Hello family, friends and readers. This blog is going to be a lot of things but primarily, I want you to know that I will be as real and raw possible. I understand that this life gets a little sticky and complicated and I guess all I want to do is be an encouragement for the people in the middle of the mess, on the other side of the mess, and everywhere in between.
Who am I?
Glad you asked! This whole blog thing piqued my interest in the middle of my senior year of high school. I wasn’t set on going to college directly following graduation, so I started researching mission trips and gap year programs. My mom is actually the one who heard about the World Race Gap Year before me, and sent me all the links of websites to visit. I researched, I cried and I launched in September. On September 12, 2018 I said goodbye to my family and friends and everything I had known for 19 years and I left the country for 9 months. My squad of 50, with our packs on our backs and all the courage we could muster up, left. Traveling first to the Kingdom of Eswatini, I found joy in abundance, love that hand no bounds and friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. I learned what authentic community looked like and wanted to create that here at home. After living there for 3 months, we traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal where I struggled. A lot. I have never been more uncomfortable in the short 20 years that I’ve been alive. Nepal was so dark, actually and metaphorically, there was so much distraction, I felt alone and honestly scared. I will say that Nepal is where I learned how to be grateful for the hard things, those things that you never see coming but once they hit, they hit hard. I was extremely homesick, and just sick in general. Spent a few nights in a hospital, cried a lot, just overall a very hard time. In the end looking back I am extremely grateful for that time of struggle, because it allowed me to see the good in all things. I was sick in Nepal but I got to live in Nepal for a month and do life and serve alongside incredible people every day. I got to do ministry every day, constantly sharing the good news of Jesus and spending time with the people everyone else was too proud to go to. I was extremely blessed to experience struggle and hardship in a way that opened up my eyes to the struggles that people living there had to face daily. Needless to say, after that month of hardship, we traveled to northeastern India where my faith journey blossomed. I fell in love with the country and the culture and the people so soon. To this day I have friends from India that I am continuing to keep in touch with. There my heart truly grew for people and for serving. I learned a lot about myself and my identity and who I was called to be. I realized that I had a passion for worship, and for letting go of fear, and stepping into complete vulnerability/freedom and walking that out in every day life. From there we traveled to our last country, Guatemala. My team and I were stationed in Paramos, Guatemala, and had so much fun with daily ministry. We would walk around our town, and spend the day encouraging others (with the help of translators), we felt called to a local brothel and there met a sweet friend of ours, we were so lucky to build the most real relationships with the locals and the volunteers helping us with ministry. In Guatemala I would say that I learned how to love others, despite differences. Whole heartedly pursued worship and my passion for creating culture where we can come together and sing unashamedly, and with everything we have. I learned how to surrender in my own way. I learned that nothing good comes from listening to fear, so I decided to deny fear and run towards freedom. I can truly say that a piece of my heart lies in all of those places and I do long for them every day BUT, now that I am home, I am feeling extremely blessed and excited to start this journey.
What’s the point?
I wan’t this blog to be a safe space for people to come and feel known and loved not only by me but by this community and by the Father. I have always had such a desire to cultivate community and thought to myself .. you’re just going to have to create it. So here I am, heart open, hands open, zero expectations, and so much joy. I don’t know what to expect from all of this, but my prayer is that at least one person comes to know the love that surrounds them. If you can’t already tell, I am so passionate about freedom and I love to walk with others in their journey to finding freedom, too. I have learned to appreciate challenges that make me a better friend, sister and daughter; just better in general. So expect to be challenged, all for the purpose of growth and betterment of self.
Woah now, don’t get ahead of yourself. I’m still trying to figure this out so please be patient with me! I would love to post at least once a week about whatever you all want me to post about! Feel free to reach out and leave suggestions on this post! Know that I am so excited and so expectant. This blog won’t be completely faith based, I just want to share all the good and all the bad this life has to offer in a way that calls others to be open too. I hope that everyone reading has a blessed day and ill see you so soon.
With all the love in her heart,