twenty eight.


Twenty eight.

Somehow it seems momentous, the ending of a new year and the beginning of another. Why is that? What do you take from a year and bring into a new one?

You bring grace. So much grace. Because on that highway along the river, she spoke truth into your heart that you’d carry with you everywhere: we’re all just doing the best we can do with what we’ve got. And those words would shake you to your core, anger you in some ways, because you’d realize everyone else needs grace just as much as you do, and you could speak kindness to the one that broke you just as you could speak kindness to yourself. You’re doing the best. You can do. With what you’ve got.

You bring courage. Courage to pray the bold prayers, courage to stand in front of His throne, courage to sit across from a therapist and break open again and again. You do it, not because you always feel brave but because courage is doing it scared. Doing it anyways.

You bring tears. Not because you’re broken but because tears are the glue that piece you back together. Tears are found in pools at Jesus’ feet, and He’s there, He’s there, I promise you.

And you bring trust. Trust is realizing that there’s a Light that follows you, illuminating just a small circle around your feet. You’ll wish you could see past into the darkness, but that Light – it follows you. Because God, He always gives you enough, just enough for the day. For the moment. And you keep moving, and He keeps walking with you, and you realize – the darkness is not dark to Him – and He knows. He knows what’s out there, even if you don’t, and that is enough. Trust is believing that He’s out there, even if you can’t see Him.

This is what you take into a new year. You leave behind the old year,  but bring into it all that shapes you

into the person you are meant to be.



Dear Twenty-Seven-Year Old

Dear you,


You’ve been twenty-seven for two days now, and today it’s a snowstorm. The roads are thick with white slush and the sun has long since disappeared behind the grey clouds. It’s quiet except for the sound of the scraping of shovels outside the open door. That’s the thing about snow, it always causes us to pause. Probably why you love it so much. The idea that there are things beyond us, that shape us, and derail our best laid plans, but usually for the better. When it’s anything beyond a snowstorm, your need for control and certainty causes you to clench your fists and your heart for awhile.


Last year was quite the wild ride. I think we can both agree that so much happened in just 365 short days. But here you are – a year later – and at night, when the world quiets, and it’s just you and your duvet and your God, you’re wondering if you really know how to hear His voice.

You write her the email and you ask it plainly: how do you know? How do you know how to hear Him? How do you know when it’s His voice – speaking louder than my own?

And this is the thing, girl: right now, it’s dark, and it’s grey, and there’s a lot of snow all over the place. It’s shaking things up. The plans you made have slipped away. It’s causing you to stop – and pause. But that doesn’t mean you can forget.

And so in the midst of this snowstorm, this is what you need to remember: that this past year taught you that God is a storyteller, and a lover of words. His ways are not your own, but they are far better. And He is this grand God, a father of the weary, the one who holds the pen and only gives good gifts. And I’m telling you: those good gifts don’t come just in the shape of happy and full days, when the sun hits your face along the beach in just the right way, or the full moon – your favorite – falls on the day you were born. No. They also come in the shape of holy and heartwrenching days, too. They come in the shape of unexpected conversations. Of endings. Of tearful drives along Lakeshore Boulevard. When He takes away the things you think you want the most.

Because God is a God who knows your heart. And He knows what makes you feel alive. Full moons. Words. And the storyteller God know the way to your heart is through a good story.


And He won’t ever fail to write a beautiful story in your life.

But the best stories make you laugh and cry. Make you weep and rejoice. Do not disdain the small. God only breaks you for His purposes. For this chapter. To set the setting for the next page.

Do not forget, girl! Do not forget you are shaped by the One who knows your heart and the way your green-sometimes-blue eyes laugh and the way they cry. Do not forget, in the midst of a snowstorm, the way He delighted you on the mountains of El Salvador. Do not forget the way your plans changed and in slipped His and you were astounded at the way He loves. Do not forget that the full moon, the sweet reminder of His faithfulness to you, appeared again and again when you needed the reminder the most.

There are no accidents. There are no coincidences.

There is only a beautiful story, written by a Grand Author, with a beautiful role written just for you. Always remember that.