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Courage.

It’s what has defined this year even before it started, and months before I even had the faintest idea what it could mean. As I sit and drink in the perfect air of this city I love, surrounded by the comfort of dear friends home, the sound of birds quiet melodies, and the calm breeze that somehow brings comfort to even the stormiest of days….. I am thankful.

Thankful that five years ago I recognized something inside of me was dying in the existence I was living out. It’s pulse jerking me awake enough to quit school, sell nearly everything I owned, quit my job and set off for Bar Harbor, Maine. That girl did not know what unexpected, life transforming adventures, friendships, challenges and dreams awaited her.

Nearly three years to the date-ago,  I stepped foot in San Diego, CA, and tomorrow I am departing for another unknown and what I expect is the greatest adventure thus far. I arrived in this city following my instinct that joining a community of people working to end the longest running conflict in Central East Africa was worth another cross- country move. Worth starting all over again. I landed in this city answering a beckoning in my heart for a life bigger than I could comprehend, but a sureness that it existed. I came here not even knowing fully what my dreams were, but believing in a life that held riches in love and experience.

Two and half months ago, God laid a HUGE vision on my heart. As I sat on the cliffs overlooking the ocean He painted a dream before me I didn’t even know could exist. A dream to build alongside one of my very best friends, and in a city I have never even visited. In the past few months I have gone through the journey of trying to talk myself out of it, jumping into it, and dreaming of how He will design it ahead of us. Which I know, is just the beginning. The  beauty of those moments is that God is bigger than all of my inadequacies and insecurities. He asks us to trust him enough to step out on the water, and fix our gaze on him and not the depths below.

I have moved over thirty times in my life, and so I know that I m adaptable. Hidden super power of mine, is that I am a master mover and packer. With my lengthy resume of transition and movement I’ve learned the art of bracing yourself before a major change. Keeping your emotions in check and not getting to attached to the place. But, San Diego and it’s people wrecked me, in the best way. Last night it hit me hard how beautiful my life has been here. Amongst it’s challenges, unknown developments and changes it has been the most defining season of my life so far.

So, world. I am saying goodbye to Southern California and it’s perfect farmers market’s, weather, citrus, beach bonfire spots and church I have come to love.

But as I leave tomorrow morning, the anticipation of what’s ahead and the beautiful unknown of it leaves me in awe. Because unlike any journey I’ve set on before this one is incredibly different. It’s an adventured being handcrafted by the Great Designer, and He’s already rallied some of the people closest to my heart to join me. For every move before has been alone, unknown, and another test of independence. This time, I get to walk into the beautiful adventure of another wild chapter dreaming with others, and it’s changing everything.

So, this year is about Courage. It’s about living a life out of the lines, filled with vibrant color and potential, of dreams and faith, friendship and family, and the wonder filled adventure of living in the heartbeat of God’s dream for my life. For, I am continually given proof that it is so much bigger than anything my human heart could imagine.

Get ready, because for this next part of the journey we are going to need you in real ways and hope that you will join in the pursuit of  living your life fully alive.

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