so you may be thinking, ‘ummmm, Jaelah? it’s New Year’s Eve today, why is the title 2016?’
and my answer, dear friends, is because i wanted to write a post about just that. about 2016.
here is an excerpt from Jan. 1st, 2016, in my journal:
”this past year (2015) went by so fast, like every year has gone since we’ve been in Brazil (our new country )
these 3 years (living in Brazil) have probably been a few of the best years of my life!
the way God has blessed us and we were able to learn the language was just so God-given.
my new year’s resolution last year (and probably will be every year for the rest of my life hahaha) was to grow closer to God.
this year it’s the same thing…
grow closer to God, seek Him out in trouble, love Him & love people more.”
so you see friends
in 2016 i have grown closer to God (it’s ALWAYS, CONTINUALLY, a work-in-progress, but so thankful for all that I did learn and how much i did grow this year), which was my main goal i think.
in 2016 i learned so much more about the presence of Jesus, how overwhelmingly, blissfully wonderful it is.
in 2016 i learned just how much more i have to learn (yes, i admitted it. those who know me well, know i’m a know-it-all…)
in 2016 i learned that God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.
in 2016 i learned that we will never understand fully, every single little, itty bitty thing about God, but we’re not necessarily meant to, because that’s part of the journey of following Jesus
in 2016 i learned that we should seek to know HIM, not just ABOUT Him. (relates to one above)
in 2016 i learned how life can be taken in a second, that we don’t know what tomorrow holds, and that tho we can say, ”life passes so quickly. we need to get off our phones and BE with people, in the moment” as much as we want, nothing is gonna REALLY, ACTUALLY happen until we take that first step to make it happen.
in 2016 i learned all-the-more just how BLESSED i am. how much God has given me.
in 2016 i learned that i have so many sisters (and brothers) that may not necessarily be related to me, but we are sisters in Christ, and to me, that means we ARE sisters, related physically thru genetics or not.
in 2016 i learned that Jesus is everything and tried to wrap my head even more around that fact that He REALLY is everything we will EVER need, not just in this life, but for eternity as well. (praise hands emoji)
in 2016 i learned that tho we may never understand why certain things happen, God really does have a purpose for it, and it WILL make us stronger.
in 2016 i learned that God is omnipotent, and omnipresent.
in 2016 i learned that God brings people in to our lives, if only for a very short time, to help us, to give us a listening ear, and to give some great advice. (looking at you Hannah Shope! i don’t think i’ll ever forget our talk on that orange couch in our living room. thank you for that!
in 2016 i tried to be thankful for all the things & people in my path.
in 2016 i tried to be more respectful to my parents and nicer to my siblings. (hey, that said tried. i did try, so could have tried harder, but there’s always next year! (hopefully!) :/ praise God for that!)
in 2016 i tried to praise God more
in 2016 i tried to be a better light to those around me that are lost
in 2016….i don’t feel like i accomplished that much, but that’s not important. what’s important is the people i met, the things i did, the things i (sometimes wasted) spent my time doing (SO gotta work on this!), and how much more i grew to love God.
guys, i am so thankful. so much so that i feel like if i tried to write it you guys would not be able to read it because it would make sense to no one except me!
so to those people that made a mark on me this year, thank you. thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you taught me & how well you loved me, showing me God’s love for me along the way.
to Mom & Dad: thanks for being my parents you had to put up with a lot from me this year (hey, teenage years!) but you still love me and i know that love you <3
to Mari: thanks for being the best big sis ever. for driving me nuts but for keeping me in line too. for keeping on trying your hardest to make me laugh, time & time again, even tho you have little success. can’t wait to see where we’ll go in life.
to Luke: thank you for being so crazy & weird. for teaching me to have more patience. to be nicer to people. to watch my tone of voice with people. and for that once-in-a-lifetime hug or laying on my lap love ya bud
to Si: thank you for teaching me so much about innocence. for giving me your advice & wisdom, wanted or not. (someone takes after me! hahaha) for being cute (& super sassy sometimes!) & getting SO excited about the little things in life, teaching me that that’s what counts. love you Si Si <3
to Mags & Alisee: thank you girls for being my best friends since we-can’t-even-remember-when hahaha. thanks for being willing to email me & chat about life thru Skype & email. thank you for your encouraging words sent over the miles, for asking for prayer requests and being those friends i know i’ll have my whole life. love you both tons & tons <3
to Chloe: thank you for being the best fruzzin that ever existed. thank you for wanting to do the ‘accountability thing’ & read Romans with me. thank you for being there for me, thank you for being the first to apologize when it was my fault, and for always gently showing me my faults (sometimes by admitting yours by apologizing first!), not throwing them in my face. thank you for being so patient with me when i’m stubborn, and taking turns so we each get to be ‘the bossy one’. i’m so glad you’re my cousin AND my friend, cause that’s double the lifetime of fun & friendship. love ya sis <3
to Naomi: thank you for being my cousin & letting me join you & Mari & Sheree and be a ‘big girl’ too. thank you for being SO stinkin’ kind & patient, so soft-hearted towards people, but for also having a stubborn side that comes out at just the right times thank you for pushing me to do more, and by being a great example, pushing me to be more patient & kind also. love you cousin thanks for all you’ve inspired me to be.
to Sheree: oh my. you’re one of my soul sisters. thru & thru. it’s so crazy to think that God knew from the beginning of the creation of the world, that in 2016 you would come to Brazil and meet me and we would, indeed, become soul sisters. thank you for forming LLPT with me, and ‘putting up’ with my overload of hugs & opinions & everything else, & for accepting me, even me being quite younger & way more immature than you you don’t know what you mean to me. God has blessed me by letting me meet you. love you forever girl <3
to my family in the US: thank you for loving us thru the miles, for supporting us & for trying your hardest to come & visit us, even when it’s expensive & there’s long layovers. we/i have been blessed with the best family God could have given us.
to my PAZ family, as i love to call you: you have blessed us SO much, and are truly our family away from family you guys know what it’s like & understand you love our family so well, and I am thankful for all you have done for us. love y’all <3
to all you teams: the dental team at the beginning of the year, Wellingdon, Journey, and John Utt’s. you all blessed me & taught me lots this year. thank you for making your best effort & coming and serving SO well. (MISS LINDSAY!! lookin’ at you <3 you taught me SO much & i’m grateful for it & your friendship! love ya)
to the river communities: you guys taught me about the love of Christ. what it feels like to be welcomed in & loved without caring where we come from. for blessing us, more than we bless you. you guys never fail to teach me something new about Christ.
to all you reading this: wow guys. you’re awesome. first for getting all the way here (a definite round of applause to you!) and second, you’re awesome cause God made you
i guess i’ll end here, otherwise i’ll never have any readers again hahaha
love you all, see you in 2017! (oh my goodness that will take a LOT of getting used to! hahaha)
Jaelah Eden & Jesus