January 1

Even in the midst of 2017, I knew it was a transition year. Everything that I’d been searching for and moving toward came to pass during the year, not that I’d planned it that way. At the end of every year, people are ready to give it the boot. They want to start new, forget their past mistakes, and have an excuse to redefine themselves. But for me, 2017 was a good year—and that includes the dark times. But once I rose out of the darkest moments, everything came to light. Everything changed. And my transformation was truly beginning.

There’s no limit to what God has done for me this past year. I went from the fear of disagreeing with the church I’d been raised in (What if they are right?) to being welcomed by the Catholic Church to be one of its family. There were growing pains. There were feelings of emptiness, of loneliness, of doubt. There was unbridled joy, and tears of laughter. And there were questions. So many questions. For God, searching in His Word and the Catechism; for his priests, in which I doubted my very belonging in the Church; for my sponsor, who received the brunt of my stupid and sometimes obvious queries.

But God always answered. Sometimes not in the way I expected. Sometimes not in the way I wanted. But as I welcome 2018, I welcome Him more into everything I do. I need to keep Him at the center of everything, and I feel (I hope) I’m getting better at that. I’m certainly not perfect. I’m still a slothful, selfish, prideful human being. But little by little, He’s taking over. With every time I talk to Him, with every time I attend Mass, with every time I surround myself with His people—the Spirit shines brighter within me.

2017 was a growth spurt. I wasn’t going to receive the answers last year, but I started to learn the questions. And simply asking the right questions has guided me in the way He desired me to go. But that’s the easy part. Asking the questions has been easy, and even receiving some of the answers hasn’t been so bad. But living it? Not only listening, but doing?

This journey is long from over. If anything, I’m just getting started.