20: James and I got engaged and finally living near each other after a year of having a long distance relationship. I was living in Florida, going to college, and loving it.
21: James and I got married, spent a semester studying in Israel only 3 months after we got married, moved into our first apartment, and spent a month watching Dexter on Netflix. 😉
22: I did my internship where I learned a lot and graduated from College. We felt called to move back to Ohio to minister in the church we grew up in and where I did my internship. This year I learned that if I wanted to continue to grow in knowledge to never stop asking questions.
23: This year was one of the hardest years. In January we found out my brother was battling a drug addiction and by December he had passed. I spent this year visiting him in jail and in rehab. My life was consumed by trying to save his. I learned that who God was before my brothers death was the same God after his death. This death doesn’t change who God is, but it surely changed who I was.
24: I spent the majority of the year secretly battling depression from my brothers death while begging the Lord to heal my heart. I learned that siblings often get overlooked when a death occurs. I continued on youth pastoring but quit working for Mary Kay Cosmetics and started working in a local school. I needed to get back to my passion of working with teens. I needed to press the restart button. I only wanted to care about the things that mattered in life. This year I learned perspective.
25: James and I were experiencing spiritual abuse at the church where we were working. We asked God to show us if we should stay or go. One week later we were in our car moving to Tucson, Arizona to work for a foster care agency. We met M in September of this year. I learned to take risks and this risk of moving across country healed my depression and our hurt from our previous church.
26: I am a mom to 10 foster kids and pregnant with our first biological child. We had to say goodbye to a foster child who we were not ready to. This year was full of laughter and fun! I learned to love more and deeper than I ever knew was possible, even if the person/child on the receiving end doesn’t want it.
27: This year started off with receiving a phone call in January asking if we would adopt M. We had to say many more goodbyes to more of our kids. We moved back home to Ohio with no jobs but trusting God was leading. I learned to continue to take risks and that taking great risks means even greater rewards.
28: I spent the year being a stay at home mom and missed working with students. I spent the year fighting for Arizona to send M to us. James and I were obedient to the Lord and walked away from a friendship that turned toxic. God showed us very quickly how he was going to protect us from future hurt. We left the church we grew up in and worked in prior to Tucson. We are different people now and wanted to find a community of uplifting and encouraging people. We found a great community, M is home with us, Chase is joyful every day, God is showing us more of our dreams, and I found a job that I absolutely love. I can work with students and work from home. I get to be a wife, mom, and friend first. This year I learned to let go, walk in the confidence that the Lord has given me, and passionately love others.
29: As I turn 29 tomorrow I want this last year to be the year of Promise. Where I can see the promises the Lord gave us come to life. I want to look back at my twenties and be excited for my 30’s.
My 20’s have been filled with extremely high highs and equally low lows. Who I was the day I turned 20 is completely different from the person entering year 29. Each year was filled with its own challenges and successes. While I look back on each on year I get the chance to continue to learn and grow.