The journey we call life is an interesting one indeed.

First we are formed by God, grow in our mother’s womb, and are born, screaming our way into the world. I don’t remember being a baby, but I remember when my cousin was born. She was tiny and delicate beyond belief. I loved to hold her, but she was so little I worried that even one touch would ruin her. It’s hard to believe that she’s become a rambunctious, imaginative almost-six-year-old, school going child.

And I remember being her age myself. As my friends say, I have an “insane memory for everything.”

I remember dancing in the kitchen at two-years-old.

I recall the tears I shed over not going to pre-school when all my friends were going. It might not seem like much, but it crashed my little world.

I can still hear the voices of the neighbour kids who used to ask if my sister and I could come out and play. I remember the chalk houses, tree forts, and singing to musicals. Being mad, glad, really mad, and glad at each other all in one day.

I remember birthdays. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Each year seemed so new and exciting. Each year was looked forward to because then I would be “older and bigger.”

I’ll never forget becoming a teenager. The pretty paradot ring my mom gave me to remind me that she had confidence that I would make the right decisions in my teenage years. At thirteen, I never comprehended what all that would come to mean.

Then there was 14, 15, 16, and 17. Each new, different, and hard in their own ways. Schoolwork. New places and people. Death. Heartbreak. Sorrow. Joy. Becoming older and different and changing from little girl to young woman.

Today I am eighteen. I no longer dance in the kitchen, but I still wear the ring I got at thirteen. Some things change, others remain the same, and others grow with us as we become.

But as I’ve been thinking on this whole matter of “becoming,” something has struck me. It’s not really about “me becoming the best Elizabeth” or more like myself. The journey of life should be about becoming more like Christ. I know I’ve failed at that time and time again. But there is always grace and the chance to try to become like Christ again.

PS The point of including these crazy pictures of me was to show that despite being “ancient” as some may say, I’m still quite a kid at heart. 😉

Just A Mile In The Journey

We often use the words bad and good to describe experiences and people, days, and weeks, months and years. However, these words are far too blank to describe anything, especially a year. Actually, I think that they are impossible words to use as descriptions for how can a year be completely good, without any bit of pain or sorrow or utterly bad, exempt of all goodness and joy? Perhaps some people can have such years but I know that I couldn’t and haven’t. 2010 has been neither good nor bad and if asked to describe it I would say that it has been a “Growing” year.

What do I mean by that? Let me tell you a bit about it…

1.   Patriotism

During the beginning of the year in February of 2010, when the Olympics came to Canada, I grew in a love of my country. I had never been particularly proud of Canada and for years when I was younger I wished that I was American instead. Eventually, I just grew to accept the fact that I wasn’t but I still didn’t really care about the fact that I had been born Canadian. However, something magical and beautiful happened to me during those two weeks that the Olympics were here. By the end of them, I knew my anthem off by heart, loved the colours red and white, and was madly practicing the words “Soy de Canada” so that when I went to Mexico they would know that I was Canadian and not American (not that there is anything wrong with the States, of course, it was just that I wanted to be known as being from Canada due to my new found pride in it.)

I proudly showed off my red Olympic mits until April 2010!

2.   God

I have been a Christian since I was four years old but 2010 will always be the year that I consider myself really stepping up to my faith and accepting Jesus. You see, for years I openly believed in God, going to church, praying each night and attending bible studies and youth group meetings but I rarely read my bible, was very shy in witnessing and my prayers to God were extremely monotone. Through various things, I realized this and started to yearn for a deeper relationship with God. Soon, I was reading my bible daily, really talking to God as my best friend, and becoming braver with my witnessing. At the end of March 2010, I talked to my youth pastor about profession of faith and on June 27th, 2010, I shared my testimony and professed my faith in front of my entire congregation.

3.   Wealth.

When I say that I grew in wealth, I don’t mean that I got a job or that I inherited an estate. I merely took a trip to Mexico. It wasn’t just any kind of trip though – I went with my youth group to build a house and that was what made me wealthy and changed my life. It was then that I learned that it doesn’t take silver or gold to build happiness, but rather, a faith in and a love for God and contentment in that. I learned so much from the people in Mexico and this was a huge experience for me (I’ll probably write a post on this later.)

Isn’t she beautiful? Her name is Marianna and she was one of my Mexican amigas that taught me about true wealth.

 4.   Confidence.

As a formerly shy person, the road to confidence has been tough and is still uncompleted. However, I’d say that I’ve made some huge milestones in becoming that confident person that I’ve always wanted to be during 2010.

 5.   Relationships.

I’ve always had relationships with people but this was the year that I learned how much my friends and family really mean to me, have grown closer with my friends, and have tasted a bit of a different kind of relationship which I won’t go into detail about right now. Some of these experiences in this area have been painful but they have all been growing ones and while I can’t see the full benefits of everything right now, one day I know that I will and 2010 will be the year that I’ll look back on for that.

 6.   Letting Go.

Lastly, I’ve had to let go a lot throughout this year: to my old values and ideas, to hopes for things and people that were not meant to be, to a dear grandmother and friend…This, as you can see, is where it has been toughest. However, since I’ve been letting it all go unto my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the one who knows best, the one who loves me the most and the one to whom it should go, really, this bit of growth has been the most essential to the person that I am becoming and the life that I am leading. While it’s difficult and confusing now, I know that one day I will tell of these things especially with contentment and peace and maybe even a bit of laughter.

Situ, my dear grandmother went home to be with Jesus in October. It has been very difficult for me to let go…

Well, that is my year in a nutshell…or six points or whatever you want to call it. It’s been good, but hard. It’s been challenging but valuable. I’ve experienced grief, loss, rejection, hurt, and dissapointment. But…I’ve become a proud Canadian, and a more contented person, I have blossomed with confidence and learned of the pain and gain of relationships. Above all, I’ve learned to let it all out to Jesus and make him my very best friend. Therefore, 2010 was not good nor bad, but a year of painful yet rewarding growth, a step in the process of becoming me and a mile in the journey home.