18 >> Trying not to get too sappy.

17 was hard and not all bells and whistles. Full of disappointments, doubts, and heartache. But in the midst of those days, I saw grace and joy woven so tenderly in. Seventeen was a year of seeking, for sure. I wouldn’t have wished for it any other way. In more ways than one, I grew. Life overwhelmed me and I found myself broken. I saw opportunity and had new experiences thrown at me. I felt growing pains (and a lot of them!) and found joyful rest. I realized often how I grew far too familiar with the gospel that I claimed to cling to and how quick to forget I was. I realized too, how quick God was to remind me, “My grace is sufficient for you”.

I think a lot of seventeen had apathy and anger sprinkled in— a lot of hurt. I found quickly how weary I became and how much rest I needed. I saw how I struggled with stewarding my time well and the lack of being home with the ones I claimed to love the most. I learned what it meant to slow down and be. I found comfort through playing gospel hymns and the Psalms and praying that I would pray more often, “Yet not as I will, but as You will, Lord”. My heart is so very fickle.

I found myself saying “i’m sorry” more often than I can count, and using the phrase “will you forgive me?” more than I ever had before. In the time where I was given the space to be angry and overwhelmed and hurt, love had also been there with open arms. More than frequently, I’ve been a rotten daughter/sister/friend/whatever, but kindness and mercy served as my retort.

This past year the gospel has been so evident and the faithfulness of Jesus has never been clearer. Jesus never forsook. I found myself realizing more and more how unworthy I am and how humbling it is to be in the presence of the King. I grew to love more and more the One who redeemed my soul and who kindly draws me back to himself o’er and o’er. I became more aware of a God who is sufficient, steadfast and kind...More aware of how tenderly He deals with His children and how unworthy I am to be called His own.

I’m grateful for growth and this new chapter that’s at my door. I’m learning contentment and humility and seeing fuller every day how my life is a testimony of the question, “Lord, why was I a guest? (see the hymn, How Sweet and Aweful is the Place)”. I’m so very thankful for life and that His grace abounds all the more.

If you’re reading this, thank you. It blows my mind that people want to know what I have to say. seriously. but God is so kind and these past 17 years have been wonderfully sweet and good. I’m psyched about what will come and what will be learnt in this next season and also grateful. I really have no clue where I’m going (circles?) or what might happen, but I'm seeing that’s okay in every way and really a blessing. Here’s to eighteen, dear friends. Excuse me, while I go crazy and buy+eat myself 5 cakes and justify that because I suppose I’m an adult now. happy birthday man! #181818cakecakecake #adult

18bday