Growing up in Marietta, Georgia, I absolutely loved April Fool’s Day.

Our hometown newspaper always took April 1 to try to slide in ridiculous stories and funny tidbits. I clearly remember running downstairs on the morning of April 1 and seeing the paper open on the table and scanning every story to see if it was true or a total joke.

[Oh Marietta Daily Journal, you are the best.]

When I was in the fifth grade, my classroom, and the classroom across the hall, decided to prank our teachers by switching rooms and putting our heads down to see if our teachers would notice. [Spoiler alert: they did.]

But April 1 has come to mean something totally different to me.

. . . . .

Last year, on April 1, I walked away from my day job at Mocha Club and began to try to be a full time writer and speaker.

I was so scared. Like whoa scared.

In December of 2011 when the conversation about leaving started, I was beyond scared. Like, too scared to quit. But my boss at Mocha Club asked me to be brave and on April 1, I had no choice.

There was no safety net. There was no lifesaver. The new guy wanted my desk and I had to get out.

So I jumped.

I jumped into a career I didn’t have training to do.

I jumped into the life of a small business over with no experience.

I jumped into a schedule of travel that neither me or my relationships were prepared for. AT ALL.

I jumped out of financial security.

I jumped into what God had for me, even though I hate falling.

For 365 days, I’ve been falling.

And while this last year has held some of the most challenging days of my entire life – example July 31 [I can’t really tell you all the details, I just think it seems less cliche and more legit if you know the worst date of my year], it has also held many of the best. I have had to make professional decisions that I never predicted and have cried over situations I couldn’t have known would come up.

Feeling left out socially and expressing that to my friends after being on the road for two weeks straight?

Having people I don’t know say ugly things about me on the internet?

Balancing my small group and college ministry with a busy travel schedule?

Some days, it has been too much and I have wanted to stay in bed. [I bet that has been true for you in the last year, too, hasn’t it?]

But on the other days? The really great days? The days where this life is every career dream I’ve wanted coming true?

Yeah. It’s been awesome. I am so so so grateful that God has done this for me and been my Teacher and Cheerleader and Safe Place To Land every step of the way.

. . . . .

In all of it, here is what I have learned:

God dreams bigger than we do. God can be trusted. God is doing something on Earth and if we want, we can be a part of it. I pray that every day- I pray that God would close the wrong doors and open the right ones, and I pray that He would show me what He is already doing here and let me get in on it.

Year one is down. My freshman year of this career is over, and probably so is the honeymoon. Though I will tell y’all, on the average day, it pretty much feels like I’m on vacation. I don’t feel like I have gone to “work” in a really long time.

Year two begins today. Sophomores are comfortable and growing and learning and confident. That’s who I hope to be this year- encouraging other writers, growing in my own writing, continuing to resource youth leaders and youth groups, and walking confidently in the direction of my dreams.

Here’s to being a sophomore. 🙂

. . . . .

What do you see God doing around you that you want to be a part of?