Last summer I truly believed I would never experience anything so uncomfortable as moving halfway across the world to serve in an HIV clinic in New Delhi. This year, however, I moved back to the city I grew up in and entered graduate school. I didn’t know it would be just as difficult.  For once I knew all the street names but I felt more lost than I ever did wandering the streets of Delhi. (Ok, so I also have a poor sense of direction.)

This year’s motto has felt like “almost but not yet.” One foot in the future waiting for things to get better, waiting for God to answer, waiting for the next best thing to come along. The present was merely a stretch of interminable time that must be endured. I was suddenly confronted with the fact that life is often messier than planned and God has called us to invest in where we are. Then I finally took to heart the lesson of Jeremiah 29, where God tells the people in exile to put their roots down. Jeremiah 29:1-8:

“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

I felt my attitude change. God tells us that even though this earth isn’t our permanent home, we are still called to abundant lives. It’s time to settle, time to plant, time to invest in where I am because He knows where I’m going. And that’s enough.

Here are a collection of the few things I learned during this year as I dug my roots in:

  1. Your ego can’t come first in relationships.
  2. Focusing on how you’re different from others only creates distance and isolation instead of collaboration.
  3. Self-evaluation after every failure is key to progress.
  4. Wake up earlier and don’t let the internet or social media be the first thing you see.
  5. I must have hope. Not just for me, but for those who cannot hope, those without the faith to make it through.
  6. Hope and joy are built upon gratitude, daily gratitude.
  7. No matter how long or how short your time is in a certain place or with a certain group of people is, leave behind love. Love harder, deeply, with more vulnerability and out of abundance in Christ.

Here’s to a new year. Let us live with more kindness, gratitude and hope.

 

Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

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Kriti Vedhanayagam

Kriti is a student and future doctor who is passionate about women's health and serving marginalised communities. She currently lives in Florida and spends her time volunteering as a victim's advocate for abused women. She also loves reading, dancing and traveling!

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8 thoughts on “2017 In the Rearview

  • Hepdeepa@gmail.com'
    January 19, 2018 at 2:30 PM
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    Aww my sweet sweet cousin! What wonderful lessons!! Praying for this year to be a blessing Kriti. Wishing you God’s best as you step into med school!

    Reply
  • lannie50@aol.com'
    January 19, 2018 at 8:53 PM
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    If we only understood, if we really knew God’s love for us. We are divinely placesd exactly where we should be. Take a step back and allow Him to lead; let the Holy Spirit be your interceder; let Jesus be your Brother, and all you have done & will do as a beloved believer will be yours.

    Reply
  • Grvedha1@gmail.com'
    January 19, 2018 at 9:12 PM
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    You make your mama proud! God is in the process of making you a masterpiece and I’m glad I have a front row seat.

    Reply
  • Starshining4ever@yahoo.com'
    January 20, 2018 at 1:28 AM
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    This really resonates: “God tells us that even though this earth isn’t our permanent home, we are still called to abundant lives. It’s time to settle, time to plant, time to invest in where I am because He knows where I’m going. And that’s enough.”

    Reply
  • Newtonfamily100@msn.com'
    January 20, 2018 at 3:06 AM
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    Is there anything you’re not good at?! ❤ I love the reminder to bring back into focus what is really important.

    Reply
  • hnmoses@gmail.com'
    January 20, 2018 at 3:20 PM
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    Wow! What a grip on “things” that do really matter to be here & there in peace, love & joy drawn from Him alone. More than being proud, I am delighted of what God has ingrained in you Kriti Kannu for the calling He has on you. Move on in Him always to reach out and touch for Him. Be blessed darling. Love you.

    Reply
  • January 21, 2018 at 11:29 PM
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    Thank you all so much for your support and love. I’m glad this could speak to you all. <3

    Reply

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