12.30.2016

16 Things I Learned in 2016

There's only one day left in 2016. One. And that's kind of hard for me to comprehend. So much has happened this year that it's sad to think that it's nearly over. But you know what? A new year is also on the horizon. A new year, with new hopes and new dreams and new excitement and adventures. But before the old year is gone, I'd like to share a few of the most important things that, by God's grace,  I've learned in 2016.




1.  Jesus' love is the only perfect love- it never fails, it never gives up, and it never ends. No other kind of love is as perfect, as agape, as amazing, as Jesus' love. It's forever.


2. It's okay to make mistakes. Those of us who tend to be perfectionists have a hard time accepting this one- me included. I've been in a few circumstances where I haven't tried something simply becuase I was afraid to fail. God's given me a  new perspective on this- one that says it's okay to make honest mistakes. Failures are how we grow.


3. God's plans don't always match yours. That's okay, becuase His plans are infinitely better than ours. 2016 has been full of examples of this one, both in the world and in my personal life. I tend to be the type that tries to plan everything in life out perfectly, then get disappointed when my "perfect plans" come crashing down around me. Realizing that God's plans are always better than ours was a big realization for me this year.


4. People can (and will) let you down. God never will. *sigh* What do you really say about this one? We've all experienced it. I've learned that it's best to not to depend on other people without first depending on God. If they leave you, who will you depend on?





5. You don't have to be good at everything. You also don't have to be everything, either. I truly think that's why God blesses different people with different abilities- so we can all serve Him in the areas that He's called us to. And it's not going to be the same for everyone.


6. Comparison really is one of the biggest thieves of joy. It's an old saying with a lasting importance. Comparing yourself to others is also one of the biggest time wasters ever. We're all different for a reason, and you're beautiful and amazing to God just how you are.


7.  It's really hard to be yourself sometimes. It really is. When I wrote this post a couple of months ago, it was something that I was really thinking about it a lot. God has shown me a lot more since then, and I'm glad, but I've come to realize that it's always going to to be hard to be yourself sometimes. And that's okay, since God's grace is sufficient.


8.  It takes a lot of strength and courage to go against the flow. God never promised that it would be easy. In fact, He said that it would be hard to live differently than the world and go against the flow. But He's also promised us that He'll never leave us, and that His strength can be our victory.



9. Courage doesn't always mean that you're not afraid- it means doing what's right, even if you are afraid. It always bothered me to hear that courage was "doing something unafraid". Actually, that's not courage at all. Courage is doing what's right, no matter what you feel like.


10. Leaning to balance and prioritize are two of the best lessons you'll ever learn. I feel like I really learned (sometimes the hard way) this one in a whole new light this year. I've had a lot more going on with school and life and extracurricular activities this year then I can ever remember having before. Instead of having a million and one different things just to do,  I've had to really prioritize which activities I'm going to throw myself into and be serious about and committed to, and stick to those. And of course, there's so much more to balance and prioritize later on in life, so I'm glad that it's something I can practice ahead of time!


11. There's a lot to be thankful for in life. There really is .Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 


12. God is preparing you for something bigger. This one is one of the biggest things that I've learned this year. It seems basic, but it's what really gives me hope that the upcoming year will be something big. Because He's preparing us for something bigger.




13. Staying close to Jesus is the only way to find true joy, fulfillment, and peace. There's a lot of things in life that I find joy from. There's certain things that give me a sense of fulfillment and peace, but they're not always going to last. Jesus will.


14. Goals and ambitions are a good thing. This may seem kind of silly, but for a while, I kind of avoided having big goals and ambitions for things, mainly becuase of #2. I was afraid to fail. However, I've since learned to accept that to succeed, you have to try. If you don't try, it's true you can't fail (but it's also true that you can't  succeed, either).


15. Both the big things and the little things are important in life- don't overlook one for the other. There's so much emphasis on "enjoying the little things", right? And I understand that- people have become to totally wrapped up in their "big" stuff that they fail to appreciate the "little" blessings in life, and that's not good. But some people live wholly for the little things of life, and that's not good either. It all comes back to balance- live to enjoy what God sends your way, big or little or in between.


16. God is King over all, and He's in control, no matter what happens. So much has happened in 2016, including lots of anxious moments about the future and what it might hold. But it's also included a lot of truly beautiful moments that I wouldn't trade for anything. And above it all, there's the hope that God holds it all.


>>>>>>>>>>>

Thank you so much, dear readers! Thank you for reading and commenting and following and encouraging throughout this year. I appreciate you all so much! I hope that your 2017 will be one of your best years ever. ♥  What's something special that you learned in 2016?


//Emily



18 comments:

  1. I love all these so so much! I so enjoy reading your posts Emily. Have a wonderful New Year.

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    1. Thank you Bonnie! Hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year as well!

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  2. THESE ARE ALL SO TRUE. Wow, I love them.

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    1. GAH thank you so much, Grace Anne! <3

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  3. WOW Emily this is SOOO good - I love your lisr! This year I've really learned that God IS preparing me for something bigger and that what I'm failing at right now doesn't matter because His ways are what rock my world.
    Happy new year!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kara! Yes... knowing that God is preparing us for something bigger and that His ways are best are truly amazing. Thank you for your comment! ♥

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  4. Wow! This is SUCH a good list. I can relate to pretty much all of these!! Especially #3, 4, 6(YES...so much:), 10 (definitely!), 11, and 13. Like I can relate So. Much. to those!!! We need to talk more about these and how we learned them. :)

    I love this post, Emily and Happy New Year!!! Love you!

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    1. You are too sweet, Hannah! I'm glad that you can also relate to some of these... and I'm looking forward to talking more about them really soon! ;)

      Thank you, sweet girl! <33

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  5. All these are amazingly true.

    Happy New Year Emily! Thanks always posting inspirational posts :)

    Ellie
    www.uniquelyyou1.blogspot.com

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    1. Happy New Year to you too! Thank YOU for always leaving such encouraging comments, Ellie! <3

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  6. These are so amazing and so true, Emily. Happy New Year, and Farewell to 2016!

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    1. Thank you, Grace! Have a wonderful New Year! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading! :)

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  8. Thanks for sharing these and letting us learn some of them alongside you!

    This year, I've learnt that the Body of Christ is such an incredible community designed by God for very special fellowship, and to display God's design before the world's eyes.

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    1. Thank you, Jordy, for your sweet comments!

      Wow... that is a really amazing thought that you learned throughout this year- thank you for sharing it with us! ♥

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  9. I love how we learned so many different, yet similar, lessons this year. =) One of the truths that stood out to me the most was that things change and hard times come, but God remains strong. There were several trials that came my way, but in the end I was able to see how God was king over it all. It's amazing...and so encouraging to remember. ♥ But actually, a lot of the points that you listed were things I learned as well...finding joy in Jesus, making priorities, etc. =) Thank you for sharing. =)

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    1. It's so neat how a lot of us have learned similar things this year, isn't it? God is amazing. =)
      Wow.. that's another wonderful truth! It's so amazing to know that God is in control and over all... all the time.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Hosanna! ♥

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