to whom it may concern

Breathe in, breathe out. Head up. Soft smile.

Hello, 2015. You give me hope and apprehension, all at the same time.

I’m not usually the “New Years Resolutions” type, but something about today has caught me being rather reflective. Maybe it’s because 2014 chewed me up, spit me out, and then came back for seconds. (And thirds. And fourths.) Or, maybe it’s because, in the process of being eaten alive, everything that once made me who I am had to take a hike and release my heart from its grasp. I didn’t quite become empty; just, new. I’ve got a blank slate to work with.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: I am not the same woman that I was a year ago. I don’t look the same, think the same, feel the same, or speak the same. I am passionate about different things, and whole in places I never thought would know that kind of peace again. I feel as though many reflections upon oneself are sad, but make no mistake: these words are being typed by someone who is rejoicing for the change.

A year from now, I want to look back and know that I didn’t stop here; that this new person I am now continued to grow and learn and feel and simply become. So, this is a letter to myself and to who I will be in 365 days. Maybe you can make this your own, as well.

Hey, loved one.

How are you? I hope you’re well. No, I hope you’re brilliant. Because, let’s be honest, you’re not always dealt the brilliant moments in this grand adventure we call life, are you? (But, to be fair, who is?) Anyways, I hope that this very moment for you is spectacular. If it’s anything like this moment is for me, you’re reflecting on all of the ways you’ve grown this past year. There better be tears in those eyes of yours, because this is something worth crying about.

I’ve got very high expectations for the person you are now, you know. I’ve spent several days dreaming about what 2015 will mold you into, and, as you read about them here, I pray you’re nodding and smiling and laughing at how ridiculous this letter might be. And that’s okay. We’ve always liked ridiculous. So, let’s get right to it, shall we?

I hope you look more like Jesus. I mean, I know that not every single aspect will be a mirror image, and I know that heart of yours isn’t quite whole. But I hope every second of every day is consumed by this one thought: “How can I become more Christlike?” In 2014, you were introduced to the magnitude of that question and had just started to scratch the surface of discovering the heart of the Father. Now, I hope you can smile that crooked soft smile of yours and say, “I think I’m starting to get it.” I hope people can look at you and see Him. I hope they talk to you and hear Him. I hope His name is made known to each person you meet. That’s your mission, your calling. And, I hope you are more passionate about it, every day.

I hope you have trekked to the top of the mountain that we call “FEAR” and declared that you are no longer bound by its chains. My prayer, dear girl, is that bravery has made an everlasting home in your bones, because it was always supposed to live there. Always. Life is terrifying, but you are not so easily swayed by strong winds and raging seas, not anymore. I hope that, now, you don’t even hesitate when you step out onto the water.

I hope you haven’t forgotten that 2014 was the year your heart was truly and properly broken. That will always be important for you to remember, because it was in the midst of heartache that you bloomed. Like a desert flower being soaked by its first rain, you bloomed. Nothing ever prepares us for that kind of hurt, but Jesus was so faithful. Do you remember? He was there on the floor that you collapsed onto, and He was the one that coaxed you to stand back up when it was time. You stood up as a different girl, too. You rose from those ashes, stronger and healthier and more whole than you had ever been in your entire life. That’s what happens when you’re thrown at the cross, of course. You don’t come away the same. And, while we’re on this subject, I hope you’re much better than me at placing your dependency on Christ rather than the imperfect love of a man. I am still trying to figure out how to be a young woman that doesn’t let rejection slow her down, as well as a woman that is content with the Lord’s timing. I’m terrible at it, of course. I fall easily and have yet to be fortunate enough to meet someone that is willing to catch me. And, though I’m aware it’s not the end of the world, it’s still so hard. So, I hope you’re better at it, by now. I hope you are so much more patient than I could ever even dream of being.

I hope you’re more selfless and graceful and fierce in the ways that you love. Seriously. When opportunities to serve present themselves, you better be the first to say, “Here I am.” When someone wrongs you, please be the kingdom-seeking woman that forgives without a second thought. When there is love to be given, I hope you are the one that gives it, freely. This what I want for you. I want you to walk out the love you’ve received and use it to breathe life into broken and dark places. You have always been set aside as a light, babe. I hope you’re brighter now than you ever have been in this chaotic life you’ve been given.

Lastly, I hope you are still letting yourself feel things. I know it hurts. I know you are burdened by the way your heart works. I know you can’t help but love quickly & deeply. And, I know that it feels like a curse 99% of the time. That’s a lie. To feel anything, at all, is a gift. And what an honor it is to be given something as precious as the ability to empathize and see and hear and love and pursue and be intentional and forgive and hurt and break and give grace. Right now, I don’t do any of it perfectly. But I am learning that feeling everything is not bad, and I think that’s a pretty good start. I sincerely hope that by the time you read this, a lot of progress has been made on that front.

There’s so much I hope for you. For me. I can’t even begin to fit it all into this letter, but I pray I won’t have to. Anyways, I hope you’re at peace with who you are and who you’re becoming and where you’ve been and where you’re going. There are some pretty big mountains ahead of you, but you’ve always liked hiking. See you on the other side.

Much love,

Me

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