Before 2016 even started, I knew it was going to be a heck of a year. I knew I had more life changes coming this year than I’ve had in my whole life. 2016 started out with my last and final semester of college, followed by a graduation in May, and a potential move in hopes of starting my career.
Going into the year, I knew that these life changes were going to be both nerve racking and exciting. What I didn’t know before approaching the new year, was how much personal and spiritual growth I was going to experience.
It was almost like God knew I wasn’t ready to approach the real world yet, and decided to make this year the perfect time to push me. This year has been nothing but a roller coaster, but I’ve never been more appreciative of the journey.
After reflecting on this past year, I truly believe all of this personal, professional, and spiritual growth happened because of the choices I made this past New Years.
Since I was about 18 years old all of my past New Years Eve nights have resulted in celebrations with my friends. There was always so much hype for that night, that by the time it was over, it was typically a let down for me. The next morning I would only remember parts of the night, and my bank account would remind me of the rest.
This past New Years I decided to make different plans in hopes of setting my paths straight for the rest of the year. I decided as a Senior in college that I would go to INDYCC which is a three day long Christian conference in Indianapolis. Instead of partying with my friends, I worshipped and heard speakers talk about their journeys and relationships with Jesus.
After leaving this conference, I was super encouraged with my faith and couldn’t wait to spend the rest of the year growing in all areas of my life. But I did wonder if it was just a phase and another broken new years resolution. Luckily it wasn’t.
While attending the conference I ended up hearing about a mission trip opportunity to go to Montenegro in Eastern Europe. While all of my friends at school were taking part in an all inclusive resort vacation in the Carribean I was packing my winter clothes in March to embark on my first mission trip.
After raising $2,600 of support (the scariest part of the trip for me), I learned what it meant to rely on God. I truly understood what it meant to hand over my life and let him take control of the play calling.
While on the mission trip, I had to be more courageous than I ever have before.
Our mission trip consisted of sharing the gospel with the college students of Montenegro. We would approach random students on their college campus and start to have conversations with them, to hopefully result in sharing the word of God.
To meet so many people that didn’t know who God was or that they were even created in his image was heart breaking to me. Getting to spread his word and try to make disciples of all nations was one of the many big impacts in the year of 2016.
After returning from this week long mission trip, I was more in touch with my relationship with Jesus than I had ever been before.
Still no full-time job offer, but I was getting my diploma. Graduating with a great degree, pretty strong grades, and an idea of what I wanted to do with my life, left me relying on God for a job offer.
Graduating, but moving back home until further notice had me left a little bit confused and for the first time in my life, very unsure about the future.
After graduating and moving back home, I joined and helped start a small group of young adult women at my church. In the beginning, there was only 3 other girls in our group. Right now there is currently 10 young adult women.
These girls have been my support system throughout this whole job process. Having a community and genuine friendships is what continues to get me through job rejection after job rejection. I believe that God placed each of these girls in my life for a reason, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Still applying for jobs and at this point, I was willing to relocate anywhere and take almost any marketing or fashion job if I felt like it was God calling me there. A couple times and a couple dozen interviews later, I felt called and went as far as contacting realtors, only to be left with no job offer.
God closed doors on job opportunities all summer long. But, thankfully I only drew closer to him.
After finally having a steady income (from working at Nordstrom as a Sales Associate) and enough to support myself, I officially was able to give back. In August I started supporting one of my friends who is a full time missionary at Miami University.
November officially marks 6 months without talking to my ex-boyfriend. Not only was there so much spiritual growth during this past year, but I truly experienced living life alone and in independence. Before this year I had a boyfriend for the past 4 years. We started dating when I was 16 years old and so I always had someone there to talk to and share life with.
Being able to focus on myself and only myself for the past 6 months has been truly significant and healthy.
Moving on in life without someone who was a part of it for so long, will never be easy, but progress is progress. Not only have I learned a lot about myself, but I also understand how I deserve to be treated and the type of person I need to be looking for.
Experiencing a lot of growth with A Style Breeze. These past couple of months I’ve really stepped outside of my comfort zone, and have started doing professional photo shoots with photographers.
Oh yeah… and that job search. In the beginning of December, I took a trip to New York for another final round interview in hopes of getting a full-time job. Long story short, my flight ended up getting canceled, and I had to take an 11-hour bus ride overnight in order to make it in time for my interview.
After relentless effort in hopes of nailing that full-time job offer, I recently received an email from that company letting me know that they are going to move forward with other candidates. After applying for full-time jobs since October of 2015, God has taught me what it truly means to be patient.
The Present & The Future
As of right now, I am not exactly sure what comes next. Maybe I keep doing what I am doing and hope that a full-time offer will eventually pan out, maybe I use all of this rejection as amo to kill it as a blogger (because why work your whole life building someone else’s dreams, when you can build your own), or maybe I take the leap of faith and move to New York in hopes of networking and finding that job.
I am absolutely ready for a change, an adventure, and another experience that will challenge me more than I’ve ever been challenged before.
Cheers to 2016 and I can’t wait to see everything that happens in 2017! Please stay tuned on this crazy life adventure with me.