2012: A reflection of this year… {top 10 lessons I have learned}

another year has gone by

When I look in the mirror I see that same girl staring back that I saw a year ago… but that girl isn’t the same anymore.


She’s a little stronger… because she went through a few storms.

A little braver… because she faced a few unexpected bumps on the road.

A little wiser… because she allowed God to to teach her lessons in life she would have never learned on her own.

If there was one world I could use to sum up this year it would be this: bittersweet.

Bitter because it had some hard moments. Some trying times. Some setbacks.

Sweet because it was those bitter moments that made her stronger, helped her see things with a new perspective, helped her overcome her fears, helped her face her challenges, helped her grow into the person that she is today…

Today… I want to take a look back on this year and remember everything God taught me from the beginning until the end.

Here you go: my top 10 lessons of 2012:

1. Hard times happen. Dead end’s happen. It’s part of life. I don’t need to be worried and scared as if it is the end of the world because I know that God still loves me. He has a purpose for allowing me to go through those things and He’ll always use them for my own good.

2. Life never goes the way you plan. It’s good to make plans and set goals but I shouldn’t be disappointed if those things I plan for never happen. God’s plan is better than my own. God’s timing is also different than my own but He has a plan for everything I go through so no matter where I end up I should trust in His perfect plan, timing, and sovereign will for my life.

3. God’s Word is my daily food and if I don’t choose to read it, to learn from it, to live by it then I’m choosing to be weak. I’m choosing to (possibly) stray off the path. I’m choosing to not seek His guidance for every single step that I take.

4. It’s more important to be beautiful on the inside than on the outside. People look at the outside but God looks at the heart.

5. I need to live for eternity because although it’s nice to “make it big” in this world, it’s even more important to “make it big” in heaven. To do things that have eternal significance. To live not to satisfy my own desires and pleasures but to fulfill God’s will for my life.

6. It’s up to me to make the most of life. To chase after God instead of the meaningless pleasures and pursuits of this world. I can choose to let my past hold me back. I can choose to let fear of an uncertain future keep me stuck right where I’m at. I can choose to focus on the wrong things in life or I can choose to pursue God. And I need to choose wisely.

7. I need to appreciate life because there is always someone out there who has it harder than me. I need to be thankful for everything including hard times because God uses the hardships in life for my own good. No matter what I’m going through I always have a reason to rejoice because I have Jesus as my savior.

8. I never walk alone. God is with me through absolutely everything I go through in life. Even when I feel alone. Even when I don’t think He’s next to me. And knowing that gives me the courage I need to take the next step in life.

9. I should stop trying to figure out why I’m single and start using my single time wisely. God has a purpose for this season in my life and instead of wasting time wondering why I don’t have a ring on my finger and three kids by now I should be purposefully living my life to serve others in the way God has called me to.

10. It’s ok to take off the “mask” that I sometimes wear. It’s ok to be a little vulnerable. It’s ok to show the world that I don’t “have it all together”. It’s better to be real with people even if they won’t see you as the perfect person you wish to be than being fake and never allowing anyone to see you for who you really are.

Another year has gone by… and I am thankful for everything God has taught me and I’m not afraid of the lessons He will teach me in 2013  because I know… He will always be by my side, just like He has been every year until now. 🙂

Is there anything He’s been teaching you this year? I would love to hear what lessons you have been learning. 🙂 Anna… 


15 thoughts on “2012: A reflection of this year… {top 10 lessons I have learned}

  1. Pingback: My 2012 Reflection: One Word Sums It All Up | TEN^TWELVE

  2. I love your list! # 7 was the one that caught my attention the most. It is so amazing how God can use even the bitter stuff to make something sweet out of it. I learned to pray for his will to be done and to take a step forward even if I’m not sure I’ll have all the resources to do it. “Where God guides – He provides!”
    Blessings and Merry Christmas ~ Wendy


    • I love that quote. God’s been teaching me all about taking life one day at a time with Him this year. I love to make plans and have it all “figured out” before I take a step into the unknown and I’ve been learning more each day how important it is to trust God with my life, not have the need to know where the next road will take me (or what the next road will even be) because He will make a way and provide for me in the way only He can. 🙂

      I hope you have a very blessed Christmas as well Wendy!


  3. Wow Anna! I was planning on doing the same thing that you have done here, look back over 2012 and talk about all of the lessons I have learned, but looks like you did all of my leg work, lol. I, too would say that I have learned all of these lessons you have mentioned! Guess we had a similar path this year, huh? Very interesting! I think #10 was a large portion of 2012 for me! I had to finally learn that it was truly okay to say, “NO, I am NOT okay!!” rather than maintain this facade of “being all togetherness”.

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Hey 🙂 That’s awesome! You should still make your list. I would love to read it! And showing your “real” self isn’t too “popular” these days but I think people love transparency in others. It helps them open up themselves if they’re going through similar situations in life.

      If we all walked around and pretended to be okay then no one would be reaching out and helping one other. That’s the beauty of being able to be a little vulnerable. It opens doors and opportunities to minister to hurting people who would never have been open with their own hurts, fears, and lives until they know you may have walked a similar path. No one wants to let their guard down with someone who seems to be perfect 100% of the time.

      Thank you for stopping by. Hope you have a great Christmas!!


      • You are absolutely correct; a “perfect” person doesn’t seem to offer much compared to one who shares their struggles and how they have gotten better!

        I definitely will share my lessons from 2012 after Christmas before the new year! 🙂



    • Yes! Romans 8:28 – one of my favorite verses. It brings me so much encouragement when I’m going through hard times and I don’t understand why. God has a purpose for everything we go through, especially for the pain in our life. I read a quote a while back that hit home for me – “Pain gives you the PHD you never wanted” (I could write a whole blog post on that quote alone)… but it’s the truth – sometimes the lessons in life that transform us the most and help us become more like God are the ones that bring us the most pain. It’s always good to remember that when we’re going through a confusing time and it seems like nothing good can possibly come out of it.

      Hope you have a blessed Christmas! 🙂


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