This week we want give you thoughts about 2017 from Amy and Kendra.

Pictured is a fresh, blank journal I (Amy) just found to celebrate the New Year. It’s interesting that last year’s journal said, “Everything Starts With A Dream,” on the front cover. I’m ready for a new start, and to see some progress. How about you?

I know many people are ready for 2016 to be over, most likely for good reasons. Personally, 2016 might just have been the wackiest year I’ve ever lived. I don’t know that I’m ready for it to be over as a year, but I think I’m definitely ready to see what’s next.

It’s interesting what memories are found on social media. I have Timehop, and I check Facebook’s “On This Day.” For whatever reason, this time of year in 2011, I was complaining that it was the worst year ever, and I was ready for it to just be over. I have tried to remember what happened in 2011 to make it so terrible… I got nothing. Could it have really been all that bad? Evidently, at the time, it was pretty significant.

2016 was not a “bad” year for me, so to speak. Admittedly, it was nothing like I could have predicted.  I think if you had asked me, “Where do you see yourself this time next year?” once a month during this past year, you would probably get close to 12 different answers. The past year has taught me a considerable amount; yet, I do think I haven’t learned everything I’m going to from this time.

I can’t begin to imagine what 2017 holds. I don’t know if I want to try. I wish I could guarantee “things *have* to get better!” But I do thank God that I’ve learned the this from 2016:

    • Not only how to get back up after I’ve been knocked down, but that I am capable of getting back up. (“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.” Proverbs 24:16)
    • I don’t need to be so afraid to step out of what’s comfortable and familiar (that ever-constant reminder in the story of Peter walking on the water)
    • I have purpose. It may not be a grandiose world-impacting purpose (or it may in fact turn out to be!), but I can be a light to anyone I meet on any given day in any corner of the world I may find myself.

As Dory might say, “Just keep swimming.” As Mr. Magorium would say, “Your life is an occasion; rise to it.” Or I think the most solid foundation we can quote:
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” Luke 12:25-26
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

I can’t guarantee that the future holds good things. I can guarantee that the future will have times that are not good, but that God will work them together for those to love Him for good (Romans 8). And I know that perseverance will be rewarded in time.  Be faithful. Be honest with God. Don’t give up, and don’t give in.

Just like Amy, Kendra’s 2016 wasn’t like she expected.

I (Kendra) had a great desire for 2016. I was hoping that my fight with my brain tumor was on hold, and I would enjoy the other elements in my life.  I wanted to tell my story of healing for the glory of God.  Despite my hope that I was healed, my doctor told me that we would continue need to continue treating the tumor (because it had grown).

Through most of November and December, I received radiation treatments.  I was so exhausted on Dec. 20 when I completed my radiation treatment.  I didn’t even make it home without realizing how difficult life is with a fried brain.  Because of the location of my tumor, the area responsible for my short term memory was treated.  I kept losing things, forgetting what I have done or not done, and repeating conversations because I didn’t remember what we said.  For an entire week, I was in a constant state of frustration.  As my brain has healed, it is better, but it is not  “normal.” And I could continue to complain, but that is not the point of this blog.

On Friday, my husband and I were trying to make plans for future.  We believe that if “you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time.”   We want to aim for the same thing.  We believe if we work together, we will do more if we work in different directions.  I struggled with planning for the future, because I don’t know what to expect of myself.  All I know is I want to be used by God.  I want my God to be glorified even when I can’t see what He is doing.

On some days, I believe I will be healed on earth, that God will give us mercy like He gave Paul (Phil. 2:25-27); and on other days, I think God will be healing me in heaven, just like He said He will.  Either way, it will be good.

My God is good to me, and He is good to you.  He has directed my family through the tumor war for the last five years, and He will continue to direct me in the future.  Although I don’t know what 2017 will bring me, I trust God that is will be good.

I pray that you will trust God with your future too, and hope that Proverbs 16:1-3, 9 will be encourage to you as it is to me:

The plans of the heart belong to man,

but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,

but the LORD weighs the spirit.

Commit your work to the LORD,

and your plans will be established

9) The heart of man plans his way,

but the LORD establishes his steps.

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