Finishing 2016 felt like the closure of this year and the year prior, a two-year long journey of trials and self-discovery. Lots of words and emotions as I enter the new year, but I'll save the deeper sentiments for my own personal keepings.
Every year, I pray and search for a title for the upcoming year. This year's is: Get Better, Give More
Get better at managing my finances, get better at taking photos, get better at editing and turn-around time, get better at filming, get better with cameras, get better with writing and writing routinely, get better at everything.
Give more to the people around me, give more of my time, give more of my attention rather than my words and insight, give more to relationships, give more to my work, give everything.
If there's one thing that this year has taught me, it's that I've grown really tired of talking about my dreams. I've grown really sick of talking about how hard things are, and thinking that my life is the only drama that the world is living. I know now that humility and self-pity aren't the same thing, and one often disguises itself as the other. But I realize time and time again that it's the community of believers around me that have encouraged, pushed, called me out, and challenged me to be wholeheartedly me. Believers of God, believers of prayer, believers of people, I'm grateful to surround myself with men and women who carry hope when I don't have hope for myself.
You've been faithful. Time and time again, even when I'm not, You've been faithful. I've always fought to be the most genuine version of myself, in anger, in fear, in anxiety, and in joy alike.
Someone asked me if what I'm doing and pursuing with my career is in alignment with what God wants for me. I was completely unprepared to answer that question because I never once considered anything I was doing was apart from Him.
I remember I used to dream and write about living excellently. I've discovered that theres cost for such a lifestyle. I remember the idea of sacrifice was such an easy concept, giving up a few months to do missions, letting go of privileges, laying yourself down for someone else. I've learned now how difficult it is to give in the midst of taking for yourself in pursuit of goals.
In times of hardship, in times of failure, and within my fears and anxiety, you gave me strength and dignity to realize that I've always had strength and dignity. You showed me that a life of excellence isn't a high and lofty hope, but that it's truth designed within my making. With every ending You were there, with every beginning You pushed me.
This journey of self-discovery, this exploration of my humanity, and being able to share it with You, with my friends and family both new and old, in both suffering and joy, has been the greatest reward.