At the beginning of 2018, I set a few goals that I hoped would shape this year as a whole. Most of them were around the word “invest,” which has been my “word of the year.” Specifically, I wanted this year to be about investing in skills, investing in people, and investing in what the Lord has in store, for me and for my time in the city.
Historically, I’m not great at sticking to a year’s worth of goals because my life has largely been shaped by consistent change. However, I didn’t want that to deter me this year or be used as an excuse.
While I didn’t complete everything on the list, I am pleased that some of the higher-listed items have been accomplished, or at least major strides have been taken:
For starters, my main goal this year was to challenge myself with photography. I wanted to shoot (and by “shoot,” I mean have a dedicated time to photograph something) at least one afternoon a month, which may not seem like a lot but was a great start. I also wanted to have at least one paying gig this year, and I was very humbled by and thankful for the opportunity that arose in this regard. (This website will be featuring more of my photography in the coming weeks/months.)
Another major thing was my job switch. It was major 1) because it redirected a lot of the goals listed on my sheet for 2018, but also 2) because it allowed for some of them to be more regularly focused upon. In short, yes: I left a job that I’d only held for eight months. I never thought this type of change would be a highlight of 2018, but so far, it’s been such a wonderful adventure, serving alongside others in a full-time capacity for my church. As with every other thing, the Lord was very much a part of this change in my life. It was bittersweet to walk away from the agency (especially since it believed in me when I wasn’t sure how much I believed in myself after last summer’s professional stumble), but I’m so thankful to be where I am, doing what I’m doing.
Lastly, I wanted 2018 to be about investing in relationships: 1) guys in my church Community Group, and 2) my family. It almost brings me to tears the joy that’s come from these pursuits because the Lord has put people in my life that are equally interested in “doing life” with me, regularly, wholly, etc. I’m thankful for the way our CG has grown, both in size and in depth; and I rejoice, thinking about all the trips I’ve been able to take this year alongside my family. While I certainly have a “city family” in New York, it’s been such a treat this year to be with my “family family” on so many occasions.
Now, I realize that I haven’t shared too many quantitative metrics. While I do have them for these goals and feel that goals are only as good as their attached “measurables,” these more qualitative thoughts shared above hit harder for me, at least right now. Why? Because I’m sitting in my parents’ kitchen, typing this and reflecting on how the Lord orchestrated it all. Sure, I may have written down these goals. However, I feel they were all informed by him, and they played out in ways that I never could have written up this time last year—again, it all points to him.