Hello friends! After a month of not writing, I am finally back, and it feels good to be back. I hope that y’all had a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
To kick off 2017, I want to start a tradition on my blog to write about each passing year. You see, in my 19 years of living I have learned that it’s so easy to pass by and forget moments that got you to where you are in the present. You look at where you’re at now and you think, “Wow, how did I end up getting here?” And it stinks, because those moments are moments where we can thank God for what he’s done, whether it be big or small, and we can see how his faithfulness brought us to the present. I don’t want to miss out on glorifying my king. I want to tell the whole world what he’s done in my life.
So here it goes.
2016 for me was.. a lot, if I’m going to be honest. There was a ton of pain, stress, and fear, but there was even more joy, peace, and celebration. It was the year where everything changed because I finally let Jesus live in me. He wasn’t just a visitor that I invited in for a cup of tea every once in a while. No. I asked him to move into my heart.
Because of that radical invitation, Jesus completely came into my life and swept me off my feet. The first major sign of his newfound presence was when he called me to create this blog. Y’all have no idea how baffled I was. God wanted little ol’ me to create something on the internet for everyone to see. What? There’s no way I could do it!
But I did, with His help. After weeks of trying to figure out how this whole shebang works, I uploaded my first blog post. Then the next one, and the next one. Next thing you know there are people calling and messaging me telling me how touched they are by my posts, or how they enjoy my makeup videos. That’s when I knew that the Lord was in the middle of all this. And I just want to say thank you to all of the people who have responded in any way to my blog. It means the world to me, and you should know that what I’m doing would be nothing without my Jesus. I couldn’t have done this without Him.
Another huge milestone for me this year was finishing high school and going off to college. God has done such amazing things through my education. Not only am I attending my top choice school, but he readily prepared me for my 4 (maybe 8) year journey by blessing me with an amazing roommate and awesome friends. I was so excited to enter college with a fresh start and make new friends, but little did I know that God would fulfill my heart’s desires before I even started my first day of classes! Wowza. He just blows my mind.
While being at UT, so many blessings and miracles have come my way that I can’t even count them. But, there are some that I would love to highlight and touch on.
First would definitely have to be starting a bible study in my residence hall. I’ve never mentioned it on my blog, but at the very start of my fall semester God called me to start a bible study. Again, I was baffled and I didn’t know how the heck I was going to pull it off. I had never EVER attended a bible study, let alone led one, but boy oh boy did the Lord step in.
On my very first day of classes I stepped into an elevator to then meet one of my future friends, Christian. He pointed at my shoes that say “Jesus Rocks,” said they were cool, and it all snowballed from there. I got to meet his friend Carolyn who also felt called to start a bible study within the residence hall, and BOOM! We made it happen. Now some may say that it wasn’t a very successful bible study. We had a few people show up here and there, sometimes it was just the main squad, but ultimately it didn’t really matter. I think the bible study has been super successful, and one of my favorite parts of college yet! Getting together with friends to just talk about life and learn more about Jesus has been one of the biggest blessings, and I couldn’t be more grateful that God once again called little ol’ me to get out of my comfort zone.
Another big part of my experience at UT was how I spent my Thursday nights. For 2 hours every week I got to hang out with some really cool kids who live in under-resourced communities through a non-profit called “Mount Nebo”. These kid’s living situations are more than likely way tougher than mine, and I am so grateful that I got the privilege to love on them and share the gospel with them. It has opened my eyes to my own resources and how incredibly blessed I am. Not only have I gained a thankful heart, but the desire for helping children has flooded inside of me. I look at them and I can’t help but smile, and when they’re in pain I’m in pain; it’s been the craziest feeling.
I’ve also recently been given the opportunity to be a part of the marketing team for Mount Nebo, which I am super excited for! The Lord has been ever so present in this journey, and I’m so excited where He going to take me within this ministry.
Now like I said in the beginning of this post, 2016 did have some very rough patches- in fact, it was probably one of the most difficult years of my life. I battled with illness, illnesses in the family, deaths in the family, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, loneliness, and a ton of other things, and I tell you all these things because I want you to know that I still believe that God is good.
I am able to sit here and write because the Lord was faithful in every. single. situation. There was not a time that I called out for Him where He did not show up. That doesn’t mean that my experiences were painless- no, not in the slightest, but my devoted Father would come in every time and give me peace when I cried out. Sometimes I wonder where I would be right now if it wasn’t for God; I don’t think it would be a very good place.
I am excited for 2017. The word “hope” has been stuck in my head the past few days and I think it’s a reminder for me to keep my eyes on the Lord, because the mountains that I faced in 2016 that are still in my way will one day be totally obliterated. I have hope in that for me, and I have hope in that for you too. Oh dear reader, I hope you know how much you are loved by our Father. He cares for you so much, and He wants you to experience his sweet love. I encourage you to let Him in, and let Him in all the way. I did in 2016, and I honestly wish I would have given it all to God sooner.
But now all that we have is what is ahead. So take heart and keep your eyes on him, for he has overcome the world.