I’m a long way from the ocean.
For salty air,
I renounce my despair
and end up among the waves.
I can’t whisk away
every time I have day.
Some days, I’m alone,
even though you promised I would
never be.

-how do I stand beside you when you’re always at the ocean?


I know I’m a little late, considering it is the second week of 2018, but I thought I would take some time to reflect on 2017. (To those of you only visiting for the poetry, I would suggest you skip this post entirely.) Welcome to my annual overview!

Travel of 2017:
Gujarat, India
Ghaziabad, India
The Bahamas
Orlando, Florida
Crystal River, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
El Paso, Texas
Orlando again
NYC once more
Wayne, New Jersey

Firsts of 2017:
First cruise
First legal drink
First apartment
First casino
First time co-leading a Freedom group
First time leading a Freedom group

Live music of 2017:
Bad suns, Coin (3 times), B.o.B., Colony house, Knox Hamilton, Hillsong, Jesus culture, Passion, Lecrae, Elevation Worship, Oh wonder (2 times), Jaymes Young, Jordy Searcy, Dua Lipa, Pvris, Tove Lo, Big Sean, Bruno Mars, Blink 182, Judah & the Lion, Zara Larsson, Two Door Cinema, Bastille, Future, Mumford & Sons, Joseph, Liza Anne, Johnnyswim

Other things worth mentioning include: 
I had the opportunity to be a Merge leader to the greatest girlies.
I participated in 21 Days of Prayer.
I attended Music Midtown with some rad people.
I got to be a part of many, many amazing small groups.
And I witnessed the birth and growth of our very own COTH’s Montgomery Campus.

Aaaand, that’s pretty much it! This year was my busiest and most adventurous year yet. It was a time for extremes and the best memories I’ve ever had. I’ll be honest and say that it was not all extraordinary. Despite every exciting expedition, this year was also the toughest year of my life. I had to overcome a lot of trials and pain this year. The pain made it really easy to stay in bed with no intention of getting up. Unfortunately, you can’t make many memories when you shut people out and refuse to leave your bedroom. But, to those of you who know me, I cannot stay still for long. (The proof is in my 2017.) I give no credit to myself, but to my dearest friends who took on the craziest days of my life with me. I have never experienced sweeter friendships than the ones I had this year. I was forced to be vulnerable way past my comfort zone, but that’s exactly what I needed. (Plus, God never intended for us to struggle on our own: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, James 5:16.)

Amongst every revelation and heartache of 2017, I turned everything into art. By “everything”, I mean everything- especially the things I never thought I would share with anyone. This year gave me the best thing it could have: a newfound courage. Don’t worry, I won’t keep any of it hostage much longer. It’ll be yours in 2018. All of it.

Thank you to my friends, family, and accountability partners who supported me and encouraged me constantly throughout this year. I could never repay you, but just know that I love you so much more than a poem could ever say.

To everyone who was in one of my Freedom groups this year: you will always have someone rooting and praying for you. I love you with my whole heart. Thank you for letting me be a part of your walk; I’ll treasure that forever.

So here’s to an even MORE extraordinary year for friendships, family, and fellowship. Here’s to attending “too many” concerts, making art that needs to be heard, traveling with the best people, and growing the Kingdom as much as possible! (And maybe even doing my annual overview on time this year.)


Is it worth all the anguish-
worth all the trials,
worth every maybe
before ‘nother denial,
worth every sadness
and madness
that stays
and worth all the waiting-
heart-wrenching delays?
Is it worth the confusions, silence and wishing?
Because one day I won’t be missing


Feelings are such blessings. You may be going through some sort of sadness or madness, and that is normal. Accept the state you are in. Seek understanding in what you would normally consider to be your negative emotions. Positive emotions would lack value without the occasional run-in with an imperfect one. We are accustomed to the known and cannot fully grasp goodness without experiencing hurt and suffering to some extent. I am lucky to have felt so many emotions to an extreme. I thank God that He has allowed me to recognize the depths of each one and not ignore them. I know that I cannot rely on my feelings alone, because they are fleeting and constantly changing. I am equipped to handle situations through the wisdom and understanding that He places in me. I can process emotions but not be guided by them and that is crucial. I can listen to my heart but respond with knowledge from the Holy Spirit. Because of this, I have strength even in my weakness.

-sentiment strong