Year 21 of my life is over.  Last night, I had my people over and we celebrated in my favorite kind of way.  With pork tacos and cabbage slaw and guacamole and lots of cilantro.  With a yummy grapefruit gin drink.  With a homemade cake. By semi-impromptu going to get my nose pierced and playing Loaded Questions.  It was the best.

And today I woke up feeling great.  Feeling loved and known and celebrated.  I felt more alive and ready to take on the world.  This past year I grew as a person the most I think I have in any single year.  My career and calling became so much more close.  I began following the news and understanding more of what happens in my country and the world. I realized the injustices that happen and have learned ways I want to stand up for the oppressed.  I better understand my social beliefs, but still have many questions, and that’s a good thing.

One of the things I know for sure is I know God more today than I did a year ago.  I slowly saw how shame and fear and anxiety had a hold on my life and how it was had a kind of power over me I wasn’t comfortable with.  I learned to dig into the scriptures and find out what the Truth says.  I resisted what I knew was best and was hurt by thinking I was the best god for me.  But, then I got to see more clearly God’s faithful, steadfast heart for me as he called me back.  I grew in my comfort in talking about spiritual things, about asking questions I didn’t know the answers to, about asking how I could pray for other people.  I started memorizing scripture intentionally and saw how those words would come to my mind right when I needed them.  I have been slowing learning that God can handle my real, raw feelings.  That I hurt myself when I think I need to or try to hold them all in.  I am learning that those feelings can draw me to him rather than push me away – that’s something I want to keep learning in 22. I learned how to rely on God’s character over my behavior as Truth of who I am.  I saw my need to grow in knowledge of who he is.

This year was my fullest with people.  I ate so many meals with people.  I sat on the porch swing of 402 and grilled out.  I had Abby over lots and lots.  I made pancakes and waffles to welcome in the weekend.  I went and explored new restaurants.  I made a church my home for 10 weeks.  I engaged with new people in a new, maybe awkward way.  I learned that I can and should take up space.  I can make my presence, my ideas, my preferences, thoughts, dreams, feelings known.  No one can tell me they are wrong, but I can welcome their thoughts on how they should materialize in real life.  It is okay to live a life that offends some people, but I need to always assume the best of others.

And self-care.  That was a big one.  Rest.  Sabbath.  Buying a face mask and doing it every week.  Doing yoga.  Listening to my body in regards to what I want to eat or drink or how I want to move.  Also still learning this one, but the good seasons taught me that this is really, really good and really, really needed.

I know I am still young and have lots of life ahead and will face much harder things than what this year brought.  But in reading journal entries from this year along, I see that life is just cycles.  Things end.  And if I’m grounded, they will still be hard and still be real but they won’t shake me off of foundation I am built on.

You were good 21.


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