nineteen wishes.

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i turn nineteen years old today, and i thought it’d be appropriate to make nineteen wishes, and i hope that they come true this year. these wishes are for you, and for me, too.

i wish for beautiful and intentional friendships that stretch you and change you and make you a better person than who you are. for friends who meet you for coffee dates and long conversations filled with laughter and tears and smiles and love.

i wish for your feet to travel to places they’ve never been before.

i wish for grace to fall like rain and make flowers bloom in your heart.

i wish for laughter to be the soundtrack to your wonderful life.

i wish for tears and sorrows to be few, but when they happen, may they help you grow. may you embrace the bittersweetness of life.

i wish for you to find inspiration everywhere you look.

i wish for eye-opening and heart-stretching and soul-growing experiences.

i wish for sunrises and sunsets that remind you of your glorious maker and that bits of that same glory are sprinkled over you.

i wish for bravery to never leave you.

i wish for Love to guide you. that you may look at the world with love. that you show love to every soul you meet. that wherever you go, you leave behind a trail of love and mercy.

i wish for shame to be a dim memory.

i wish for sunny days and skies the perfect shade of blue.

i wish for you to uncover the beautiful work of art your life is.

i wish for words that make you feel. i wish for you to read words that make you laugh and cry and dream and want to be more than who you are.

i wish for you to meet people who bring you light and hope and i wish for you to meet people who need you to bring them light and hope.

i wish for long handwritten letters.

i wish for you to know your worth and how loved and special and beautiful you are.

i wish for moments in which you feel free.

i wish for every day to taste like hope.
and an extra wish: may all the desires of your lovely heart come true.

narrow hallways and big souls.

yesterday, i went back to the school i graduated from last June to speak about my book. i was nervous and anxious and afraid, but as my feet walked down those familiar hallways, my soul found that it had grown. my soul became too big and lovely and brave, too bold and bright for those old hallways. my soul could not squeeze itself and fit in those narrow halls anymore. and i didn’t notice until the moment i walked down those hallways that i am not who i was.

and if i had to guess why i didn’t notice, it’s because i am becoming who i’m meant to be. my high school years were dull and maybe a little bit empty. it’s not that i didn’t enjoy myself or have fun during those years, but i knew i wasn’t who i was made to be. the atmosphere i was in and the people i was surrounded by didn’t make me feel safe. i didn’t feel free to be brave, to find what i loved, to find what made my heart beat. i didn’t feel free to be free.

it wasn’t until graduation and the start of college that i began to unfold. i let God whisper to me, to my heart. i let him tell me the words he’d been telling me all along. i let myself listen. i let myself explore and uncover the art he put in me. i began to do what i loved.

and i changed. i became outspoken. i made new friendships. i began to be brave. i pursued a deeper relationship with God. i became free to be who God made me to be. i let myself fall and sink into God, into the creation he made of me, and it felt right. it felt so right and natural that i didn’t even notice. unfolding and turning into who i am feels effortless.

and i still fear. i still have to choose bravery and vulnerability over fear every day. my knees still tremble and my throat turns dry and i mess up my words and i forget what i want to say sometimes but it feels a million times more right than hiding behind masks and comfort zones and safety.

find what makes your heart beat. listen to God’s voice. let him speak to your soul, and let yourself listen to his words of freedom. choose bravery. don’t fear vulnerability. let the world see the gold you keep in your heart. let yourself bloom. set your soul free. and keep your eyes wide open, because you might not even notice when it happens.

a million little things.

inside you,
there are oceans
and rivers
and streams of
light.
inside you, live butterflies
and songbirds making
sweet music and
beauty.
inside you,
there are galaxies
and constellations
and shooting stars
and a little bit of
magic.
inside you,
there are meadows
of sunflowers
and fields of
wildflowers and
gold.
inside you,
there are stories
waiting to be told
and stories that haven’t
happened yet
and inside you,
there is bravery and
love and laughter
and hope and light and
wonder and grace
and summer and spring
and a million little things
that make you
you.