In one week it’ll be Christmas, and soon after that it’ll be New Years and then 2016 will come to a close. Every New Years I get super emotional, and end up crying about something (happy tears) on how amazing, fast, surprising and exciting life can be, and how I wish I could treasure and remember each moment or hold onto it before it becomes a distant memory. So on this post, I am sharing some lessons I learned in 2016.
Watching my four years at Carolina come to close. It’s true when they say college will fly by. That was hard to close a whole chapter, say goodbye to friends, not knowing when I’ll see them again. I learned that graduating from college is an emotional experience ( I cried a lot) and education is an amazing resource to better yourself and prepare you for your future. To my time at UNC I’ll never forget it, to those who were a part of it. Thank you. I miss seeing your faces everyday. Walking on the most beautiful campus in the country, and seeing the old well. Those were truly the best 4 years of my life. And I’ll never like Duke 😉
Almost tasting a NCAA National Championship. That loss was heartbreaking, but watching UNC students come together and share the loss together was a life changing experience in itself. I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Living with my best friends through it brought us closer together. Sports bond people together, they will forever.
Saying goodbye to life as a student. That was interesting, to finish what you have done your whole life. I wouldn’t be lying if I told you that I miss going to class and seeing my friends, and just “being a student.”
Traveling with your best friends. 2016 was a year where I traveled so much with my friends. That was amazing, I am not sure when I’ll ever get that time again with my best friends to laugh, travel, experience new cities and just enjoy each other’s company before going separate ways and entering into a new phase of life called “adulthood.” To Tara, Marisa, Cate and Sarah, I miss you all and will never forget the places we went or experiences we shared. Thank you for being the best friends. My life wouldn’t be the same without you four.
Moving to Africa. That was a life changing experience (and still is) in itself. The exciting part quickly became reality and hardships will come and go but I am learning every. single. day.
Write. Write, journal, document, blog about your life and experiences. Nothing captures life better than writing. Write your story down, your life matters, and you’ll want to one day read it and be so present in that moment again.
Saying goodbye to friends and family. That was difficult, but I came to see Ghana and the people here as my family too.
Family. I got to have all four of my family members to travel to Ghana and experience the Village of Hope. Having a supportive family is everything. Watching my passion become their own is so exciting! I wouldn’t make it very far without their love and encouragement. My kids see my family as their own.
Friendships. The right friends aren’t only concerned about sharing laughs, they are there to hold your hand and hear you cry. TO build you up and encourage you. Distance won’t create a difference when you find true friendships. And when you do I am confident you’ll be friends till the end.
Watching my childhood dream come true. That was a moment that no words could describe. It was truly an out of body experience, a day that I will never forget. A day that will always be the best day of my life.
Dreaming. Dream, don’t stop dreaming. Have a dream, set a goal and work toward seeing your dream come to life. And when it does start all over again. Don’t stop dreaming.
Leadership. Stepping into a different leadership role, making decisions is hard and emotional, especially working so close with people and kids. But God will ALWAYS equip you and give you wisdom and discernment, just ask, pray and seek His will.
Hope. There is always hope, on the other side, through any darkness or brokenness. There is hope in Christ. There is hope for all lives to have limitless potential. Unlock hope.
Meeting the kids that I prayed for my entire life. That embodied every emotion that we experience, they are my kids, and always will be.
Becoming a mother figure to 22 kids. That was incredible, hard, difficult and amazing. Still learning more about being seen as their mother, and how family is the most important thing. Family is for life.
Life in Africa. For once in my life I know that I am laying my head to sleep and waking up in the place I am supposed to be.
Spending my first holiday away from my family in a different country, on a different continent. I have a week left to experience that but I will let you know how it all goes.
Saying yes again and again and again. Say yes! To new experiences, say YES to life and all that it has to offer. Don’t let it slip through your hands! Your life matters, you were created for a purpose, don’t just be content being content! Live your life to the fullest the way GOD created you!
Don’t give up, on anything, especially what your created to you. Hardships will come, storms will come, disaster will come, but don’t stop doing and fighting for what your created to do. No one said it’d be easy not even God. But He assures us, He promises us that HE WILL NOT LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU. Don’t be discouraged, going through the storm and coming out the other side will only teach you more, and build your faith and character.
When things get rough. It means God is working, He’s on your side, just hold onto His promises and see things come to pass, even when you don’t “feel it.”
Love. That is not a word, feeling or emotion, it is an action, an action of commitment. Loving something or someone is hard, but it is the most invaluable thing we as humans can do. Love is the strongest power there is in this world. Love breaks boundaries, love has no language, love has no limit. And love always wins.
God revealing the next step for PNN. That came much sooner than expected, but His ways are higher than ours. His thoughts are higher than ours. I can’t wait to watch this unfold much sooner than I could have ever imagined. Excited would be an understatement.
These are just to share a few.
2016 was a year of change. It was a year for me to slowly say goodbye to my life as I knew it, and enter into a completely different life that many people don’t even understand. A life that 2016 was a year of watching God’s faithfulness unfold, in my life, the children’s life, family friends everything. Just as I talked about his faithfulness at the dedication ceremony back in July, this lesson triumphed all others. Here are the lessons I want to share from 2016 that I personally learned.
Life is hard. Life is amazing. Life is exciting. Life is made to be celebrated. Share your experience. Write it down. Your life has significance. You were created for a purpose. Don’t just be okay feeling content. Life is made to be lived. Give your time to people. People whose voices aren’t heard. Choose happiness. Seek the will of God. Everyday, even when it gets hard. Don’t give up. Ever. You have a destiny. Walk into it. Actually run into it. Don’t be afraid to let go, and let GOD. Family is a beautiful thing. Love will always win. Love restores. Love gives life. Love does. Love restores. Love heals. Love is an action. Don’t miss out on your calling. Whatever it is. Don’t look back and say “what if” Have a relationship with Jesus. Get to know him. Talk to him. Spend time in God’s word. The words will jump off the page into your heart. Being young is awesome. Being old is awesome too. Don’t let your age define you. You still have time. Find your passion. Dream. Never stop dreaming. And when your dreams happens, keep dreaming. Let it lead your life. Don’t chase the money, chase your heart. And watch where it’ll bring you.
2016 you’ve been so good soo good. 2017 I’m ready for ya, let’s see what you’ll throw my way.
Your life has significance, you are all loved,