At the beginning of this year, I wrote about how I wanted 2018 to be the relationship year (see this blog post). I wrote about how I wanted to be active in cultivating my relationships with others – by listening actively, reaching out regularly, keeping my schedule clear, being generous with my time and money, caring about what was going on in their hearts, and loving them genuinely, like Christ.
And for once, I kept track of this theme throughout the year – almost every month, I reflected on the month before and what I had learned and then prayed for specific growth in the next month. There were a lot of times when I failed at this, but the lessons that Christ taught me were some of the most beautiful. And in the process, my year was filled with moments that became memories – because I said yes to the relationship and no to selfishness.
God brought me opportunities to give of my time to others, where I had to trust that He would give me strength and rest as a reward. He showed me how to give of my money to others instead of hoarding it to myself. He opened my eyes to conversations to be held, sacrifices to be made, and joy-filled experiences to be had – and I feel my life to be so much the richer because of it.
Not all of these moments and experiences were captured in pictures, but the few that were will always remind me of the precious people in my life with whom I get to share friendship – and the ways that our relationships grew this year.
And so … here’s a peek into some of my favorite moments from 2018: