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Posted in: Big Faith

01.12.17 ( Celene Barrera )

What Can God Do in a Year?

The short answer? A lot. By the end of 2015,  I committed myself to Christ fully and totally. And by the end of 2016, I am continuing to uphold that commitment and actively looking for ways to deepen my relationship with Christ. Over the last year, I have been crushed me to the mission of Jesus: to alleviate suffering, bringing us to something more strongly resembling love. We have that fullest sense of love in looking at what the Cross gave us and of the sacrifice of Jesus: someone who gave everything to us, those who have nothing to offer in return.

So, what does God do in a year? He continues to breathe into the hearts of you and me. He teaches us to cherish what we have, because the wages for sin will catch up to us and this world will fade into something temporary, while we hold fast to the eternal. So we continue to try and find hope in a world that does not always teach us to love each other without reservation – the love that Christ left for us.

In a year, I watched God heal people I love. He called some others I love home, too. In a year, I prayed with hundreds of people. We prayed for healing over sickness, for new jobs, surgeries to go well, children to be safe, stronger faith, for parents who wanted their sons and daughters to be courageous and loving, for youth who wanted something more for their life. That is only the beginning.

And I prayed for myself: that I could be more filled with love of and for the Spirit and the Lord; that the Lord would reveal Himself to me in new and unexpected ways; that I could be about less of myself and more of Christ. That I would not get caught up in my definition of success but that I could be confident in the Lord’s timing for my life, as He wrote it all from beginning to end, and the plan will not falter regardless of what I do.

I studied, too. I read my Bible and studied in fellowship with other believers. I went to church almost every weekend.  Sometimes studying with other believers challenged me. Sometimes I cried. Sometimes I wondered if any of this faith was worth it. Those moments were hard. It was startling to me that sometimes my faith grew the most when I was with non-believers. It made me realize that belonging to a diverse community is important, that I need to hold close the reasons for my conviction.

Yet when I look back at the end of the year, all I can see is the glory of the Lord. I see His sunsets and His beaches and His beautiful, beautiful people and all I can do is rejoice in what we are and what we have created. That though there is darkness, we know there is an ultimate light that cannot and will not be defeated. That we will war and argue and many will suffer but redemption is always at the end of it all.

One year down. There are more to go.

With God, I move forward into the new year, surrendering all and knowing that He is in the breeze of my life, and all will be well.

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About the Author
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Celene is an enthusiast of many people, places, and things, including art museums, Eggs Benedict, the future of media, and Jesus. Find her on Twitter or Instagram @celenevictoria.

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