and I think it is pretty much the best thing ever. Very recently, my mom surprised me with a very special trip next week and my heart is full. At the start of 2014, pre-spinal-surgery, I remember thinking about how I felt this huge pull in my heart to visit the South this year. I have this dream of moving there and working creatively with women who have built up beautiful, purposeful, meaningful businesses rooted in their faith. I’ve never been to the South, and it seemed so unlikely at the time with my injury and the expense of travel, but I was hopeful anyway.
Tonight as I drove home, I was talking with the Lord about this. I got all kinds of emotional as I thought about my hopeful self who was in so much physical pain in January but who placed everything I had in the hands of God. I reflected on how the condition of my heart was made so well by Him in the midst of immense physical affliction. I thought about how He literally made things well with my soul, including the experience of my biggest fear coming to fruition. I thought about how I used to make jam and sweet tea and listen to country music and daydream about moving to the South someday if I was ever healed from my injury. It was hard to believe that the day would come when I would be able to have a pain-free day, let alone one where I could experience this place that had lifted my spirits in the thick of my discomfort and in the midst of 7-degree New Hampshire weather. I thought about how I have looked down at the metaphorical ground in discouragement so many times this year, missing the work that God has been doing because I haven’t been consistently seeking Him as I should. Tonight I was able to see so clearly how much He has done and has been doing, and how He answered my prayers from last winter in a big way. He healed my back through an incredible story and is now bringing me to the South, all within this calendar year that had held all of that hope back on New Year’s Day.
In so many ways, this trip is a win. It’s a celebration of how far I’ve come in a year – or really how far He has carried me. It brings the opportunity for me to visit the people and places who have helped me to shape my dreams this year, and to celebrate them. It gives me time to make memories with my sweet mama (I love you!) who invested the time and resources into making this trip happen for me. I’m so grateful y’all. I want to stop looking down and start looking up so that I don’t miss a second of this life that God is building before me. Be encouraged, friends. He can do the same for you, too.