365 Days.

I feel like the last month has gone by in a flurry of weekend getaways, laughter, tears, growth, and milestones.

Let’s start back where we left off. I came home from my weekend away refreshed and awed at what the Lord is doing in my life. That following weekend was my birthday. Something I sort of dread every year. Thursday (the day before my birthday) the whole staff celebrated me in a surprise party. I was shocked and humbled by their outpouring of love. Friday was fantastic. A friend had put together a weekend in Pagosa Springs, CO (about 4 hours away) to run a race and enjoy the changing season. About 10 of us ended up going away for the weekend and we had a blast. It was definitely a birthday for the books in a good way. I felt incredibly loved and celebrated. My birthday launched us into the end of my work’s fiscal year, getting a team ready to head to Peru, and a Sofa Leadership Retreat. I described it as “the perfect storm of admin work.” I have been struggling under the amount of work I’ve had to do. But I knew it would be over at some point. Thankfully that point is now! However, I ended up coming down with walking pneumonia. It seems that once the stress of something is over, I get sick. Oh well.  In addition to a crazy amount of work, I had the anniversary of my move back to Colorado. I’ve been really emotional the last few weeks and it dawned on me that not only was I under a lot of pressure at work, but my heart was reacting to this time of year. On October 19, 2009, I packed up all my belongings, got into a car with my sweet mom and started the 20 hour trek back to Colorado. I woke up October 21 in Colorado Springs to a light dusting of snow and thought, what the HELL have I done? I cried and tossed and turned and couldn’t believe I was actually here. This place of pain. A desert of such magnitude, I never thought I’d be out of it. I had no idea what sort of job I’d have, no friends, no church, nothing of any certainty except that I was living in my parent’s house again. I felt like an utter failure. One year later I can’t imagine my life anywhere else. In fact, not one of my friends from Nashville who I spent my birthday with last year even bothered to wish me a happy birthday. I know that sounds self-centered and trite, and I realize it is, but it really struck me at how much has changed these last few months. My birthday was spent with people that  I didn’t know 12 months ago and now can’t imagine my life without. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the wonderful people who continue to love me in spite of my insecurities, defensiveness, and brokenness. He has truly used each of you to redeem my story in so many ways I couldn’t begin to list them all.

I came home a broken and scared little girl. But now? Now I know my favorite color. I’ve seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. So even though some things are hard and I still don’t have clarity on certain situations, I will continue to hope in the name of the Lord, for it is good.

Oh, how He loves.

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