A Lot Can Happen in a Year | 2016

January 2016 I saved a photo and was waiting all year to share it and talk about it.

“A lot can happen in a year.”  Was all it said.

And it was true.

Maybe what I wanted to happen didn’t happen but a lot did happen.

If you have been following me for awhile, you will have seen me writing about this before, but I genuinely learned a lot about myself this year.

The biggest thing I am grateful for is genuinely loving who God has made me to be.

It can be easy to have resentment against yourself because you haven’t been able to accomplish what you wanted to. Or you do things you wish you didn’t do.
There were a million and one things I tried to be, but none of them were me.

At the beginning of this year I was full of incredible excitement.

A little back story, December 2014 I was watching The Voice and prayed, “Lord, I would love to be on that show, if you want me on you show me a sign or open the door by next year.”

December 2015 that door was opened when I was invited to audition.

I thought, “I have to make it. This is it. If I don’t make it my dream is dead.”
(I was an over-dramatic 16 year old, okay?)

I didn’t make it.

And guess what?

My dreams not dead. God just helped it along in a different way than I expected.
I saw God show me that He hears me, and let me know that He has great plans in the works, but sometimes my timing isn’t His timing. And sometimes my dreams aren’t His plan, but now I know God will always guide me and get me where I need to go.
(And yes, that’s what I learned from a single audition. haha!)

Before I went to my audition my sister gave me a ring that said, “Tune My Heart”.
she said her prayer for me would be that no matter where I go or what I do, God would tune and direct my heart towards Him. At the moment,  I thought that prayer would be great for when I was famous and needed to keep my heart grounded in God. Ha…ha…ha…that prayer was a whole heck of a lot more than that.

That became my prayer all 2016.

Praying that simple prayer become the greatest moments of God working in my life.
Late nights of wondering. Hours of worship.

That prayer was a surrender.

Those three words, tune my heart, were the words that broke way to God shaping and changing my heart.

I can genuinely look back and see where God has allowed me to grow.
I know the things He has helped me let go.
Somehow letting go of one childhood dream has made me feel freer.
As though everything was erased, and now I am a book ready to be written.
A song to be sung.
A flower that has yet to blossom.

I feel new.

No one will ever truly be able to understand why 2016 was such a great year for me.
On the outside people would think nothing went right.
But on the inside, everything changed.

A lot can happen in a year.
Don’t be afraid of something new, or letting go of something old.
Don’t run from God’s favor.
If things aren’t bright right now, hold on , friends. A lot can happen.
Change will happen.
It’s not magic, you don’t wake up January 1st and everything has changed.

One of my prayers took two years. One prayer took 12 months.

Don’t be discouraged, God’s timing, not yours. 

If you’ve been following me a long time, you know that it took me a long time to embrace who I am. Anna Joy. The name that holds more meaning than anyone will ever know.
Now, I embrace God’s joy. And that has made all the difference in my life.

It takes a lot to embrace life. To accept what is and what cannot be.
The greatest challenging is trying not to worry about it all.

(And I am really trying not to worry. I graduate in 2017. I have been counting down until 2017 all my life. 17 is my favorite number. But I am not ready for it to already be here! AH!)

I don’t know what 2017 will hold.
But I am determined to face the adventures that come my way.
I am choosing to be selfless and not selfish.
I want to live out love.
I want to be brave.
I know I am capable of doing all God has created me to do.
I will be patient.
And I know, I will always be okay.

I am excited to see what unfolds this year.

So goodbye to 2016 and all you held and all I leave behind in you.
And hello, 2017. What shall we do? What adventures shall I have with you?

au revoir mes amis,
Anna Joy




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