The spring semester of 2018 was one for the books. A time of intense growth and finding. A magical, ridiculous, perfect, messy semester that I am SO deeply grateful it brings me to tears. I cannot express how important Liberty University is to me. I cannot express how clear it is to me that the Lord is moving and that He is for us in every season. This semester He showed himself to me in a very personal way, in a very intimate and overwhelming way. He showed Himself to me through His people, through the ones that love Him. His love poured from them in every moment. To the people he has given me, thank you for doing His work. Thank you for loving the way you are called to love. It does not go unnoticed.
I have learned to sit still and I am working on sitting in silence. But the sitting still part is doing me well because I am finally able to see what is going on in front of me and around me. The Lord promises to use His people to do His work and the kind of revival that went on on campus this semester is a prime example of that. I have learned patience in a way I never thought possible. I have felt the tangible touch of grace and forgiveness. I have learned to cry. I have learned to laugh, and I have learned to be held in every part of those two things.
So, let this be an ode to 2018. A triumphant revelation of the goodness of the Lord through my eyes. The way I see His realness and the way that I see His heart every day that I wake up. Let me start at the beginning.
2018 began with my family taking me to The Mattress Factory museum in Pittsburgh for my birthday. It was by far one of the best days of my year. They took me to one of my favorite places of all time, even though they might have not understood why it was so special to me they still pretended to love it and it made me so happy. I really love you guys so thank you for being you.
Room 321: South Tower
I never thought that this room would mean so much to me. Sarah Verst, thank you for being such an amazing roommate. Thank you for doing Tower Tuesdays with me and for cultivating a place for so many people in a season where it was needed. I love you and I am sorry for being an idiot for a time. I hope you have an amazing summer and see your peeps in China.
I went through this phase this year where I would write little notes like these for people throughout the day. I wrote this one to myself one day and it hung above my bed all semester. Read it please. It’s true.
Brunch at Madilyns: These mornings were so special. So full of love and content. Madilyn thank you for opening your home and your heart so many times this year. Thank you for making a home that was so peaceful for so many people. Thank you for being you and for loving people so well. Thank you for taking care of my people. Thank you for August. Thank you for letting me in. You are going to rule the world one day, you are going to do amazing things in Florida and be the tannest, hottest mom of all time. Continue to wear bright colors please.
I went back to LYH early in January for an intensive. I stayed at the Saras house and that week was so classic. First of all, I was gifted the most incredible present of all time. Second, I got snowed in with my best friend and we got to binge movies with her mom while I pulled my hair out about my projects. I also met Tess this week which was legendary in itself. S/o Robert Mott, luv ya <3
My sweeties threw me a birthday party. Thank you for this, it made me feel really loved. I was very happy this night.
This was my little corner this year. It was really special and silly and a lot happened in this corner and in this room that I won’t ever forget. The Lord shows up people!
My ladiesssss!!!!! Thank you for being you!! Thank you for pushing me towards the Lord every day and for constantly making me laugh. You guys mean so much to me, I think you know that. But I’m still gonna say it.
I shot my first wedding this winter and it was incredible. Hannah and Brian if you are reading this, thank you for being an example of an incredible, Godly couple and thank you for being so kind to us on your day.
I learned how to develop and print film this semester, that was really cool. The class sucked, but I made some pretty cool prints and I think I want to keep up with it. There’s something about “making” a photo that’s incredible. To everyone that sat with me in the lab—thank you, I know it smelled weird.
T, thank you for this day. I love you.
We all went to Saras this day and had a huge breakfast and then did an impromptu photo shoot. It is easily one of the top ten best days of my year. We were so free, idk it was awesome. We were just there and present and content with being who we are that day. It was so fun.
Sara and I took Tess to our favorite movie theater in Roanoke. We were freaking out about going back to school so instead we went to Waffle House. Thank you Jeep for being there for us.
I went to Florida for like two days over spring break to visit my grandparents. Even though it was a really short trip, I needed this break so much and they were so amazing to be around. It was so sweet to be able to spend one on one time with them and I am very grateful that we had that time together. I love you guys.
I came back from spring break early to work and stayed with… you guessed it, Sara and her family. Chrissie and Brian, thank you for putting up with me. Chrissie, thank you for listening and I hope you were able to use me for a discussion board or something. This was a really fun few days, Sara and I just relaxed and cooked and talked. Gotta love her.
To anyone who came into the studio this semester, thank you. I had a blast making so many cool photos with you. To my main four, you rock let’s keep up the good work, we have something special.
ATL Pt 1:
We drove to ATL for the weekend to spend time with the Marblestones. S/o marblemom and marbledad and scrambled meags. A very very special trip and one that I’m so thankful we were able to take. Little did we know that the following week would be one of insane revival on campus. It was so cool to see how God orchestrated everything that following week so perfectly. WOW!
I took T out for dinner as a graduation present and we ordered trout. Why? Idk we don’t really even like fish but it was really really fun. She deboned it like a pro and then we had pasta that I could sob thinking of and a really interesting dessert. This was such a sweet night, one that was really important to me. Thanks for being vulnerable and for eating fun food.
The last week of school was kind of a blur. We celebrated the heck out of Sara for her birthday, celebrated Tess for her graduation, went to a waterfall, had an incredible picnic on Cole Mountain, had many many Hill sleepovers, a roof night, and had a few playground nights and it was perfect. Hard, but perfect. Annie Caroline and Rylie, thank you for letting me dip my toes into your world. Thank you for letting me crash in your building. To everyone, thank you for staying up until 4 am that whole week. It was worth it? Because we had no clue that literally like five seconds later we would see eachother?
ATL pt 2:
LOL jokes on all of us, we literally were all back together in Atlanta like less than five days after saying goodbye in LYH. We celebrated Jade and it was amazing. What a special 24 hours.
Then we all for real said goodbye but even that felt fake because we are going to see each other a lot this summer.
The thing that I’m learning about the Lords community is that it’s really tight knit and makes a lot of sense that way. He keeps people close that need to be close. He loves seeing us grow and seeing us be joyful! He loves seeing us spur one another on!
This is kind of just a recap of everything that happened within the past few months but, if you’ve taken the time to get through everything I hope you see what I see. A community, a story, a redemptive version of some life. I see a hope, I see loneliness brought into abundance and known love. I see sadness turned onto its FACE into an uncontainable joy. I feel a peace that can’t be tainted. I see growth and radical adjustment that can only happen with a support system. I see a God that loves us enough to give us little pieces of himself so that we can continue to fight. So that we have someone to lean on sometimes. I see a heart of a King that is so tender and so kind that he would think to give us friends. That he would think to give us family and nature and art and cars and music and mountains and trout. I see a God that wants us so badly to be evergreens, to be able to bear fruit in the winter, that he would construct and weave together a group of people around someone to lift them up towards him. I see a story and I see a light that can’t be shadowed. I see beauty from ashes. And what an honor it has been to get to this place.
Peace sophomore year, it has been great getting to know you.