This year.

Y'all. what a year.

This time last year, I had just submitted my graduate school applications.

Yesterday I just did the same thing again, for the second time.

I never thought I'd be grateful to be rejected from grad school. Heck, last year, the thought that I might be hadn't even crossed my mind.

But here I am, singing alleluia for what I have been given in the form of rejection.

Yes, I got rejected from most of the graduate schools to which I applied.

But look at what else I got.

I can point to that event as a catalyst that brought me closer to Jesus.

I yelled at Him and I cried on His chest and I beat my tiny fists in rage -- but I talked to Him.

And He heard me.

And He loved me.

And knowing that I was heard and seen and loved by the God Who made me and died for me -- even while I am still a mess --

Wow.

I am thankful for that.

In fact, thankful doesn't even begin to describe it.

Recently I've not felt seen by anyone around me. I think everyone has these times, but I am consistently frustrated by the fact that I do not feel like my heart is seen for what it is.

People are going to disappoint you, my daddy always said.

But in these moments, I will (sometimes) remember that Jesus sees me. And knows me. And loves me.

And isn't that what we all want? What all our souls are longing for?

What a friend we have in Jesus, indeed. What a love we have.

This year, there are many things I could say I'm thankful for. But I'm feeling things pretty deeply these days, so I'm trying to look at the things that have affected my heart deeply. Things that have altered me. Things I'm thankful for that might not be the usual things.

I'm thankful for my gap year.

I am thankful for, yes, my crazy family, especially my immediate family -- my parents and younger brothers. This is the first Thanksgiving in my entire 22 years that I have not spent with them, and that makes me appreciate them all the more. They get me in a way that I think few do, and when the five of us are together, it's like all is right with the world. All the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place. We are safe and we are home.

I'm thankful for the love of Jesus. For His grace. For everything He is.

I'm thankful for my coworkers and how they make my days more fun.

I'm thankful that through our show, my dreams are coming true in a way I didn't expect until my mama pointed it out.

I'm thankful for the holidays. They are my favorite time of year -- full of sweetness and joy.

I'm thankful that even when I'm the worst, the messiest, and I do not pursue my relationship with Jesus, He keeps coming after me. Every. Single. Time.

I am thankful for the music I've been listening to lately that makes me fling out my hands in worship as I drive down the road.

I'm thankful for the ability to buy Christmas presents for my people. I love picking out the most perfect gift for those I love -- and this is my favorite time of year in which to do it.

I'm thankful for everything that has saved my life this year: getting rejected from graduate school, having to take a gap year, my friends, the opera, my counselor, phone conversations with my mom, crying a lot, writing, and, most of all, above everything, Jesus.

It's always only ever been Jesus.

Lover of my soul, this year I am thankful for You above all else.

You have rescued me more times than I can count, and each time You hold me to Your breast and shower more love upon me than I could ever dream.

You are the Friend of friends, the King of my life, the hope of nations but also of this one little girl.

I am so quick to forget You, but You have never forgotten me.

You are my Adventure, and following You is not always easy, but it is the best thing I have ever done.

Or not done, because Your grace is better than anything I have ever tasted.

On this Thanksgiving Day, Jesus, I want to radiate Your beauty. I want to find in You my refuge, my truest Friend, my solace, my joy, all my hope.

Today and everyday, I want You to be my everything.

I'm going to fall and falter, but I am thankful, so, so thankful, that You never leave me abandoned by the side of the road.

You are all my safety and the best love I've ever known.

You are Home.

You are You, and that is all I need.

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