30 in Review

“No fear can hinder now the promises You’ve made. “

In May of last year I turned the big 30 and entered an officially adult decade.  I’d say it’s been one of my best years to date, probably the best year of my life so far.

It’s flown by. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind honestly.

I furnished my first apartment and experienced the bliss of living alone. I saw my dreams come true as I was able to make space around my very own table and love on people from all over the world.

It was a gift.

There were many mornings and evenings of quiet, just me and Jesus and my coffee. I could see the sunrise over the ocean from my apartment windows. I got to make a home from scratch.

I also had no one to blame when there were dishes in the sink.

Prayers, worship, tears, laughter and lots of good food were exchanged in that little 3 bedroom apartment, my home.

Old dreams were dusted off and brought back into the light. It can be painful to exercise renewed hope, but we’re not fooling anyone, including ourselves, when we pretend like we’re okay with unfulfilled dreams and desires. It’s scary and vulnerable, but there is no great gain without great risk. At least that’s what I’m banking on.

I’m feeling increasingly like myself these days, more so than I ever have before, if that makes sense. It’s taken almost a decade to become okay with who I am and who I’m not and discover the essence of who God has made me to be. I’m finally coming into that peace and settledness and rest that comes with knowing Him and therefore knowing yourself. I still have my moments (and even days) of fear and insecurity, but I walk in victory far more than in defeat as of late.

I spent most of last year with 4 little Australian cuties and had the luxury of a work visa. This meant less travel (bummer) but less anxiety about immigration (celebrate!).

In 2016 I went to two new countries, Laos and Myanmar, and fell in love. I also discovered a little piece of paradise in Koh Lipe, Thailand that makes for awesome visa run trips.

I made the trek back to my motherland after almost 2 years of being away. It was filled with love and good friends and great family and delicious food. I got to stand up with one of my very best friends as she vowed her life to another. I was back in Colorado after a 6 year absence, and the San Juan Mountains confirmed what I already knew to be true – I love this place!

Home was filled with meeting new family members and reconnecting and resting. It was the sweetest time. There’s really no place like home and being with family. It was a joy to meet my new little foster sister in person and immediately fall in love with her whole person.

My time ended in NYC with one of my besties. The whole trip was more than I could’ve hoped for. I went back to Malaysia filled up with joy and lots of tears. It was harder than usual to leave this time around.

Things began shifting a lot after I got back.

I ended up moving. I sold almost everything and tearfully turned in my keys and stepped into a new position of managing a hospitality house for missionaries.

Bittersweet.

I signed up to staff again at the house of prayer, something I thought I’d never do. It’s funny how the very thing that you can fight the hardest against can become the thing that you become most passionate about in the end. What a difference three and half years has made. A real life testimony of that classic Bible verse:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9

2017 has been full on, more so than I really care for honestly. On top of my 4 part-time areas of service I took the plunge to go back to school and finish out my bachelors degree after being MIA for almost a decade.

Things have certainly changed.

I lost my work visa at the end of 2016, so it’s been back to visa runs and immigration lines and required travel expenses. 2016 just seemed too easy in a lot of ways, but I think it was the rebuilding and strengthening I needed after 2 years of feeling broken up.

The last quarter of my 30th year has been a bit crazy to say the least. Major changes (with more to come), new roommates, new home, loss of visa, lots of sickness, loads of work.

In the midst of it all though, there is a sweetness. I am overflowing with thankfulness to be back on the team at the prayer room. I’m treasuring those little moments more than I used to. I feel an increased privilege in living out the life God has called me into.

I know, I know, most people think I’m a bit crazy. They’re partially right, but I’m okay with that! I’d much rather live at peace with God than have favor with man, and that generally doesn’t fit into a nice, tidy box.

As I press on, I’m learning the delicate balance of being resilient in a healthy way. Still hoping and risking and loving in the midst of rejection and being misunderstood and not picked. I’m learning how to keep my heart soft instead of putting up walls. I’m learning humility over pride and to be vulnerable without feeling ashamed.

All in all this decade is off to a fabulous start, and I’m anticipating good things in the midst of the uncertainty ahead. I’m trusting that He is taking me from glory to glory. I’m believing that He is for me and not against me. I’m believing and pressing in for the more.

So cheers to another year of life and love and adventuring with Jesus!

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  

II Corinthians 3:18

 

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4 thoughts on “30 in Review

  1. Wow. What a great update. Love who you were and love who you became. God has much in store for you. Keep doing it. All the Hyltons love and miss you.

    • Thank so much, Jeff! You’re family was such a huge blessing to me during my time in Gainesville. Love and miss y’all too, and hopefully I’ll see ya’ll sometime soon. 🙂

  2. Jennifer…as I talked to God about you I saw Him holding you in His hand…I know He is shielding you…thank you for your openness and sharing this year…you have done more in one year than most people have done in a lifetime and that includes serving Jesus…blessed new year!!!!❤

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