A year of growth & grace : 2013

_DSC6517-1

Last year's post: (here)

This year had its many joy-filled days, but also its not-so lovely days…but everyone has those, don’t they? My word for this year was growth, and looking back, many different things blossomed in ways I would not have imagined possible. I grew in faith, photography, relationships, and so many other countless things. So many sweet, sweet blessings and graces, scattered throughout this heck of a year. Sometimes I think that my word instead for this year should have been grace, but I think that word is active. a part of life..something that will never be able to be constrained to a single, short, length of time.

There has been the little things that have tested my faith and made me question myself and my beliefs and my focus. There has been a lot of internal conflict as I struggled (and still do) with sin, while pushing to figure out life and desiring to jump to the next, so-called, “best” thing. There have been days where worry danced on my shoulders, keeping me up into the late hours of the night whispering lies to believe and days where the future would scare (and still scares) the snot out of me. There have also been the weeks where I have spent my time wishing my life away instead of using every breath to thank Him. Yet, in the abundance of all the crazy, busy, stress-filled days, there has been the gentle tugging to remember the mundane, wonderful, aweful, truths of old. Truths of God’s goodness and His love. Truths of His care and His forgiveness. Truths of my unworthiness and His everlasting arms. Truths of realizing that there’s so much beauty and so much to be thankful for every. single. day of this year...I’m just realizing I have to search for it more…Look for it in the early, frozen mornings you despise because there’s a beautiful sunrise you can see beyond the stoplights and the trees. Look for it during the days were siblings laugh uncontrollably because they really love being together. Look for it when you're finally able to spend time with a person, even if it’s for a few minutes, because you won’t see them for a long, long time. look for it in the hurt and trials and questions and un-returned affections, because in the midst of them all, there’s that assurance and truth and love and worth from the One who died for your sake that helps you persevere through it all. Look for it in the midst of late nights and the days where you're sent to your knees, because there is hope from the one who will give you enough grace for the next day, and all the days to come.

Currently, I’m just learning to trust. I'm learning to be content where I am now…nothing super life changing or special going on. I still feel like the same Hannah, but at the same time, I don’t. 365 days ago, many things were different, but there is much of the same old same old, also. I am seeing how this is where I am intended to be; I am seeing that that is OKAY. I'm seeing that if I don't have something I want, it's because God sees I don't need it.

It is wonderful to see how God is using every season of life to change me, my heart, and all in between. I am grateful for 2013 and its growth and unending grace. I certainly needed it. It is bittersweet to see this year pass into the next so quickly, as I feel like I am saying goodbye to an old friend and the fond times, but oh, how my heart is excited to see what this new year will usher in. I can’t wait.