Today is a very important day. This day has been being planned for a little over a month now. It’s my last day at home before my trip. I know that everything will feel differently when I get home. Today is going to be about a lot of things, but mostly it’s going to be about the end of an era and the start of a new one. I literally could throw up right now…but entirely in a good way. I am freaking out with excitement. I am nervous, but my excitement definitely supersedes any nervousness/anxious feelings. Tomorrow I am embarking on a journey that I have no doubt will change my life…forever.
I think this is going to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I think this is going to be one of those defining times that just shapes who I am entirely. I think that’s pretty much the coolest thing ever…even though it’s super scary. I would just like to say that these past few months have been the craziest of my life. I think pretty much since the start of this year, the craziest things have happened and I have changed in more ways than probably all my years combined. So in honor of a new adventure.. I want to reflect on the highlights of this year so far.
Absolutely one of the best experiences of my life. I think it’s safe to say I came back from Passion with a whole new excitement for Jesus. Some of the things that I learned on that trip will stay with me the rest of my life. I particularly remember sitting in the break-out session taught by David Platt and tears running down my face, knowing that everything he was saying would change my life…it would have to. It did and in more ways than I had anticipated. I learned a lot over those few days about what God wanted to do in my life. Not to mention, continuing to be apart of the awesome college group has been such a blessing to me. It has challenged me in so many ways and I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve learned from each person there. I can’t wait to see how God continues to use them when I return! They’ve definitely gained a special place in my heart.
Don’t really know that I’d qualify this as a “highlight”, but I know it was something that had a big effect on me. I’m still not even sure if I should’ve gone back to school, but I know that God worked it for my good. It was without a doubt one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do. I seriously know that the only way I made it through was His grace. It produced a lot of patience in me and it showed me his mercy and grace in ways I had never seen it before.
I could write an entire book on just that one day. I think it’s safe to say that the wedding of my beautiful cousin was a day that changed my life. Pretty much, if you ask anyone there..I cried through the whole entire thing (and then some!) Seeing the beauty of two lives bleeding together and becoming one was so powerful and so holy. It was glimpse of the world and how it’s always meant to be. There was such a sacred and special feel to their wedding and I could literally almost breathe in the presence of God around me. He was so close to me in those moments. I was so incredibly excited for Lauren and her now HUSBAND. So much of that day brought my heart closer to God and showed me a new side of him I had never seen. This is probably forever going to be a highlight of my LIFE! It was amazing and I am still so excited for them and for the life they now share! I wish words could explain how special it was to me.
I have this distinct moment in Charlotte when everything changed for me. It had been a perfect night. Two friends and I had been laid out on a blanket in the grass, talking about life, love and the journey we’d been on with the Lord. It started to drizzle and we ran to the porch. After about twenty minutes, just one friend and I were sitting there and she looked to me. “Let’s play in the rain!” We ran out into the rain and got completely soaked. I remember standing there and feeling as if Jesus were somehow in the droplets and he was washing away all this junk I’d been carrying. It was one of the biggest moments of freedom I’ve ever experienced. It was powerful and it changed me. I think it’s safe to say that entire trip was unlike any other I’ve taken. I literally cried 75% of the time and laughed the other 25%. God did so much internally and with relationships in my life. It was just a launching pad for all that’s to come.
Then…there’s these past few weeks. They have been so life changing. I started going through an emotionally insane time. Halfway through, God stopped me and spoke clearly to me “write it down” he said…and so I did. It’s unfinished..there’s so much left to say, but I finally came to a breaking point in the middle to where everything was laid bare, my heart was ripped right open in front of Him and I knew I couldn’t move forward until something happened. It did. I learned and experienced freedom I’ve been waiting on for nearly 6 years now. I did things that God knows, I never thought I’d be able to do. It was by HIS strength and grace that I was able to carry out in obedience the hardest thing he’s ever asked of me. Standing there that day, everything about me changed. I haven’t been the same since.
As of yesterday, God has finally resolved every loose end. I felt everything lift off and I just sat back and smiled. It still amazes me how he works. It amazes me how it never looks like I expect…it’s one of the things I love most about Him.
So…as I spend this incredible day enjoying home, I want to say that I can’t wait to update and tell you about all the adventures I encounter on the other side of the world. I can’t wait to see how God uses this crazy/unbelievable opportunity to bring me closer to Him. I love you all.