A couple days ago we welcomed the start of a new year – 2017. My boyfriend and I attended Mass and thanked God for gracing us with another 365 days filled with new chances, risks, and joy. In the homily, our priest challenged us to reflect on the light and dark parts of the year. Light were times we felt joyful, excited or blissful. Dark was when we experienced heartache, sadness, hatred, jealousy or anxiety. In the bulk of his homily, he listed off his greatest joys and heartaches of 2016, He said there’s always light inside the darkness – they are connected.
I thought about my 2016 moments. What did I do? How did I change? Where did I stumble and where did I soar? Good: college graduation, new boyfriend, summer internship and a 23rd birthday. Bad: Oma’s strokes, frustrating job hunt and moving back home. I smiled at the good and cringed at the bad. Then I remembered what he said, “Within every dark moment, there’s light.” When the bad parts happened, they sucked. I thought God was punishing our family when Oma suffered her strokes. When I moved back to OP after graduation, I thought I was being pulled away from my boyfriend and friends. I thought I wasn’t smart or creative enough when I had a couple rough interviews. I doubted God, and I doubted myself.
Now I see that Oma was given those strokes to help my family learn patience, togetherness, and courage. Living at home taught me how to maintain long distance relationships. Job hunting, while frustrating and humanizing, is teaching me how to sell myself. Going into 2017, I hope my humility evokes new change. I want another year where good outweighs bad – hopefully, 2017 is that year.