Dear Friends and Family,

It seems impossible to reiterate to you all that has happened to me in the last year.  A thousand pictures or a million words would still not be sufficient, but I’ll do my best.  It has been a year where my heart has twisted and turned through strange scenarios and amazing experiences that have lead me right to where I stand today.  Three things stand out to me among it all.

I spent the summer in Rwanda.  I long to go back.

I spend 20 hours a week planning a worship service at SPU.  It’s called Group.

I live in a house with ten women.  They are my lifeline.

These three things stand out to me because these are three things I never thought would be.  I never wanted to go to Africa.  I never wanted to live with more than four people.  I was supposed to be done leading worship.

Yet here I am, involved in these things, and I have never felt more confident that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  It has been a year where I have seen the world turned upside down and I have realized that I can help turn it right side up again.  I began to write this summer more than I have ever written before.  The red roads of Rwanda led straight to my heart and my heart led to my fingers and my fingers typed the story of Rwanda all summer long.  I don’t know what I want to do after I graduate in June, but whatever I do, I know that I want to write.  I want to use the power of words to share the world with those who have yet to see and experience it.

Words are important, yes, but so is music.  After a huge change of heart, I filled out an application and became the coordinator of Group.  I started studying the book of Joshua and my heart was wrenched with memories of Rwanda.  Stories of Old Testament genocide reminded me of my summer and the stories I heard.  I longed for reason in it all and eventually found it.  I realized that God’s hope for the world rests in us.  In our action and our love that we are called to live, redemption and healing can come to this very broken world.  We do not deserve grace, yet we receive it, and that is exactly how we are called to live.  In grace…in love…in hope.

I am blessed and honored to experience that love everyday in the home that I live in.  Eleven women, all alumni of Fourth Hill, decided to rent an old mansion this year and live in it.  It has been a huge blessing for each of us and exactly what we needed in this final year (for most of us) of college.  It is a constant support network and I could not think of a better living situation.  Whether we are dancing in the kitchen, crying on the couch or laughing on each other’s floors, we are always there for one another.  As we all step out into this void of uncertainty ahead of us come June 9th, it is nice to know that we are not alone.

Indeed, it has been a year of learning, but above all it has been a year of blessing and a constant realization that God is walking with me each step of the way.  I am not alone on this journey and I never will be.  I hope you realize this, too, as you step into a new year.  Thank you for your support in the past year, life would not look the way it does right now had it not been for you.

Much love and many blessings to you and Happy New Year!