Someone asked me a few days ago how this new year feels, not an unfamiliar question at all, but one that actually left me without a response for a while. All I could say is "awe - this year feels like awe and celebration and baffled gratitude."

I'm having a really hard time moving past that lately. I don't know how else to describe all that I get to hold on to right now. Or the space where I now get to build my home. 

Twenty-eight finds me in the midst of transition and expectation and the edge of a new season. It meets me with a depth of love and beauty in community and life that I'm still baffled and humbled is mine. Utterly blown away by what God has done here: something so deep and freeing and new and almost entirely unrecognizable from where things were before. 

I spent so many years in a space of brokenness that I began to believe that was my home. I saw God's faithfulness is the wreckage and met Him in the depths of grief and illness and loss and surrender. He was faithful and life was weighty and messy and hard. And somewhere along the line, I think I started believing that that was my story: even holding to it because it was familiar and comfortable. 

But you know what 27 has taught me? Your life isn't limited to one narrative. And we rob ourselves and miss out on a chance to see the redemptive power of God at work, when we tell the incomplete narrative of a single story.

Sometimes war zones turn into gardens.
Sometimes the sun does rise on dark nights that feels impossibly long. 
Sometimes stories pivot and change and find new life in directions unexpected.

I know, because I've lived it. I'm living it.

She's still here: the girl with scars and bruises on her heart, permanently marked by loss and an ache that will never fully subside (in the best way). She learned through a lot of trial and error that grief brave and beautiful, that courage looks far more dynamic that I could have previously understood, that the messiness of life isn't something to run away from (for it's only there where we truly find what it means to be alive without pretense or presupposition) & that Hope is real and robust and hard-fought. That story will always be mine. But it's different now. 

I used to read the end of Ephesians 3 and think of the idea of God doing "abundantly more than we can ask or imagine" as a forward-looking hope. But now I cling to it as my own story: still looking forward to the perfection of future hope, but entirely and completely blown away by the ways God works right here in real time and in our very midst. 

Blown away and in Awe of Him.

28: here we go!