You can find me at the lost and found.

and you’ll be surprised, you’ll be surprised if you just look around. 

When this year started, I had grand expectations – as I suppose most people did. I wanted to change the world, as I do almost every year. Because what good are resolutions if you’re not trying to do something big with them? Instead of wanting to change the universe, though – I just wanted to change my world.

I was already well on my way. In October I moved across the country. I knew a handful of people when I moved here, but none all that well. I walked away from my best friends who have spent countless nights comforting me as my life fell apart – they watched over the years as those reasons went from absurdly dramatic to slightly dramatic and loved me anyway. And listened to every moment of it without judgment – except when I needed it, of course.

I’ve spent the past six months missing them terribly.

I moved away from a salaried job with a 401K, good benefits and stability into waitressing and living off tips, picking up shifts and prayers that my tables were feeling generous – I am a planner by nature, and the idea of not having the stability I spent years creating was terrifying.

But I survived. And I guess I started a trend – for myself, at least.

I started this year wanting to do pretty much anything and everything that I found frightening. But I didn’t really make a list. I suppose I mentally assumed I’d just know when I found things scary enough to make myself attempt them. I’m the kind of crazy person who likes to force myself into situations I don’t want to be in simply to say I overcame them. Because I guess I like torturing myself or something.

These were my grand expectations – do a whole bunch of shit this year that terrifies the hell out of you.

And then about a month ago I started thinking – what exactly have I accomplished in terms of changing my world? Have I forced myself out of my comfort zone and into this wonderful being who simply walks around saying, “Ha, I’m roaring like a lion. Listen, world!” Well, no. Not exactly. Not really at all.

I felt like I spent the last few months being a bit of a hermit. I missed my friends and family and wasn’t really sure if I would ever find those same kind of relationships here. I barely spent any time with the handful of people I did know when I moved here, and the new friends I made seemed like wonderful people, but I wasn’t sure how well they actually liked me.

I felt bad. Like I let myself down. But people forget resolutions all the time, right? What’s the big deal?

I turned 25 this year; my one and only 25 year. The only first quarter century I’ll ever get. And I wanted to make it epic. Why? Because everyone around me seemed to be doing big things. They were engaged, married, having babies, making career moves – sometimes all at once.

And all I had done was move to a new city where I felt pretty lonely. So I wanted to change that, because life is too short not to at least try to change the things you hate.

But when I thought about it, I hadn’t actually tried very hard to change anything. It didn’t feel like it anyway.

Then yesterday happened. It forced me to think about the past four months.

And I mostly thought, “Wait, what?”

I’ve changed everything in my world in four months. I’ve moved, started a new job, lined up another job, made new friends, found a church and totaled a car.

And I thought about how thankful I am that I was able to accept all of those things without too much discomfort. That I didn’t realize how much changed in those months. That by the grace of God I was so used to discontinuity that I didn’t hold up my hands and scream, “No more,” – at least not too loud.

I thought about how much I’ve changed in those months, in regards to handling my surroundings, mostly.

I feel confident for the first time in my life. And not the kind of confidence that comes from attention or affection – the kind of confidence where I do actually feel like walking around and saying, “Hey, listen, I’ve got this roar thing down, y’all.” Not because I’m great at everything or even good at most things, but I feel good in my skin.

And I feel like enough.

But I don’t feel like enough, really. I know I’m enough.

I feel a new kind of peace that I’ve never felt before. The kind that comes from knowing you’re where you’re supposed to be. The kind that comes from being still spiritually – the hardest thing for me – and listening. I’ve been trying so hard to listen. I still fail, but I feel okay about it. I know that’s where this peace is coming from.

And as I look at the past four months, I think about how terrifying things don’t always have to mean hanging out in a lion’s cage or hiking across the desert. Sometimes scary things are just part of life – and they take many different forms.

I’m glad to have faced a few of them. I’m thankful for the grace that reminded me of that this evening.

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Jesus said, “Mother I couldn’t stay another day longer.”

Faith is harder when life is going well, I think.

When things are at their lowest, it’s pretty easy to remember. Truthfully, when you’re at the bottom, it’s hard to think of anything other than hope.

But when things are going well, it’s so easy to forget. It seems second nature to latch onto this idea that we have anything to do with our successes and the good will we experience. It’s easy to say it was hard work; we tried our best. Things fell into place because we tried with every little bit of our being.

Try as hard as you might, you’re never going to make anything happen that wasn’t supposed to.

And that’s where I get caught up.

I forget that good will and the ability to work hard are a blessing.

I’m learning that bad days are also a blessing. God has this amazing set of checks and balances where he reminds me that I did none of this, I screw up regularly and shit happens.

I had a hard time with Easter this year. I don’t really know why; on paper, it should have been a grand celebration – one of the best Easters of my life. I’m more active in a church than I’ve ever been – active in a way that isn’t for show and is because I actually believe in what I’m doing. My life is in a good place. My soul feels energized and my heart feels pretty whole.

But it wasn’t. I spent the morning in the nursery at church; anyone who knows me well knows that’s one of the first places I should find joy. I went on a hike for a few hours through the woods and contemplated grace. I thought about it for hours, and just couldn’t make a connection. It was a good day, but nothing special. Not really.

Then the past 12 hours happened – 12 hours that have tested my faith completely in every way possible. Twelve mentally, spiritually, emotionally taxing hours.

And it’s been more of a celebration than I could have ever expected.

The truth about faith – the reason we celebrate Easter in the first place – is because faith and grace and hope and the whole thing is just so beautiful. And big. So much bigger than anything else.

Because it has nothing to do with any of us, really. Because it has everything to do with us, also. Because it shows up when we need it, regardless of how much I’ve forgotten about it previously.

These days are the ones that make life worth living just as much as the overwhelmingly wonderful ones. They remind me that I’m human, but I’m alive. And this whole thing is just beautiful, for all the twists and turns it may throw my way.

And sometimes that reminder is everything I could ever need.