Hope :: New Year

After the snow storm at my mom’s house in Southwestern Pennsylvania

It’s hard to believe we’ve reached 2023 already. It feels almost like just yesterday we were entering 2017.

It’s as if I can blink my eyes and be back 6 years ago, just moved back in with my parents and unsure of anything I’m doing with my life.

At times, I still feel like that same 25-year-old. I have all of these huge dreams and ambitions. They’re actually very similar to what they were 6 years ago, and yet they look very different than what I expected back then.

I dreamed of being a published author and serving in full-time ministry. I thought I’d spend the rest of my life leading worship. I hoped that if I could just touch one life, all of the hurt and heartache of my past would be worth it.

Now? I still dream of being traditionally published and I’m working daily to make that happen. I still want to do full-time ministry, but I’ve learned it doesn’t necessarily mean being on the payroll of a church. Serving in ministry is about the heart. And speaking of hearts? I like to think I’ve been touching people’s lives with my story, and guess what? The hurts and heartaches of the past are definitely worth it.

I wouldn’t be who I am today without my past.

Though I could close my eyes and feel almost like no time has passed, I know that it has. I honestly hardly recognize myself after all this time. I was a very different person back then.

And yet, just like with traditions, the change hasn’t been all bad. It’s just… different.

So, as we step into this new year, we can thank God for our pasts and know He’ll continue to lead and guide us every single day.

Life might look a little (or a lot) different than I expected 6 years ago, but I’m glad for it. I never could have imagined my current life back then.

Lean into your future, my friend. You never know what your life experiences will help you do. You also don’t know whose lives you’ll touch because of your experiences.

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