momentary pain. God has a happy ending for us, so stay on His path and never stop running the race for Christ. 

“The grass withers and flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever”–Isaiah 40:8