twenty /// part one /// a letter to this past year

dear past year, 

i just turned twenty and am in awe when i look back on this past year of life. so much has happened. the lord has been so faithful and i am thankful he has given me the gift of life.

i wanted to do a two-parter; the first part reflecting on twenty things that have happened this past year, and the next, twenty goals for the coming year. you should think about making your own!

it is really neat to look in scripture how the lord is continually telling his people to remember the faithfulness of the lord. too often we don't want to "dwell in the past" that we forget to look and see how the lord used successes, trials, rejections, victories to glorify him and bring us good. remember the lord and be thankful, dear ones.


1 /// i completed my first year at app! when i transferred to app last fall, i really did not think i would be staying. it was hard and i grew restless. but the lord firmly told me to let my roots grow. he revealed to me my restlessness often just disguises my sin of not wanting to be vulnerable. i am thankful he averted all my attempts to leave app and made me stay here (even if when it was happening i was so confused!)

2 /// my dad moved to north dakota. oh my goodness, it is so crazy it's been a year since he has moved! that was a hard thing. leaving my mama and tara drew behind on her senior year of high school was no easy task, but he showed great protection of his family in the move, realizing it was the best for us even if it didn't feel great. i'm thankful for a dad that leads the family well.

3 /// i saw the head and the heart, punch brothers, aoife o'donovan, judah and the lion... lots of lovely music.

4 /// the lord freed me of my doubting of him and his existence! hallelujah! he revealed to me through my then current campus minister that it is not my faith that saves me, but the object of my faith. in hebrews it says that the lord is the author of our faith, so god writes the faith he gives me on my heart. and because of the sacrifice jesus made, when i am looked at by the father he sees perfect faith because he sees jesus in my place! hallelujah that even though i am so depraved i can't even muster up enough faith to believe in the only thing that can save me, still the lord gives me that faith!

5 /// i gained a new cousin and my cousin had a baby! love little maddie and max!

6 /// i began a love for the x-men series that will never die out.

7 /// i met my sweet roommate for a time, and always dear friend, esther. it is so crazy how the lord orchestrated our living together. we had a picture together from the church we both attended, yet neither one of us knew each other! she is so lovely and i miss the days where we ate junior mints together and talked about life each night as we fell asleep.

8 /// the lord has been growing in me a love for the nations this past year. it has been beautiful to see him change my heart for the lost and my longing to see the captives of sin set free into the redemption of the lord.

9 /// i was on summer staff at snowbird wildnerness outfitters. oh dear, where do i begin? one of the best experiences of my life! this summer escalated a love for the word and his people like never before. i cherish all the friendships i made and all the growth that happened over this past summer.

10 /// is dedicated again to the community at snowbird. i met some of my dearest friends there, that i hope to know for the rest of my life. i want them to be at my wedding, i want to live in a house with them some day, i want to always be growing in the lord together---ministering to one another and encouraging each other.

11 /// i moved into my first apartment! this time has been a time of sanctification because growing up is hard (can i get an amen?!). but the lord is continually teaching me to focus simply on what needs to be done at the present moment.

12 /// also having my own apartment has made opening a place of safe refuge to other girls so great. i live super close to campus so to have friends over (especially struggling freshmen) is so, so beautiful. just today my roommate said, "sometimes when i am stressed i just walk into your room and feel better. it's like a safe haven." and i was dumb-founded because that is what i had prayed my room and apartment would be to people. thank you, lord, for letting this place be a sweet place of refuge.

13 /// mama moved to north dakota and got a great job! praise jesus, for these are both answers to prayers. finally mama and pops are together again, and both have awesome jobs!

14 /// my prayer over the summer for this coming year of college was to find a group of people who were passionate about three things: community among believers, discipleship, and missional living. i went to my first small group through bcm and guess what the leader said were the three things we would try to cultivate this semester? yep. god is good.

15 /// college has been a time of loneliness. it has not always been easy and the tastes i get of community almost come up bitter because i know they won't be long lasting. but the lord has taught me so much through this. knowing that he is always there to sustain me and be my dearest friend is the sweetest gift.

16 /// going off of number fifteen, these seasons of loneliness have finally made me realize i must cultivate community. i often sit back thinking it will just happen, but as tara drew recently told me, "if being vulnerable and having genuine community was easy, everyone would have it. but it's hard to cultivate vulnerability among people. but it is so, so beautiful when you do."

17 /// i watched the first lord of the rings for the FIRST. TIME. EVER. it was so, so, so good. (still need to watch the other ones, though.... oops.)

18 /// i learned how to crochet! which is probably one of the best things that could have happened since i live in the artic.

19 /// i fell in love with elsiabeth elliot and her writing. yes, this woman is my hero. she is a beautiful example of what a biblical woman looks like. she is incredibly wise and it would be a dream to sit down at a coffee shop and listen to her talk. i guess i will just have to settle with her writings for now...

20 /// finally, the lord has taught me so much about himself this year. i have began to see how everything is about the gospel and it is BEAUTIFUL. i am overwhelmed by him. and ashamed at how little time of my day is spent feasting on him. but i am thankful he is continually correcting my mind to dwell on him and teaching me how to love him more. for loving him and giving him glory is for my good and my benefit and only when i am fixed upon him will i be happy and delighted; for no other thing satisfies, no relationship will complete me, no accomplishment fulfill. only christ and who he is and what he has done and thank you, lord, for the gift of knowing you.

//// I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord ////