Bigger 2016 faith

BIGGER: 2016, A Year in Review.

December 30, 2016

Move over, Gilmore Girls, today I’m doing my own little A Year in the Life! 😉 If you were an EG reader this time last year, you’ll remember that I chose a word for 2016. If you’ve been an EG reader since the beginning, you’ll know that I do this every year and what’s more, I write my word on a rock, the date on the back, and then at the year’s end I put the rock in a big glass bowl that sits in our home. Christian and I actually do this together and I love the idea of continuing this tradition with Crew as he gets older.

The word I’d picked for 2016 was BIGGER. Truthfully, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping with all my heart that our family might grow in 2016, making it bigger, and that maybe that’s why I’d chosen the word. I’d actually had this ulterior motive for my 2015 word too. (That word being Adventure.) But, as we all know, the adventure that did take place in 2015 did not involve a baby. Our family did in fact get bigger in 2016 though with our sweet Crew and I am so, so grateful! Like, picture me doing the happy/grateful dance for the rest of my life kind of grateful. But… as He often does, Jesus showed me what BIGGER meant to Him, and it involved a lot more than a growing family.

You know how if you ask God for patience, He won’t just give you patience… He’ll give you more situations in which you can choose patience? And if you ask God for adventure, He’ll ask you to move to a new state and make all new friends? *I mean that’s just an example, eh hem* And if you ask God for more money, He might bring you lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of work, or the opportunity to work overtime at your job. You know what I’m getting at, right? A lot of the time when we ask Him for something, He’ll answer but get ready to work. 😉 That’s what He did with my word BIGGER. It didn’t just mean that my family would get bigger, but it also meant I would go through things that would ultimately grow me as a person, and in ways I’d never had to grow before.

Growing as a person hurts when you’re going through it, am I right? It stretches your mind, your heart, and your soul, and probably means you’re going to change in a way that feels scary and most likely uncomfortable. But that end result… your mind and heart and soul growing bigger for it? Oh man, WORTH IT. Of course, we seem to forget just how worth it it is as we go through it – I don’t know how that happens every single time, forgetting – but it always is worth it.

God asked me to work through some really hard things in 2016, a few of them He’s still leading me through, and while I won’t share them in this space, I’m telling you because maybe He asked you to work through hard things too. Maybe He’s still leading you through them, ultimately growing your faith in Him, your love for others, and as a bonus, gifting you with a newfound confidence that will remind you from now on: YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. That’s something I’ll be taking with me as I enter a new year: With Him, I can do hard things. Like, really hard things. And in return, He grows my heart. What a reward! What a gift. My heart is grateful.

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  • Christian Matthew Cullen

    Love 🙂 xo

  • I think you picked the perfect word for 2016, Emily 🙂 I’m glad it was such a powerful year for you! Hopefully 2017 is even better!

  • Beautiful post, and wonderful word choice!

  • Always a treat to come read your beautiful words! I remember years ago as a younger me with young kids and a new marriage telling a friend I just kept praying for patience. She was like “Shelly…you know when you pray for patience God is just going to send more situations to test your patience”. It was such an a-ha moment and I’m so thankful for all those times I prayed for patience which brought me where I am now. Love your honestly….love your pretty face….just always so grateful I found your sweet blog.

    • Your comments always warm my heart. XO. Love to you friend, happy new year!

  • Your word was perfect, and such sweet memories you’ll have forever. Yay for Crew and your adorable family!

  • This was such a sweet post and your word was PERFECT for this year! I’m so very happy you have begun to grow your family and that you had a year of growing as well. Happy New Year! <3

  • So beautiful! You’re so right–God “giving us opportunities to learn patience” doesn’t feel easy but it’s so encouraging that he never leaves our side as we follow him in all seasons!

  • I feel moved to pick a word for myself for 2017, and I couldn’t remember where I got the idea from… but in reading this post, I’m pretty sure it was you! So thank you for inspiring me, Emily. 🙂 Happy New Year!

  • I tell myself regularly that I can do these hard things, yes I can. But your reminder is just as important – that through these things He’s making my heart grow! <3
    And as hard as some of the other things have been, I'll say a big hooray for family growing bigger in 2016 🙂 XO