Flashbacks

*flashback to one year ago*

I thought I was going to attend a small, Christian university four hours from home.

*flashforward to now*

I live at home and commute to a large, public university.

*flashback to one year ago*

I thought I was leaving everything I knew and loved

*flashforward to now*

God has kept me right here

*flashback to one year ago*

I thought I had everything figured out

*flashforward to now*

Man, was I ever wrong


2016… It was an adventure. There was so, so much good in it. But it is not at all like I was expecting when it started 367 days ago.

And you know what?

It was better.

Because God’s plan always is

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’, declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” — Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)

Walking into 2017, I’m tempted to believe the same thing I did a year ago, to believe that I have everything figured out. And then I stop and laugh at myself. If God taught me one thing… it’s that I will absolutely never have Him or His plans figured out:)

So I don’t know what’s coming, I don’t have a clue! And that’s the best place to be:) I know one thing about 2017. God is going to prove Himself faithful. Like He always does, like He always will.

A year from now, I don’t know what kind of year I will be looking back on, but I know that whatever it is, that God’s fingerprints will be evident all throughout.

I hope you stay for the ride, I don’t know what’s coming, but I’m sure glad He does:)

Happy 2017, everyone!

— Taryn

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New Year, New Me

I am 100% a goals and tasks oriented person. 
Todo lists are my lifeline. 

I always set crazy *unrealistic* expectations for myself, and then set about trying to prove to myself and everyone else that I can live up to them. 

This semester is a very good example of that. I took 7 college classes, I worked about 30 hours a week, and amidst that, I still kept looking for new and more ways to prove that I was enough, that I could do it all. I would write myself task lists a mile long and burn myself out trying to finish them. Because I felt like I had something to prove. 

I was wearing myself down mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to the point that I couldn’t take it anymore. I was leaving myself almost no time to rest, no time for the most important relationships in my life, and no time to be in the presence of my Heavenly Father. 

One day, I sat on my best friend’s bed and completely broke down. I cried and cried telling her how I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be enough. I didn’t have the strength left to please anyone. 

Her answer was matter of fact and to the point, “Taryn, why are you trying to please everyone? They don’t matter. You just have to please God.”

I don’t know why I had over complicated my life to such a degree that I forgot to believe such a simple truth. 

I love the way Paul puts it in Galatians,

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” — Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

All of that to say, I love my goals, but this year, I learned that they can’t be about pleasing anyone else. They have to be about me and my life and honoring God, not about making myself into what I think the people around me need or want. 

The last week of December every year, I think about what I want to change in the new year. I think about what I want the “new me” to be like. Healthier, prettier, smarter, more organized, more productive, more spiritual… once I start the list, it’s almost impossible to stop. 

But the Bible has something to say about what that “new me” is supposed to be and how I achieve it. 

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away and behold, the new has come.” — 2 Corinthians 5:17

That right there is what makes me a new creation. 

Being in Christ. 

And that’s what I want my biggest goal of 2017. To be in Christ. That will penetrate and manifest itself in all the different parts of my life but at its core, it’s so simple and freeing. All that’s expected of me, all that God wants, is for me to be in Him. That’s all that it takes to be a new creation. 

Yes, I have plenty of goals — the number of books I want to read, habits I want to form, but what will truly cause my life to fall into place is the Savior who directs it all in the first place. So the “new me” this year won’t come from an exercise regime, a color-coded planner, but the new me came when Christ redeemed me 11 years ago, and that’s the only new me that really matters.