23 things I’ve learned from the past year



Well, y’all. There goes another year. I’ve imagined many different iterations of my life, but I doubt that any of visions resembles where I am right now. More than anything, 22 was a year of transition. I savored my final year of college, moved back home, job searched, landed an internship at a Fortune 50 company, and now I’m job searching again while finishing up my last few weeks here.

For some reason, my mind jumps to Mr. Beaver describing Aslan to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy —

He’s not safe — but he’s good

This past year has been an adventure, to say the least. I am reminded that God takes me into the shadow of His wings, even when a storm rages around me.

Here are 23 things I’ve taken away from this past year:

  1. 30g coffee ground on #21 for the Encore // 510g water // total brew time: 4:30-5:00 minutes
  2. John Piper says: Occasionally, weep deeply over the life that you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Feel the pain. Then wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life that he’s given you. 
  3. God’s Kingdom supercedes earthly politics. His dominion will know no end.
  4. Do not feel that you have to be all things to all people. In your attempt to satisfy as many people as possible, you will forget who you really are.
  5. Know that God is working on your behalf at all times, particularly in the mundanest of monotonies.
  6. Do not go a day without seeking God’s presence. Jacob contended with God: “I will not let you go unless you bless me” Do not stop contending with God until You are sure that His Spirit will guide you, lead you, empower you, strengthen you…with enough manna for that day. And repeat.
  7. Healthy confrontation & feedback is difficult, but ultimately helps glue together relationships instead of tearing them apart. I learned this the hard way.
  8. Even when no one else cares about what you are passionate about, your voice and passion carries so much influence.
  9. Invest in the local church, but invest in the Church even more. It’s beautiful to serve within the church, but I think God also doesn’t mind if you take an [extended] rest to ‘just’ attend church — or even take a break from church. But a good local church should challenge you — stretch you — not let you settle for where you are at right now — disciple you — not let community be merely in the context of small groups, but be richly found on Sundays.
  10. Do not wait for community to magically come to you. You have to form community – and fight for it.
  11. Moving back home and living with your parents isn’t the end of the world. You’re going to look back in 30 years and wish that you could have had more of that time. But just don’t plan on living there until you die. Move on — eventually.
  12. Sometimes the sweetest reminders of God’s mercy and grace is 3am in a Brock conference room as you frantically churn out (at the very last minute) that one term paper, or a draft of your senior thesis.
  13. Grant Lowe and Cale Horne listen super well.
  14. Again, Community in real life is nothing like the almost-guaranteed-in-some-sense community that you find in college. I think that you have to fight for your relationships even more, but you savor each new friendship that you find yourself making – savoring to the degree of each sip of a very fine wine.
  15. And when you see all the people that you thought you would remain friends with? Celebrate where they are. Celebrate where you are. Look back at the memories fondly, but not bitterly – knowing that it’s a weird, temporal world.
  16. And learn to celebrate other people’s (read: those close to you) successes. I think the world really isn’t a zero-sum game, as we think it to be. If they win — we win too.
  17. Self-care can take on many forms, but in no way should be a mechanism of escapism. Instead, well, particularly for introverts, self-care should help you face the world again…make you ready to continue on your mission. Ready to persist. And the gym, Victoria, is just as much self-care as holeing yourself up in your room.
  18. Spin class is tortuous. Spin class is arduous. You are sore as hell the next day. But it feels so good, even though, “No, buff instructor guy or chick – I am sure as hell not at 85-100 RPM right now, nor will I ever be”
  19. Actually, interning at corporate America teaches you a lot about living in mundane faithfulness and demonstrating eucharisteo. Jesus, how can I honor you and be a light today?
  20. The Enneagram is better than the Myers Briggs, but remember that your identity is found in Christ alone. But the Enneagram helps you understand who God is forming you into better.
  21. Challenge yourself into doing things that you never would have thought of doing — whether that means joining a Bible study that you would never dream of attending, or participating in a hackathon.
  22. Podcasts are a lifesaver for your drab daily commute (cc: Truth’s Table, This American Life, Invisibilia, The Liturgists, All Things Considered, Ask Science Mike…)
  23. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You know how when sometimes when people ask you to help them, you find yourself thrilled to forget about yourself and your own problems for a hot second? Pretty sure it works the other way, too. And (because I don’t want to make a #24) don’t resist out of a sense of pride or shame when other people want to serve you — want to bless you.

Bonus: Upbeet is the best fast-casual restaurant ever.

Shameless birthday request: did you know that you can now gift Kindle eBooks on Amazon, simply via selecting “Give as a Gift” on the right-hand column of the Kindle edition of the book purchase page, and then inserting their email address (L.victoria.yang@gmail.com), and paying money from your bank and then I get a book? I shamelessly would love to read anything that you throw at me, unless it involves: the prosperity Gospel; Joel Osteen; Donald Trump. I also like coffee. But I love books. Shameless birthday request.

23 is a weird year, but praise God for His unending faithfulness and His reckless love.


Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to our God! : how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem : he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted : and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars : and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power : there is no limit to his wisdom.

If we are in the light as you are in the light : we can find our way together. (Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals, Nov 30)

What do I have that hasn’t been given? Even the breath I breathe is the mercy of heaven. (New Mercies – Housefires)

He sent His son to die
And rise again to save us
His never ending love is steadfast and sure
He’s broken our chains
And given us freedom
Give thanks to God
For He is good

In Him we are alive
And have joy everlasting
His never ending love is steadfast and sure
He casts out all fear
And fills us with courage
Give thanks to God
For He is good

When storms come and rage
His peace overwhelms us
His never ending love is steadfast and sure
The Lord is our refuge when trouble surrounds us
Give thanks to God
For He is good

He’s always pouring out
His abundant provision
His never ending love is steadfast and sure
For the depths of His riches
And incredible wisdom
Give thanks to God
For He is good (Give Thanks to God, Housefires)



2 Replies to “23 things I’ve learned from the past year”

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