Out with the old, in with the new!

Well, seeing as how the last time I posted was in July, it’s safe to assume that life got away from me.

No, really. Life kinda got crazy.

While I’d intended for this past summer to be one of digging deeper in a lot of ways, it turns out that I instead did nearly the exact opposite. To be honest, I made a lot of stupid decisions. I sort of stopped caring. It seemed like no matter what, God wasn’t going to be happy with me anyway, so what did it matter? Eventually I started snapping out of it. I ‘fessed up to my stupidity with my housemates a few weeks into October, and they started to hold me accountable.

There came a week in November where I was a tad scared that my life was about to change drastically. I really thought I was going to have some serious consequences to a terrible decision I’d made the first weekend of October. If you’d like to know the full story, I’m more than happy to share. Come ask me in person or shoot me an email. (lifeaccordingtohannah@gmail.com) I’m willing to share my story, but this isn’t the time or place to share that.

Bottom line, God got ahold of me in a big way. What kept going through my mind was, “Hannah, are you willing to allow me to use your boneheaded decisions in order to further the Kingdom? Are you willing to lay down your reputation, are you willing to be scoffed if it means someone knowing me? Are you willing to risk being labeled something by society, family, friends, whoever if it means someone knowing me? Will you allow me to use a bad decision and make some good out of it?”

Yeah, THAT was a fun moment.
Because of that moment and the decisions preceding, I can honestly say I experienced grace for the first time. Not that I hadn’t been given a lot of grace in every other stupid decision in my life, but this was the first time that it started to make sense. It was the first time that I realized that without the grace of Christ, I am absolutely nothing. I’m worth nothing at all. There’s no possible way I COULD be worth anything. It started to sink in that any offering I make is out of my depravity and my fallenness as a human being. THAT was humbling. Furthermore, I’ve started to come to grips with my offering being worthless if I don’t know and understand the love of Christ. That’s what my life has been until recently. I’ve had such a small understanding of what it means to love and be loved by Christ. I’ve always been caught up with what the offering that I make looks like. Is it big enough? Is it “shiny” enough? Is it making me look more spiritual? Nevermind the fact that actually having an understanding of grace was something I’d yet to experience.

Over the past few weeks it’s become more of a reality for me. I’m hoping that 2012 will look a little (okay, a LOT) different than 2011 in a lot of ways. As I look back over the year, I see a lot of wasted time, but that wasted time was luckily used to teach me quite a bit that I’d never learned before. I’m constantly amazed with how God turns the bad into good. Maybe he doesn’t do it immediately, and maybe it doesn’t make sense for a while, but he does if you trust him… at least that’s what I’ve experienced.

So, here’s to 2012. I have absolutely no idea what to expect of the year ahead. I have to stay at IWU for an extra year, so I can’t even get antsy about graduation yet. =P Here’s to another year of learning, growing, making mistakes, falling off the horse & getting back on. And hey! Some people even think the world will end come December. ;) I’m not jumping on that bandwagon quite yet. The rest of my life started today. I’ll say the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. My New Year’s resolution? Don’t waste life. It’s precious, and it’s short. Let’s say I’m going to live to 100 (I highly doubt it).. My life is almost 25% over. Here’s to a new start..

Happy 2012! Ready or not, here it comes!

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