As I reflect back on 2018, I see so many moments of pure joy. I see so much adventure and laughter. I see car windows down, blasting music, and singing my lungs out. There are so many sweet moments. I also see moments of bitterness and hurt. I see moments of shame and confusion. I see a reflection of a person who had walls up on her heart, and created a distance between people in order to be perceived a certain way. I see anger and coldness from the walls I put up. It was a constant back and forth tug-of-war on my heart, learning how to let down my walls and walk into the fullness of who Jesus calls me to be.

Jesus calls us loved and adored. He sees into the deepest and darkest parts of ourselves and still calls out to us with open arms and a loving heart. He sees us at our worst, and still calls us loved. He just wants so badly to hold us and love us where we are at, and walk us back into the light. Jesus doesn’t teach shame. He teaches love.

So as I look back at 2018, I see so much grace and teaching from Jesus. I learned that Jesus is always trying to speak to us and teach us, we just aren’t always listening. I’ve learned that being vulnerable, transparent, and 100% unapologetically myself is so freeing and beautiful, because Jesus is not one that casts shame AT ALL. When he sees us walking in the fullness of who he is and who he has created us to be, he just smiles and dances, and says, “Isn’t that so freeing? To be who you are? Because you are a marvel. You are a gem. You are beautiful and loved and adored. I love all of you. I love the boldness of who you are. I love how much you laugh. I love your loudness and silliness. I love when you have a childlike faith. I love all that you are. I love the depths of you. And I want to walk with you in it all. There is so much grace. Through the darkest pits, I am with you. Through the brightest days, I am with you. I love you.”

So here’s to 2019. A year of walking shamelessly in the fullness of who Jesus has created us to be. Here’s to a year of creativity, because we serve a God who is the creator of it all, and calls us to be creative in everything we do. Everybody has the ability to be creative, because we come from a creative God. Here’s to a year of being present in it all, enjoying the here and now and embracing heaven on earth. Here’s to laughter, and joy, and dancing, and living in the fullness of Jesus’s freedom. Here’s to a softened heart, listening first and slow to anger. Here’s to a year of speaking with tenderness, a loving heart, and an understanding mind. Here’s to seeking Jesus in each day, and clinging to moments of joy. Here’s to letting the Holy Spirit flow through us in all that we do, because when we are aware and open to letting the Holy Spirit flow through us, Jesus can show us so much and change our hearts completely. Here’s to a year of writing and listening, and letting Holy Spirit flow through the depths of my heart and into everything I do, giving grace along the way, and receiving grace along the way. Here’s to 2019 and the years to come.