Love felt simple.

2018 in review, for my own heart and maybe yours too. You’re loved, dear one. x

“So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.”          1 Corinthians 13:13 (the passion translation - melt me).


I learned to pray the prayers that scared me until they didn’t.

I said goodbye to the fear of man and with it encountered a soul satisfying fear of God. I found bravery and freedom here. 

I stopped fearing the unknown because intimately knowing the One who knows all became more important. 

I learned the desire to self promote can only arise when we’ve been feeding on the world instead of the word. Self promotion and exaltation became uglier, hiddenness became more beautiful.

I learned the ground feels much too high for how low my heart longs to sink in worship.

I learned if my voice is to carry weight its words must always be true. With this I found myself saying “sorry” less and “I love you” more.

I learned a healthy “no” simply guards a truer “yes.” 

I used to want to be a lot of things, but now I know my heart just wanted to be “daughter” all along. I learned everything in my life is designed to flow from this reality - marriage, motherhood, business, ministry, adventure - all the good stuff to come. All from a place of rest and freedom in who I am because I really, really know who I belong to. 


I chose truth, despite persecution. I guarded truth, despite cost. I ended up happier and free.


I buried dreams. I saw dreams resurrected.

I stopped avoiding the need for miracles. I saw miracles. 



My family grew, most notably with brothers who taught me further of my worth - the kind of men I didn’t know existed but intersected my days as an extravagant surprise. 



Faith and love became my currency, greater than anything physical on the earth. With it came greater faith and love.



I told a lot of people about Jesus, I laid my hands on a lot of sick people, I commanded a lot of pain and illness to leave - people came up saved and healed. In turn Jesus taught me all over again faith is best paired with action, I was created to be bold in love, and miracles have absolutely nothing to do with me. 



I sat at Jesus feet and learned the beauty of remaining poor in spirit. I was pierced by first love Jesus in a nearly unbearable way.



I learned the weight of unconditional love - the kind you choose before you feel. I chose love and broke the lie I needed anything in return. Free of ego or pride, love became simpler. 



I learned my heart is like fire - it can warm and soothe or dismantle and devour. I learned there’s a time for both and wisdom is paramount.



I learned my heart is truly pure, and what a deceptive lie it was to believe anything less. With this revelation I learned to trust my heart and actually live from it. This changed my life. (Jesus showed me a picture of myself hiking a mountain in high heels - He showed me that’s how life feels if we don’t actually know and believe our heart and motives are pure. Now I hike my mountains in hiking boots, because I  know my heart is a wellspring of purity. Life changing. Less ankle rolls).



I learned the dreams I dreamt when I was 10 were in line with my destiny all along. 

 

I learned “I will not be shaken” aren’t just words to a song I sing as trials were marked with genuine joy and awe learning how steady Love Himself makes us.

 


I learned the flowing river is where I’m meant to live - the place I’m cleansed, carried, and corrected. I learned analysis, self-condemnation, or delayed obedience is often just like an eddy pool - a place to end up dizzy and stuck.

I caught a revelation of righteousness and silenced any shame, guilt, or self-condemnation. I learned the only reason I should visit my past is to remember what the blood of Jesus says about me. Spotless.

 

With eyes solely on Jesus, childlikeness was restored. More dancing a noticeable byproduct. 

 

I learned when we really love God He shares His heart with us. I learned He’ll entrust to us HIs love for people inside our own hearts, and with this kind of love living on the inside, I learned how silly and small any other agenda is in its midst. His agenda is always love. His agenda is always better than mine.

I laughed harder with a lighter heart. I found the things of my heart through poetry over and over again. I kept more things private like the days before socials. I gave and I received. I moved. I leapt. I left. I surrendered everything, again. I loved and was loved. I got to hold people and be held, in hidden moments I still smile thinking about. 

2018 was about love, and spoiler alert, I think the rest will be too. x


“If I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value.

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else… Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failures as defeat, for it never gives up. Love never stops loving…SO ABOVE ALL ELASE, LET LOVE BE THE BEAUTIFUL PRIZE FOR WHICH YOU RUN.”

1 CORINTHIANS 13:3-13

(MISSING SOME VERSES, AS REPRESENTED BY “…”)

kristie dunnigan