At the start of each new year, I take the time to look upon the past 365 days and gather who I am becoming based off of the places, people, and prayers that accompanied me. There’s something about remembering that reminds me that life is not stagnant, but growth is being made, even though so many days seem monotonous.
But in looking at the past year of my life, I see how far from stagnant I was. When moments of confusion seem to dictate my thoughts, remembering the moments of significance teaches me who I am and who I want to be. I felt that sharing a bit of that process may resonate with you, and I encourage you to take some time to do the same.
When I look back on the last year of my life, it is unbelievable how it all fits inside of 12 months. It was a year that marked adventure, celebration, growth, new seasons, transitions, gratitude, and grace upon grace.
I moved into a new house with best friends and strangers who would become dear friends, and I let go of other seasons and friendships as mentors and best friends got married and moved on to new cities.
I made the first step of creative bravery in releasing my music for the first time. I learned the beauty of sharing passions and creativity with other people, and that false humility and hiding in fear are not what the Lord had intended for His children.
I grieved with those who were grieving at lost life and rejoiced with others who celebrated new life.
I graduated college (WHAT) and road tripped across the country with my best friends. I found healing from prior heartbreak and hope in new relationships.
I traveled to Switzerland, Spain and Italy with my family and took spontaneous trips to the beach, the mountains and the cities of Chicago and Atlanta.
I walked through a season of post-grad transition, confusion and the twenties, but in the midst of searching stumbled about the sweetest people. I worked for a nonprofit I believed in and learned how to really pray before, during and after things.
I changed my mind at least 10 times a week about what I wanted for the next season of life. I applied to jobs, turned down other opportunities and deferred my grad school admission convinced that God didn’t have that in store for me. I then sensed the Spirit of God telling me to buy school supplies one day while driving past Staples and readmitted the day before school started.
I saw Coldplay twice because they are always worth it.
I led worship for the first time by myself and learned how to ask other people for help. I also learned how God works through my weaknesses when I feel inadequate as a leader.
I experienced first hand how God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, and I can trust him to bring dead dreams and strained relationships back to life, as well as to create beauty from emptiness.
I ate a minimum of 150 servings of chips and guacamole and 100 scoops of ice cream.
I experienced moments of doubt while looking up at the stars and moments of faith when I knew God was real. He kindly continued to reveal Himself to me and inclined my heart toward Him in my wandering.
I experienced a season of cleansing my heart from prior and current sins and learned that confession really is the key to inner healing and freedom.
I learned that emotions are real and valid, but they do not need to alter my reality.
I was blown away by the promises of God, His friendship and constancy, and started leaning into what it looks like to live and love people with open hands.
And I began to accept being a work in progress and an evolving person who is continually being refined and who will never “have made it,” but who is in constant need of God, constant need of grace, and has a constant reason to be grateful.