It danced with vigor and speed. It danced with grace and beauty. It danced with mystery and a touch of sadness. But it danced, and I wouldn't redo 2015; I wouldn't take it out of the choreography of the dance God plans for my life.
Looking back, I realize that so many things happened this year. It makes me so happy to think of them all that, with the help of the lilting backdrop of the Cinderella soundtrack, I might cry! God did so much this year, and because I love lists, here's 15 things that changed me a bit in 2015 (in my best chronological order):
1. In 2015 I failed my first audition. Before I thought much about going to New York for ballet, I wanted to go to Houston Ballet. But God had other plans; He knew best, and even though I felt pretty bad about messing up those pirouettes, I rejoice for the experience!
2. In 2015 I started truly blogging! I didn't realize how much I would love writing out these posts and interacting with so many wonderful people! I didn't know how much work and time a blog took, how much dedication and editing I needed to make it look nice and reach out to people. But through blogging the past few months, I've learned how to have eyes that see. I see so many more opportunities to interact with God's grace in everything! The theme of this blog probably impacted me more than anyone who read my posts!
3. In 2015 I fell on stage for the first time. But what I didn't realize at the time of the fall was how many times I would be able to give God the glory through that experience! It really blew my mind how such a simple story like a fall on stage could go so many place. First, I shared it with people who came to my recital, then to you guys on the blog, then to many dancers who didn't know Jesus this summer, and also to fellow local dancers. And each time I had the opportunity to share God's grace at work in what would normally be a bad situation.
4. In 2015 I started a Bible study that I'd dreamed of for a while. I had this idea of high school girls mentoring and befriending middle school girls even while the younger girls inspire the older girls. And so I helped get the ball rolling for this great time together, which is still making an impact under my sister's leadership! But this just showed me how sometimes we just need to go and do these brave, new ideas. Faith is paired with action.
5. In 2015 I graduated high school! I felt pretty excited to move on to the next chapter of life and had so much fun going to my last youth group camp as a camper, taking senior pics, going to senior prom, and throwing my best party yet!
6. In 2015 I flew to and stayed in New York for six weeks! This made my year. AAB grew me and gave me much more confidence in life and Christ. And NYC can't be described adequately in this short space, so just read this post if you missed it. I made so many memories this summer that I won't forget quickly, like sharing the gospel at two in the morning to a girl who lives in South Africa and walking into Times Square at one in the morning to be greeted by so many lights and promises of another great day in the city.
7. In 2015 I realized the difference between "could" and "should." In ballet, I didn't dream much of dancing professionally. I think that God just doesn't want that for me, but sometimes I feel like because I could have gone for it that I should have gone for it. Many people around me this summer planned on going so many places with ballet, but I just wanted to teach ballet in my hometown. I felt like I wasted my potential, like I disappointed everyone, including myself. I questioned my decisions in 2015, especially when I got encouragement and challenges from AAB, but I feel confident that God is leading me on the path that I chose. Because winning in life doesn't mean winning according to the world. There is something greater in the world than success.
8. In 2015 I went new places. Namely, NYC. But I also went to concerts, the beach, movies, parties, and many other new and exciting places.
9. In 2015 I started college! I expected it to be harder actually. I think that I'm ready to start really loving college now that I've learned a bit of the ropes. The first semester went by with new friendships, new schedules, and a bit of learning. Now I'm excited for what the other semesters will bring!
10. In 2015 I continued to learn about friendships. Friendships take work. Sometimes I want to give up and just wait for friends to find me, but I fought that temptation this year and started cultivating more friendships. It took time, texts, and tears, but this year brought hope and laughter, some beginnings of what I hope to be wonderful friendships!
11. In 2015 I went in the direction God planned for me. I already talked a bit about this, but I decided not to go off to some expensive school for ballet but to stay at home. And I also decided to switch my major from business to mass communications, and I will have to wait to see how I like that. But I do think that God placed all of these things in order, and I trust Him. I want to follow Him.
12. In 2015 I actually went to football games! Yes, I went to football games, and this is kind of a new thing for me. I only went to two football games during high school, one local college game and one NFL game, but I loved the experience of going to the games, cheering on my team, and being with fun friends!
13. In 2015 I thought more. I am so thankful for a mind ready to learn and a heart that searches for the truth! God gave me such a gift in those things, and this year I made even more connections about the Bible and more thoughts about life. In 2016 I want to take even more advantage of the resources around me and continue to grow in knowledge and truth!
14. In 2015 I finished my first semester of college with a 4.0! The ease of college surprised me, and although I don't expect it to stay that way, I am glad that it didn't start with many challenges. With this first semester done, I feel ready to start embracing college!
How was y'all's year? I want to hear all about it, and please comment if you did a post recapping the year! Here's to a joyful 2016!