2015 was probably one of the best years I’ve had so far. To start the whole 2015 recap, here’s a list.
Over the past year, I have:
-lived in Kyrgyzstan and Turkey
-learned enough Turkish to have basic conversations
-visited India and Germany
-taken my first overnight train ride
-traveled to New York, Boston, and St. Louis
-graduated a 9 month cross-cultural training internship
-made my own ring
-gotten much better at baking bread
-met people from every continent and heard their stories
-taught art classes
-learned how to put my hair in a bun
-lived through the death of my beloved Macbook and gone through the adventure of buying a new computer in a foreign country
-designed a few banners and brochures on brochures on BROCHURES
-taught informal English lessons
-received an unbelievable amount of enthusiasm and support for my ministry-related work
-had my caricature drawn for the first time
-worked with refugees from Iraq and Syria
-embraced how much I love floppy hats (just like every other girl in the universe; yeah yeah, whatever, I love them)
-talked to more people than I can count about ministry work
-learned to drink my coffee without sugar and like it
-eaten my first raw oyster
-Had art in pop-up shows in India, Missouri, and California
-climbed mountains (very small mountains, but still mountains)
-learned how to cook some Turkish food
-seen ancient cities
-learned a lot about getting to know new people and saying goodbye to friends, old and new
Overall 2015 was full of a lot of new things. New countries, new foods, new cultures, new friends. I have been extremely privileged this past year to travel and work in Turkey and Kyrgyzstan. I have been extremely privileged in general, and I’m grateful for it.
Upon reflecting on my year, I was struck by the realization that though this year had its difficulties, the sort of difficulties that always accompany traveling, I am at a point in my life where I have experienced very little grief. Very little deep pain. This year was filled with mostly positive events. Although this is the case, I have ended the year with a certainty that 2015 has strengthened my understanding of and love for God.
When I think about 2015, I feel sure that harder years will come. I am young. I will lose loved ones, I will experience serious health problems, impossibly hard situations will come, because that’s how life is. However, this year has strengthened my love for God in a way I didn’t expect. When more difficult years inevitably arrive, my health, my relationships, my finances, my happiness will be shaken, because life eventually sort of wrecks us. But my love for God will last. Whether I recover each time and end up stronger, or not, my love for God will last.
It seems naive to say this after such a good year, and I know that. I know life will test this declaration thousands of times. But I feel a little more ready for that now. So thanks, 2015. It’s been a good year.
Also here are a few pictures. Some I took, some I didn’t: