Twenty-thirteen has been one of the hardest, scariest and happiest years of my life. In short, it’s been full.
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” — Jesus
Here are some highlights:
I rang in the new year on a rooftop on the outskirts of Bangkok and went to bed before midnight for the first time since I was old enough to watch the ball drop.
I learned a new dance from the residents of a tiny Thai village some would call a slum.
I almost died in an overcrowded songthaew careening down the highway. Almost.
I snuck into a fancy hotel just to use the fancy pool.
I held an orphaned baby in a hot room of a Vietnamese temple compound that stunk of unchanged diapers and sour milk, and realized that even if nobody else in the world knew or loved the boy in my arms, Jesus did.
I learned that it’s okay to be angry and that God is big enough to handle me at my worst.
I ate a grasshopper.
I encountered God in a flood of tears in a musty basement in San Francisco, over fried chicken at a dinner show in Walt Disney World, and in a cloud of butterflies beside a waterfall in the mountains of North Carolina.
I saw snow twice, in Korea and Detroit, both times from airport windows. (This is a big deal for a native Floridian.)
I learned that it’s okay to be okay with who I am and that God can handle me at my best. He made me, after all.
I started to believe in the Bible because of Jesus, and not the other way around.
I got my first speeding ticket. Forty-two in a thirty, not bad.
I baptized my little brother in the Atlantic Ocean.
I learned the hard way that sometimes God shows you what’s wrong so you can fight it and fix it and not just talk about it.
I grew fonder of a couple of things that seem to get better with age: Megan and marriage.
I took voice lessons and found vindication in the fact that all those weird noises I make are actually “warm ups.”(Take that, Megan.)
I learned that a no today isn’t necessarily a no tomorrow.
I experienced a God whose forgiveness is forever, whose grace is more than sufficient, and whose love is so much bigger.