Friday, January 3, 2014

The Letter

I have a yearly tradition of writing a letter to myself. A letter to recap the year before, and to dream about the year to come. 2014 letter, let's do this. 


Dear Me, 

It's been almost a half hour, and those are the only two words I've managed to keep. For some reason, it's really hard to capture 2013. From afar, it doesn't seem like a big year. Still living in Santa Barbara, still working the same job, and yes, still single. But when I really dig into it, when I think of who Amy Reed was on January 1, 2013, and who she is now, on January 2, 2014, the beauty of the year comes into view. I thought I found myself in 2012, and perhaps I did. But it was really only the beginning. 

In January, I can remember people sharing their words for 2013. I remember the blog posts, the Instagram pictures, and the Facebook statuses. I didn't pick a word, because I had never done that before. I wasn't sure how I could summarize and predict an entire year after such a game-changer {aka: 2012}. But a quarter of the way in, a word came to me. I just knew I had found my word, and sitting on the other side, I can affirm that I had. No word better describes 2013 than the one that came to me way back in March: surrender

It was, indeed, a year of surrender. I had tasted Jesus in 2012, and I could see that He was good. I could see the life He had for me, and I wanted it bad. I wanted the freedom; I wanted the holiness; I wanted the purity. Things I never thought were possible for little ol' me to attain. And the truth is, they're not. But for Him, those things aren't just a possibility; they're a reality. And with Him, I can find them too. If I surrender. 

So surrender I did. I surrendered my eating habits, my fitness habits, my career, my finances, my dating life, my whole life. It didn't happen over night, for I had a firm grip on many of those things. But little by little, my grip loosened. Because little by little, I started to trust Him enough to give them up. I started trusting Him enough to say "You know best, take this, and do what you want with it."There is so much beauty in surrender. From it, blooms freedom, joy and faith. 

I'm thankful for who 2013 made me to be. I'm thankful for the existing friendships that deepened, and the new friendships that formed. I'm thankful for the moments that made me laugh hard enough to be considered an ab work out. I'm thankful for the inside jokes, the coffee dates, and the hours spent watching Friday Night Lights. 

But you know what I'm also thankful for? The moments that brought me to my knees, with ugly tears and all. The moments that humbled me. The times when I was so very conscious of my desperate need for His grace. 

It was a good year. The great times, the hard times, it was all just a beautiful, beautiful year. I hope the surrendering never stops. 

And cue to: 2014. 

I've got big dreams for this one. That's something He's showing me right now, how to dream without fear of failure. Because really, who cares if we fail, right? He guarantees us a good ending either way. 

I'm dreaming about my church, and where God wants me in it. I'm dreaming about speaking, and sharing the words that He puts on my heart. I'm dreaming about this blog, and the encouragement I hope will be found here. And I'm dreaming about, well, what every single girl dreams about. 

I don't know what 2014 will have in store, but something in me knows it will be good. For starters, I'm going to Uganda. So you know, there's that. 

Last year, I shared a verse God put on my heart for 2013. Last night, I read a verse and just knew it was the one for 2014. 

This year, I hope to gain a better understanding of just how good He is. I hope to slow down, and really take the time to experience His goodness. And I hope I take His goodness, and respond with generosity. I hope I will be generous with my time, and generous with my money, and generous with my love. 

Dear 2014: Bring it on. 




The Pink Growl said...

I love this idea! And I sooooo agree with you that big things are going to happen in 2014. God is using you in such a way to inspire and help others, you are just destined for success.

Danielle McNulty said...

That's such a good idea to write a letter to yourself at the end of the year. I may steal it for myself :)

Caitlin said...

Love this post. You write so beautifully :)

Leah said...

i am so glad to have met you friend this year. your post gets me teary eyed just because i know what a beautiful journey God has brought you through and i just know He will do beautiful things this year with you. love you!

Angela said...

Lovely post! What a womderful idea!

Susannah said...

What a blessing that you grew so much closer to the Lord in 2013 and were able to truly surrender your life to Him! I pray that 2014 is a year of drawing even closer to Him!