The year I learned to try

With the year almost over, I’ve been understandably stuck reflecting on what has happened in my life during 2019 and what it has all meant to me. And if I’m being honest, this past year took multiple chances to remind me of how truly pitiless life can be. I won’t say I had it worse than others, I know that’s not true, but I can’t deny how disheartening things have been. Throughout this year, my attempts to improve myself, reach my life goals, improve my relationships, and create new relationships were not met with success. I prefer to not give details, but my point is that I feel like I’ve failed at every turn.

Self-loathing is something I suffer from, and it's had a formative and negative impact on my life. I admit that I'm too hard on myself, but that doesn't stop me from feeling like I've let myself down. And what's worse, I also feel like I have failed everyone else. I have closed myself off to many people because I believe either I'm not good enough for them or that I have to give up time with them to focus on improving myself, and I know this has damaged and even ruined multiple relationships. I'm simply going to need to live with that, at least for some of those people, and that is hard for me to deal with.

But, with this all said, I will never stop trying. If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year that I want to share with and stress to everyone else, it’s that you should never stop trying. As Hemingway perfectly put it: “But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” The only failure is to give up the fight.

When I prayed to God, hoping he would allow me to achieve and gain all that I dreamed of, I immediately took His answer to be “no” when He did not give an answer in the time and manner I wanted. That was arrogant of me. I am not the governor of time, God is. He will lead me to where He wants me to be in life, but He’ll do so according to His timing, not mine. Although I may not like how things go for me in the moment, I now pray that He gives me the strength to keep trying until His plan for me is ready, even if the plan is far from my own vision: “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in His eyes” (1 Samuel 3:18).

Most people ask themselves what their purpose is. They want to know what the ultimate goal or accomplishment of their life should be. Success is measured in many ways, and it’s hard to determine which way is the correct one. But, I think I now know what I should focus on. My goal for my life is to see it end peacefully. And when I see God, I want to be able to look Him in the eye and with full honesty say: “I tried my best.”

As we prepare for the new year, if any of you are discouraged or stressed about how you believe the future should or might go, I hope you consider and prioritize the only worthwhile goal in life: To live for others, to love and trust God, and to never stop trying.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and Happy New Year.


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