Remember that we’re forgiven. Known. Called. Set apart. Made worthy. Loved. Searched out. Pulled close. Chosen.
Pursue Jesus like never before. Ask Him to be our everything. Focus on Him–don’t let Him get lost in the busyness of life.
Don’t get overwhelmed (this one is especially for my fellow seniors). Take things one day at a time. Love people, work hard, and give the rest to God.
Live completely unencumbered by the expectations of others. Don’t let ourselves become polluted by the world. This year, I want to truly embrace the way God has made me, down to all the little mannerisms and things that I sometimes dislike about myself. I recently heard someone say “the next J.K. Rowling,” and I thought–no. I want to be the first Hailey Hudson. I’ve learned that when I attempt to copy other writers, my stories come out as just that–copies. Weak copies, at that; there’s no real spark, no life. In the same way, if we try to copy other people in how we live, it just won’t work. Be you. Be real. Be authentic. Fall in love with who God made you to be instead of constantly pushing yourself aside.
Learn to be a servant.
Focus on God. Don’t worry about what others are doing, if they’re doing it better or worse than you, what they’re thinking about you–only live for God and yourself. My dad told me that one time and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
Make it a habit to verbally talk about God. We had a conversation in Sunday School a few months ago centered around the fact that the spoken name of Jesus holds power, but we are losing that because we are not an oral society–our primary communication these days centers around texting and emails. Before that conversation, I had already been thinking that I don’t really talk about Jesus a lot, and it actually feels uncomfortable and awkward to me to do so. But with practice, it will become a habit. This goal of mine was reinforced when I met someone last week who, at first glance, looked like your typical teenage girl–cute trendy clothes and silky hair and iPhone in hand. As soon as I began talking to her, though, I could tell she was different. We discussed a sermon on unreached people groups she recently heard at Passion City, and how she wants to take a gap year after high school and do the World Race, and that she wants to go to Asia and be a medical missionary after college and I want to be a missionary in the States. The way she talked about God, her faith, and her calling to live out her faith even to the ends of the earth inspired me so so much.
Find balance. This is hard for me. Prior to the beginning of each semester, I spend a big chunk of time making a long list of fun things I want to do with friends. Then the semester starts and I instantly decide that I don’t have time to do anything fun, I just need to work and work and work because I want to do everything I do (and I do a lot of things) at the highest level possible and I want to be successful (no, I’m not a Slytherin). I’m still trying to find a way for relaxation and work to coexist.
Watch sunsets. Talk to strangers. Put your phone down and read a book. Stargaze. Learn. Buy someone flowers. Buy yourself flowers. Dance. Write letters. Try new things. Drink deep of the world.
Which one of these things will be the hardest for you this semester and this year? What would you add to the list? What are you looking forward to about this semester/year?