December 1 might be too early for a "reflection on the year" post. And there is a good chance that I will learn a lot in the next month of my life. However, with the holiday season starting with this past week, I have thought a lot about this past year. The last time I was home for longer than just a day or two was last Christmas and New Year's. I had just graduated, I was feeling very lost in my life, and I remember sitting on what has become my bed in the guest room thinking about life and what I wanted my goals for 2014 to be. I started making the traditional list:
- Spiritual things like scripture study, prayer, temple, etc (Obviously not perfect, but much improved in many ways)
- Working out 3xWeek (Nothing until September, but it's been pretty good since then)
- Become a morning person (hahahaha)
- Travel someplace new (check, check, check)
Quite surprisingly, actually, I have realized all my goals about trying to find my way in life. I found a job, took (and rocked) the GRE, and looked into grad schools. I may not have decided what to do beyond the next year or two, but I did decide that, and grad school will be a huge step in fully making that long-term life goal come true.
However, despite all these wonderful, wonderful things that have happened--and trust me, I don't want to downplay any of the above paragraph, because those are literal miracles that have happened in my life--there were some large goals that are very close to my heart that haven't come any closer. These goals have always been there, but I felt very strongly that this year was the time to really work on them, and that came directly from God. And there have been things that have happened this year in relation to those goals. But they are still so far and out of reach.
I had a blessing this summer where God told me that many "drastic" changes that will majorly change my life were coming up. 2 months later, I was quitting my office job, moving to Salt Lake, and starting to really get the grad school ball on the road. Later, I had another blessing which let me know that this grad school path is not just right, but an integral part of God's plan for me. And I am so grateful for all those things, because I am excited for grad school and I have learned a lot and I feel so much more at peace about my future than I did a year ago. Drastic changes, indeed.
And yet, the first blessing was originally in response to my fears and worries about the goals that still haven't happened yet, and I have to wonder: when will those drastic changes happen? When will I get those answers? Yes, I have faith in the Lord's timing. Yes, I have learned a lot about myself in relation to these goals. But sometimes I feel like I'm back on my mission: I have all these righteous goals but have seen almost no success in them, even though I prayed about them, set them in faith, was doing all I could, etc. And then, God gives me something little, a good contact or a small miracle or a member-present lesson and I think "THIS. This is it." And then after I'm excited and faithful and hopeful, everything just falls apart. That was more or less my entire mission. Do I not have enough faith? What am I doing wrong? What do you do when God tells you to work hard and prepare for one thing and so you do and then you end up taking 1 step forward and 3 steps back? In some ways it is even more crushing to have a glimpse of that bigger vision and not see it realized then to see absolutely no success at all.
I really don't mean for this to be depressing. I am try to be (and generally succeeding at being) hopeful and focus on how much I have grown and progressed and the answers that I have received, because I am so grateful for those. I just thought about my goals for this year, almost bittersweetly, as I sat on that same bed again this week. I really don't know what's going to happen and where I'll end up and when these answers I want will actually come. But they will.
And now I don't know how to end this post and I need to go work on finishing up a lot of things.