26. (you were a wacky ride)
27.(you went whoosh)
28.(I’m gonna need a new passport)
I started my 28th birthday in the midst of running across the Istanbul airport trying to get to the correct gate to catch our flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. South Africa in that moment was probably my most favorite country in the world. And I was going to get the chance to spend my first month of being 28 nestled in the outskirts of my favorite city getting to spend my days doing ministry, living on a guava farm and of course getting to look at Table Mountain every day.
And what a start it gave 28.
The first 5 months of my 28 was spent in foreign countries. South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland THAILAND, Cambodia, Malaysia.
I slept in a stable, in my tent in the middle of a village, on a foam mattress in the middle of a team house, in a tent in a house surrounded by lizards, in a strip mall, in (a lot ) of hostels.
I did life with some utterly amazing people. I saw elephants and lions and so many giraffes. I hitchhiked down African roads. I laid hands on people and saw demons physically come out of them. I cooked for 100 widows and orphans on $30. I taught english, gave singing lessons, drank a lot of coffee, held babies, held some more babies, I filled up journals, wrote blogs, ate roti, cleaned bathrooms everywhere, ran in the southeast asian humidity, baked cakes, and drank some more coffee.
I cooked for my family of 50 and got blisters cutting up butternut squash.
I found out that I was truly a BA
I fell in love with the city of Bangkok.
And with street food in Mozambique.
I was reminded of my love for leading worship.
I learned so much about myself.
More than I can even begin to fathom.
And then that journey ended.
((my BA women in Swazi))
I remember sitting in my counselor office on my first Thursday in the states.
Did that just happen?
((the 112//no words needed))
Was it a dream?
And now almost 6 months later I can say it wasn’t.
These last 6 months I’ve reconnected with friends. I’ve had numerous skype dates and facetime calls holding onto the relationships I made last year. I’ve gone to Georgia and got to do life in the states if but for a moment with those I treasure.
((i carry you in my heart))
I’ve got in and out of darkness over the last 6 months. In and out of ruts. I’ve curled up on the couches at my best friend’s house and laughed with her and her sweet girls. I’ve gone to orange county and laughed in an apartment that holds so many memories. I’ve sat in the same chair at a new coffee shop in my hometown and poured out so many of my feelings and heartaches.
((I still haven’t had the Choprah))
I’ve written A LOT.
((the bestie and my goddaughters// my loves.))
I’ve realized I’m so much further from what I once was than I thought.
I’ve seen God in a new way.
I’ve made a decision to walk over fear and keep going.
28 was up, down, in and out. 28 makes me long for foreign breezes and watching the sun tuck behind an ocean that is not my own.
The beginning of 28 oddly enough felt like home and the end has felt murky.
I’m going to spend the beginning of 29 on a foreign lands.
((our first family picture in 20 years. My older brothers and I))
I have so many hopes, dreams and passions and the beginning of 29 feels like the start.
I wish I could properly articulate why this next step is so important. It’s happening because of all I learned about myself in 28. There is still more to do and grow.
28 rocked me and changed me.
I literally and metaphorically conquered mountains.
((members of Team V who conquered Table Mountain in South Africa))
It allowed me to be able to stand on the edge and yell that I am worth it.
29 is going to be apart of helping me believe it and 29 is going to be rough as I take an even bigger plunge.
28 was a turning point. Showing me that I never want to live in a world where God is only as big as we make him.
Because he is so much bigger. And I’m going to spend 29 and beyond pressing into that and showing those around me His truth.
((hashtuck// ankgor wat, Cambodia))
((I still need some help to get there. If you want to join me in my 29 adventure and partner with me please check this out.))