But 2016 was anything but quintessential.
I’d say at best it was a rollercoaster; at worst it was the fear that encompassed me when I went to jump off of that huge rock in Cañón de Somoto en Nicaragua.
Some of my highs:
- I became an aunt (again!), and I got to hold my newborn niece!
- So much discipleship this year–at CCU, KAA, Nicaragua. I got to pour into so many!
- I graduated college…with two degress…in 7 semesters
- I had a pretty sweet summer job working with urban youth
- Meeting up with my friend Abi in Nicaragua
- Baptisms! We baptized 3 on our team in Nica!!!!
- Somoto Canyon in N. Nicaragua
- Christmas in New Orleans!
Some of my lows:
- Sickness, fatigue, etc
- Goodbyes were a constant
- Battling inadequacy, fear, and hurt for a good portion of the year
- Transitioning out of college into, well, whatever you call this weird in between phase of life
- Processing the age old feelings of not belonging, not being seen (like in a deeply emotional sense), loneliness, and having my push for emotional honesty be seen as a weakness
- Facing the prejudices against black people the have crept into societies around the world (a topic for a different blog)
Some unexpected turns:
- Working in the special needs community
- Spending a summer in Missouri
- Leading a mission trip to Nicaragua (The 9th country I’ve visited)
- Travelling across a country where I don’t speak the language via public tansportation
- Surrender–this year was filled with surrender at every turn. I was continually in need of Jesus and guided by the word of God.
With all that said, I believe there are better things, harder things to come. I believe the Lord always brings us into greater and more, even if that means letting us be completely stripped of what we so tightly hold onto. I spent much of my year ridding my heart of the lies that were so deeply rooted there. It was painful, but allowed for enormous growth and sweet poetry.
So, my dear friend, if you didn’t hear it this year, you are valuable. You have purpose. You are capable. You are loved. The little things are not unseen by the Lord. Growth happens in small steps, not large leaps. You are a child of God, a son or daughter. You are invited to commune. You belong.
Allow me to leave you with this:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Carpe Diem. Live Well.
-A World Changer