As 2018 comes to a close, I’m filled with gratitude. I never picked a word for the year but looking back I think my word for the year is love.
It’s been a year marked with surprising growth of genuine love, the kind of love that bubbles out and isn’t forced. I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m grateful for all I’ve experienced this year. It is a gift and one I want to share generously.
I love my husband and our kids more than ever. It’s a love that looks like a sweet cherishing. It’s grown from walking through challenges together, the kind of love that grows in ordinary steadfast faithfulness. It’s a love that tries not to take things for granted. It’s a love that has grace to cover wrongs, that has an energy to serve, and a lightness to laugh even at the imperfections and the craziness. It comes from a place that’s larger than me.
I love our community and I want for their good with everything in my being. Serving hasn’t been (isn’t) always easy. But I see growth and am grateful to better be able to serve from a place of fullness and love.
This growth comes from the sweet revival my own heart has experienced with God while spending the year recording hymns for my new record All Shall Be Well. I feel like He’s embraced me with His love not because I earned it or deserved it, but because He is good. I feel pursued by God and seen by Him and I marvel at how surprising this feels. He’s opening my heart to receive the abundant gifts He offers each of us. I think it was there all along, but now He’s helping me better recognize it and receive it with faith.
I began this year empty and discouraged. I needed God to renew me and bring fresh hope to my heart, breathe fresh life into my dreams and renew the vision He planted in me long ago. While my ministry on the outside is largely in a similar spot, my heart and approach to what God has called me to do has had a dynamic shift. I want to sit in this and learn all that God has to teach me through this season.
I still need to remind myself often in a genre where record sales and Instagram followers are how our culture defines success, that numbers matter less and love matters more. The bottom line of my calling as a musician is to bring hope by reminding others that love has the last word. God is love, it’s all about Him and helping people engage His love in genuine deep ways. It’s not pie in the sky ideals - it’s pure tangible love among us sufficient for every need, every day, ordinary and great.
This is why I do what I do, this is the song I sing. I want everything I am to be pointing to His amazing love that is perfectly sufficient for what ever you are facing.
Our love grows because He loves us. We love from a place of strength through being anchored in His love. And this is so good. It’s not about us. This reality is so freeing! My hope is that you understand how deeply loved you are too and how much the love you share matters to those around you. You make a difference everyday!
So as I look back over this year I feel surprised by love. I have a greater desire and focus to share love. I have hope and anticipation for the year to come. AND this time I do have a word for 2019! I will share it with you in my next blog!
For now, hear my big shout out of gratitude and thanks to all of you for loving me well this year. Thank you for being an expression of God‘s love to me. Thank you for your support and your encouragement all throughout the year and especially as I’ve released my new hymn record, All Shall Be Well.
It’s been a gift to bring this good news that indeed All Shall Be Well because we have a God that sees us and loves us with an attentive specific kind of love. He is actively taking care of you and He will continue to! May you know His good love more and more!!!
Merry Christmas! May the light of God’s love continue to rise in your heart, refreshing you in surprising ways.