Eighteen. One year in my life. A year where so many changes happened, I could barely keep up. There were bad changes and good ones: mostly, there were good ones disguised as bad. They were necessary to get me to where I am now, mere hours away from nineteen.
My eighteenth year included a lot of sorrow. Four people whom I knew and admired passed on to heaven’s gates and entered Christ’s Kingdom. I experienced heartache like I’d never felt before. And then without warning, I launched back into the depression of my fifteen-year-old self. Except much worse.
My eighteenth year also included a lot of wonderful things. I started Bible college as a part-time student, while still trying to keep up my full-time job at a café in town. I left work when the first semester came to a close, realizing that Bible college was exactly what I needed and that it was healing a lot of the brokenness inside of me. I knew the only thing that would take away the hurt was to focus on studying God’s Word and to be in constant community with fellow believers who were going through similar battles. So I left work in full confidence that things would brighten for me. It took many long and extremely difficult weeks, filled with anger at God and feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness, before I began to see God for who He really is, and realized the only thing to turn my life around would be to constantly pursue a relationship with Him and seek after Him daily.
My eighteenth year included a lot of writing. I wrote papers in college and I also finished my 2nd novel, which includes a protagonist who deals with similar mental/physical issues as I do. I attended two One Year Adventure Novel workshops, one in the summer with my brothers, and the other in the winter over New Years. I was still dealing with a lot, but I developed some amazing and lasting friendships with the people from the workshops, and they all helped me in more ways than I thought any human being could. They contributed in helping me to seek God, and they also helped me make some headway on my novel so that I could make it better and perhaps more impacting.
I played a lot of soccer in my eighteenth year, and attended a lot of movie nights with people whom I appreciate and who quickly became a second family to me.
I got closer to my siblings and had some amazing times with them.
I found people who like me for me, and who I can feel comfortable being myself around.
I read a lot of books: theology, but also novels.
I sang. Tons.
I went on many adventures, both here in the community and far beyond.
I found joy.
As I sit here reminiscing on all that my eighteenth year consisted of, I am incredibly thankful. Yes, there are mixed emotions. My last week of school just wrapped up and it still hasn’t hit me that goodbyes happened today, perhaps some of them for the last time before heaven. There is also still so much uncertainty of the future, that it scares me beyond words. But I know that God is good and that He will provide, just as He always has. I know there are so many wonderful expectations of the summer and next fall and my nineteenth year in general. I’m terrified, but extremely excited.
Nineteen. I don’t know what this year will hold. Everything thus far in my life has been unpredictable, so I predict something of a similar nature this year. It’s going to be an adventure. A fantastic adventure. I can’t wait.
Farewell, eighteen. Hello, nineteen. :)