This Year.

11:12 AM

This year I didn't get married, or engaged, I didn't have a baby and I probably won't make one of those Instagram collages. This year, there was no time for any of that. 
This year was about discovering the broken pieces of my life and finally taking the steps to fix them. 

After an accident in December, I was experiencing a great deal of pain in my back and neck. Working out seemed impossible and ibuprofen became my new companion. 

In November, I booked a flight to Uganda on a spontaneous web search on The more I tried to plan out an itinerary, the more my plans were thwarted. From passing out while getting my shots, to losing expected travel companions, i began to think I was never going to make it to Africa. 

My side door window mysteriously just fell off one day this summer. It hung on the side of my car like a limp branch and I lived without that point of view for quite some time. 

In June, a rat interrupted our movie night and sent us into a screaming frenzy. It ended up inviting all of his friends over and our house became a battleground for a rat genocide that lasted for months, creating the most awful smell and less than ideal living conditions. 

I put off seeking recovery from my accident because I was scared, my roommates and I lived with rats all summer because we were dreading the thought of moving, I almost backed out of a trip to Uganda because the unknown terrified me. I left my window dangling from my car because I thought that was my only option. Yet the decision to reject those ideas are what caused 2013 to be a year of healing.

I finally got the courage to seek treatment and four months of physical therapy later, I'm living painlessly and not relying on pain relievers to get through my day.

I got on a plane to Uganda on June 1st, fully vaccinated with no itinerary and my best friend as an unexpected travel partner. Our month backpacking through Uganda and Rwanda became the most life changing, view altering, moral shifting month of my life. A group of Ugandan orphans introduced me to a Jesus I forgot existed and the itinerary that unfolded before me turned out to be more magical than one I could have planned myself. 

My side window is now being held up by gorilla tape. It isn't the most conventional fix but I can see out my right side and that is something I will never take for granted again. 

My roommates and I finally decided to stand up to our landlord and move out of our rat infested house during the busiest weekend of the semester. The house that God provided for us was more than any of us could have imagined and the support surrounding us was overwhelming. I found peace in my new sun room and with new walls, we were able to grow closer than ever before, and invite our friends to delight in it with us.

Here's the most important lesson that I learned in 2013. You don't have to live with dead rats. You really don't. You might get used to the smell, you might get accustomed to the sound of scurrying and the snap of rat traps. But you have the power to live better. Whatever is infesting your life & filling up your walls, get the courage to move out. If it's a decision that scares you, terrifies you or looks defeating, that is probably an opportunity you should grab. If your car mirror is breaking, get the strongest tape money can buy and keep it up. Don't lose your vision, your will, your strength. 

I'm going to need all those things in 2014. Because in a few short months, I'm graduating and life will become a series of unknown. I'm coping with the realization that when I read this next year, my life will look vastly different. But if 2013 has taught me anything, it is to chase after the unknown and change the things that make you too comfortable. I'm excited to watch this next year unfold for you and I hope you continue to walk with me through 2014. Blessings and Happy New Year!

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  1. you are brave and I am proud to know you. Happy 2014 love. This is going to be a year of great things.