good-bye 2014

Listening to: The Last Goodbye-Billy Boyd
Line Craze: "The force will be with you, always."-Obi-Wan Kenobi

Dear 2014:

Where to start? 

For one, I will make it known!, I am not getting dressed up to go and celebrate the end of a fantastic year. I did that last year for 2013 and was totally not in to the stuporous state of Music City, Nashville, Tennessee during the wee hours of the night-crammed in the streets like a sardine inhaling the fumes of weed and alcohol; and witnessing the ghastly state of human behavior after several long, cold hours of standing, listening to horrendous music swapping slobbery, drunken kisses; and throwing up after one too many beers was all-too much for me to handle. Granted the fireworks were visually stunning, and the ambiance of the Ice Cream Parlor and Pizza place were nice, but amid the hustle and bustle of drunken druggies, I must say that the end of 2013 was and is the only New Year's celebration thing I will ever put myself through. Ever.

Of course, if there ever happens to be a special someone in the picture, then I might be persuaded to go amid the crowd again; but only for the ambiance-oh, and that New Year's kiss!

Dear me! How do I put into words the w.o.w factor you, 2014, have given me throughout each of the three hundred and sixty-five days I have been able to take on with pride and determination? I have experienced MUCH. And with each experience came a lesson learned and a blessing gained. 

L E S S O N S   L E A R N E D
2014 was very different from all that I had experienced in the four years past. I didn't have to fight an eating disorder. I didn't fall in love. I didn't self-harm. I grew closer to graduating school with each class I took. I grew closer to my God. And I did a lot of personal growing in discovering who I am, what I want to do, who I want to be, and how I want to leave my legacy. 

One thing that has stuck with me throughout all of 2014 is my former Pastor David Landrith's series on Legacy: living an amazing life, and leaving an amazing legacy. But it wasn't just his series that made me want to reevaluate myself in terms of whether or not the way I was living my life was worthy of the One who bestowed it upon me, and if it were that which others would look upon and see the full glory of my King throughout every inch of who I am as a Servant of the Lord. 

King David in the Bible was my Pastor's platform that enabled him to paint this beautiful picture of what it means to leave a legacy. Psalm 145 is said to have been King David's favorite song. As you look at this psalm you see the awe and amazement he has for his God throughout this writing. King David was a man after God's heart. A man of legacy. And it really, truly inspired me to greatness. And one thing I learned about leaving a legacy is that leaving a legacy isn't about the words written on your tomb stone long after you've passed away, but by how you chose to live the life that was given to you and through the lives you've touched. I love this quote by Shannon L. Alder: 
Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. 
G r o w i n g   C l o s e r  T o  H i m 
A year ago I would not have been able to sit here and tell you how content I am to be single. I have been single for over eight months now (longer if I had not given into the fateful longings of my lonely heart back in January). Have I always loved it? No. Do I now? Yes. Why? Because I have stopped giving into the fanciful whims of my human heart. You know, the one that desires Prince Charming to come to the rescue? The one that is practically perfect in every way, shape, and form? The one little girls dream of-that one day they'll find this mysterious and enchanted being and be able to call him theirs? 

Yeah, I thought I needed him to be happy. That I'd be happy and truly content if I had someone to call my own. Through 2014, I discovered something better than having a prince come to my rescue. I rediscovered the truest romance a girl could ever imagine! As in my case, I found that the way to a contented heart was not through a prince, but a King. A Mighty, Holy King! 

A greater deal of 2014 was spent learning how to surrender. With white flags flying high, I concluded that the only way I was to be truly content in my season of singleness was to surrender all of me to all of Him. Not just my heart, but every aspect of who I was-dreams, desires, hopes, visions, self-will. All of it.

Giving my heart to Christ was easy. I was five when I surrendered that area over to Him. But- little did I realize that true surrender meant giving Him my all. And giving Him my all meant allowing Him into the relational part of my life, too. I was scared at first. I mean, in my heart I knew I was risking the possibility of being single forever. What if I gave this area to God and never got it back? 

It was a leap of faith. And I went for it. I am glad I did; it's freeing to not feel discontent with the state of singleness. In fact, because I took that leap of faith, I have only grown closer to God and even more excited for what the future may hold. How will He use me? What can I do to please Him? Those are my thoughts. My desires. And I want 2015 to be a continuation of the reflection of Christ in me. Mirroring His desires and dreams. Following Him to the ends of the earth. 

You are bigger than any battle I'm facing
You are better than anything I've been chasing

Savior and royalty, the only hope in me
Jesus, You are, You are
The King of my heart, heart
The King of my heart, heart 
{Love & The Outcome}

My Prince Charming-my Knight in Shinning Armor-has already arrived. But, while He is here-never to leave-I will never stop pursuing His perfect greatness. He gave His all for me, the least I can do is devote my all to Him. 

W h o   H a v e   I   B e c o m e ?
It's weird to think: I'm a twenty-two single gal from Cottontown, Tennessee. (Did you catch the age part? 22! Egads! Lawdy, I'm feeling old). Okay, it's not weird. But it is unfamiliar. The age of twenty-two is uncharted territory for me. It's an age that I have not encountered yet. And yet, I already know a little something about feeling twenty-two-it's an age for greatness! As Shakespeare says: "But be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them" {Twelfth Night, Act II, sc. v}. While I may not have been born with greatness pulsing through my veins, I do know this: I have been called to greatness. For I am a daughter of the King! I am not great because it's a birthright. But I am great because in my weaknesses God power is amplified. That is when I am made strong.
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. {2 Corinthians 12:10}
G o o d b y e  2 0 1 4 
2014, you've been a gem! With you I have met some great people, learned some crazy things, and have been blessed beyond measure. And while today is the last day I will ever get to spend in your presence, I want to thank you for sticking with me to the very end. For giving me another year to better myself-to learn about who I am meant to be. And for giving me the chance to rediscover what love really means. Sometimes love is apparent, and sometimes we have to believe that love is there in order to see it. You'll be missed, good friend. And with my stamp of approval, you will forever be known as one of the greatest years I have had the pleasure to journey through thus far. Thank you!


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