Is it just me or did this year FLY by? I feel like I blinked and 2018 was over. 2018 was hard, amazing, filled with blessings, filled with struggles. But so beyond beautiful. At the beginning of this year, I remember telling myself that I was not going to set too many expectations for myself, but rather, pray for God to convict me to move in ways He calls. Before, I would always make resolutions and beat myself up with the pressure of not meeting them. However, this year was different - following God’s lead has still been hard but clearer and less lonely.

During the spring semester, I had a really hard time with depression. Life seemed dark and just hopeless. But God brought people and opportunities to show me His goodness. Here are some snapshots of some of my favorite memories. Lauren (picture on the left) has been a

sweet friend of mine since freshman year. She gives me space to be but also challenges me to not dwell or sulk. Lauren has been beyond a gift in my life. On the right was a snapshot of training for my local missions trip. I was able to reconnect with what God has called me to do in life - love on children through missions. This reminded me of how beautiful life can be.

When summer rolled around, I was again blessed to have the chance to nanny for a special needs family and go to a special needs orphanage in China. Both of these moments were life-changing. I learned that love is truly a universal language and how much more life-giving it is to love others. I believe that is why we are all called to follow the One who is Love.

In these past few months, nearing the end of the semester, I had to chance to go to London and Paris with one of my best friends. The week before, I had a hard time grieving my grandmother’s passing and dealing with mental health again, but God allowed me to escape and be filled with His amazing creation. I never thought I would be able to go, but with God’s gifts and my savings, I was able to have an adventure of a lifetime.

Lastly, I am grateful for my wonderful boyfriend, Jeremy. This year, the Lord has so graciously made our relationship stronger and full of His mercy and love. Jeremy reminds me of God’s faithfulness, leads me well, and pursues my dreams with me. He has been with me through thick and thin this whole year and I am so blessed to have the friendship we have.

So, 2018, thank you for being gentle and kind to me. Thank you for being a year that was so formative of entering my 20s! Thank you for showing me how beautiful life is and can be, even when it doesn’t seem like it. I praise God for such a great year and cannot believe it is already almost done!