New Year’s Eve Reflection: 2017

As we go into the final hours of 2017, I thought it would be good to share a little reflection on the past year, and some hopes for the next year. 

I’ll be honest–2017 has been a rough year for me. As the year comes nears its end, I’m the loneliest and most depressed I’ve been since becoming Christian in my third year of university. This is partly because I stayed involved with Guelph Campus Ministry as a college student and as a university and college alumnus. This fall, however, I maintained very little contact with campus ministry–and I’ve had no single source to fill the vacuum of campus ministry in my life. Instead, I’ve been piecing community together from various sources, such as Tai Chi class, Start2Finish Run and Read, Internet contacts, and my pool of friends I can meet for coffee–but even with all of those I have a very noticeable hole in the community aspect of my life. While I am very drawn to the United Church of Canada because it is a place I can be myself in, the United Church of Canada doesn’t have a huge young adult community. Between the number of friends who have moved out of Guelph, or are busy working, or have drifted apart for some reason, and the lack of new young adult connections, I find myself much more socially isolated than I’ve been for years. 
2017 also really brought home for me that things like women in ministry and same-sex relationships are central issues to my faith. While the evangelical communities have plenty of young adults, I simply can’t feel at home there given the predominant stances of such communities on those issues dear to my heart. 
Career-wise, I’ve had three paid jobs through the course of 2017, and they’ve all been challenging. I’ve come to realize that employment is NOT going to be straightforward and easy. My disabilities are far too broad-based and self-reinforcing, and they affect employment far more than I had expected or hoped.

There have been many personal issues that I have had to deal with through 2017 from health of friends and family, to broken relationships, to the death of loved ones. As someone who follows politics and the events in the world, 2017 has also been a rollercoaster of a year, with some ups and a lot of downs.

Romantically, I don’t think I’ve really made any progress in 2017. In fact, it seems as if I’m even further away from any possibility of a romantic relationship than when the year started.

All in all, 2017 has in many ways made me forcibly more aware of my weaknesses, of my brokenness of my darkness and demons, with the end result that I feel broken, battered and bruised. 

Yet at the same time, I’ve been reminded how much God is with me, even in the darkness. Though I’ve been tested, and though I’ve come out feeling a load of pain, I also have grown more confident in my resiliency. God has reminded me that even though I may be losing many battles, I’m winning the war–by which I mean, despite all the struggles, I’m succeeding in my goal of being loving and honorable. Though I’ve been more isolated socially, I know I have a number of really close, really supportive friends, who are there for me when I need them. Though I haven’t had a romantic relationship, I also know it’s only a matter of time. I’ve been reminded again and again, that hope is as much choice as emotion, and I’ve chosen hope again and again.

So while I may have struggled, and while I may still be struggling, I’m learning and growing, and I know dawn will eventually come.

Looking forward to 2018, I hope for a romantic relationship, I hope for peace both in my heart and int the world at large, and I remain committed to practicing and holding fast to hope, faith, and love–for that triad has got me through all the darkness in 2017, and will get me through many more years to come.

Peace and blessings to you all! May your 2018 be filled with love and happiness. 

Published by Devin Hogg

My name is Devin Hogg. I was born and raised in Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2009 for university and lived here ever since. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, going on long walks, swimming, and practicing Chen style Tai Chi. I love to write poetry and blog regularly about topics such as mental health, sci-fi/fantasy series, faith, sexuality, and politics.

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