Finding my signature look of red glasses.
Falling in love with Fargo.
Living with my best friends.
Shauna Niequist + Hannah Brencher + Donald Miller books.
Endless cups of coffee.
Countless trips to Starbucks.
Making more music.
Naps on the beach.
Holy moments on docks.
Dancing. Particularly dancing in the rain. in a ghetto. in the desert.
Learning to rest.
Getting dreams back.
Friend dates for days.
At the beginning of 2015, I thought that my word for the year would be “dauntless.” And maybe for a brief moment it was. At the beginning of the year, I was so desperate to get out of survival mode that it took a fighting start. However, within a matter of weeks, I started to see that the song of war sounds more like a lullaby. Now, it sounds more like a dance anthem.
Many of you may know the popular quote that: “You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.” (Jamie Tworkowski)
That was my year minus the passport, but I made up for it in 12 airplane tickets. I learned again how to “believe better things” after a 2014 that kicked me in the butt. Piece by piece, I was put back together again by Holy Spirit through this year that ebbed and flowed in the most divine way.
I started off January so deeply broken. Church gave me anxiety and left me in a pile of tears. The thought of ever getting married and having a family made me outwardly laugh, but inwardly curl up in the fetal position. Being alone with God had to be done in small doses. Then God arrived so suddenly but so sweetly.
He arrived in the prayers of a friend, our faces both covered in tears as we asked for healing from my fears of marriage. He arrived in the modeling of a missional + healthy relationship in Las Vegas of all places. He arrived in finding myself returning to a Sunday morning church and returning that rhythm to my life. He arrived in friendships that were kindred spirits. He arrived in wedding ceremonies that moved my soul. He arrived in the most unlikely place of an internship with a church plant in Sin City where my views on marriage, family, purity, and church were renewed. He arrived in rest. He arrived in community. He arrived in a little church filled with hungry hearts and expectancy for God to show up. He arrived in a counselor’s office. He arrived in so many quiet moments.
I can point to dozens of times in this last year where God moved and changed me. Very few of those moments had any sort of pomp or flair. They were healing moments where He placed another layer of balm on my raw skin and as time went on, on my new fresh skin. It was a process. Sometimes slow. Sometimes speedy.
Now the time for healing comes to a close. It’s not that there will never be moments or new stages, but the deep and intense levels of healing are actually really well done. This year, I dug in my heels and did things that terrified me, but that healed me. I was desperate to be made into gold so that the fire would not be in vain. I didn’t fight the process, I fought with it. I learned how to heartily embrace the waves as I felt the thrill of throwing myself into them expectantly rather than just trying to survive their unexpected impact.
It’s beautiful because I feel like this whole last year, especially the last few months, were the upward climb of a roller coaster. Up. Up. Up. Climbing steadily. Now stopped. Ready for the drop that is 2016. Ready for arms raised, lungs screaming, laughter rising, heart racing, blood pumping, going too fast to really be afraid, but still really being afraid.
What does 2016 contain? I’m not really quite sure. I have ideas. I have some rough sketches. Many things feel actually rather planned out and orderly and tidy, but I know they wont stay that way. Life rarely goes according to plan and is always messier than anticipated. But there’s one word that I just can’t get over to describe what lies ahead: WILD.
Yeah, it’s going to be wild.