I counted it out tonight. Suddenly I needed to know more than I needed to not know. One by one all the way up to one hundred and thirteen. Writing it all scrunched up like 113 makes it feel even shorter.

I’ve got one hundred and thirteen days left in Birmingham before I walk across a stage and am handed a piece of paper that says something to the effect of, Hey congrats, student. You made it. We’ll send you your real diploma at some point in the future.

I want none of it. And I want all of it. More than anything, I want each of those days to count.


I’ve been on the verge of tears since August, thanks to this little word called graduation. I’m not sure why, but people toss it around like confetti. My heart hasn’t made it to the party yet. I’m sure it’ll happen (maybe), and there was a brief moment during finals when I just wanted the light at the end of the tunnel and a rolled up piece of paper in my hand, but more than that I want to pout in the corner and refuse to walk across the stage.

It’s not that I’m scared about the future (although yeah, a little bit). I just don’t want to be in the future without my people.


I entered college with the mindset that I could have a little fun and make a few friends, but at the end of the day I was there for a degree.

I ran for things and got them. I worked hard and earned a few titles. There were many times I missed the mark (I’m looking at you, four semesters of spanish) but the biggest thing I missed wasn’t a good grade – it was the time I spent chasing the wrong thing.

I wanted the success that looks like an A+ or a job offer. I wanted to be funny and well-liked and valued. And maybe you would argue that all of that is okay. But for me it wasn’t, because on the inside I placed my own value and worth in my results and the approval of others.

I was reaching for a love that would never satisfy. I wanted man’s applause so much that I missed the fact that I already had God’s approval.

There wasn’t a lightening bolt moment but through failures and missteps, little moments and big, God whispered His already-love for me. It shook my world upside down. I failed by my own standards and He spoke kindly. I got a good grade and He said good job, love, but I don’t love you any more than yesterday. I closed the books and sat with a friend and somewhere deep down He assured me that people matter more than my performance.

Relationships are more important than results.

Relationships are more important than results and no title or byline or finish line crossed is going to hold my hand in the dark, share inside jokes with me, or be able to finish a sentence about that one time when ______.

One hundred and thirteen. That’s all I’ve got. Regardless of whether I leave Birmingham or not, the chapter I’ve lived for 3.5 years is coming to a close.

So I started doing the very thing that would have made absolutely no sense to the girl who cared about accolades and resumes.

I started quitting. I stepped down and stepped back from a lot of things. It took a long time to realize, but at the end of the day I don’t want my story to be that I succeeded at a bunch of things that just don’t matter. If there’s one thing I want to be really good at it’s loving much and loving well.

You can’t put a title on that. It doesn’t go in a byline and no one will write a book about it, but there are only one hundred and thirteen days left and way too much love left to give. I want less things and more time. I’ve spent too much of it on the wrong stuff.

We are the women who make our lives about the cause of Christ, not the applause of men, live to express the Gospel, not to impress the Jones’. Live not to make our absence felt, but to make Christ’s presence known. We are the women who know it’s not about us and all about Glory. {Ann Voskamp}

I don’t get it right most of the time, but I’m learning that if I fix my eyes on Jesus and not on the sidelines, I’ll keep my eyes on the Prize. If I run the race for Him and not for applause, then I succeed at what really matters. If I stop striving to impress the person next to me I might have a second to pause and realize He already approves of me.

Realizing that changes everything.

He already knows my name. For every success there have been three hundred failures and He loves me all the same. With every moment that I’ve got left, I want to sing a song that shouts His praise above my own name. Because what kind of God is this that came down for a girl who would keep messing up, keep thinking that her own ways could earn her love, a girl who kept on striving and succeeding at all the things that just didn’t matter. What kind of God comes down to lift my face so that I would look in Love’s eyes and see I already had it, had Him? I had Love all along.

And once you’ve met Love, really known it and felt it, none of the rest of the stuff matters all too much. Play this last year back on repeat and it looks like I’ve lost my mind, letting go of impressive positions and stepping away from important titles.

I don’t want them that much anymore.

I just want every second of these one hundred and thirteen days.


we don't have to fight for love because Love fought for us - and Love won

I’m not sure where this post finds you or where these words land in your lap. I’ve wrestled through them for months and months and to write them out was a fight. I must have rewritten this twenty different times. (I wish I were kidding.) There’s so much I still don’t know, so many things I still get wrong. But over and over I keep re-learning that none of the titles we accumulate love us back. And then I go back to that book my friend wrote, the one that reset my mindset, and I remember there’s nothing more that needs to be done for me to be loved.

Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes LeeI’ve already been preapproved and I’m already so loved by the One I want more than anything. I’ve got Him and in Him, I’ve got it all.

If I could pick just one book from 2014 to place in your hands, I’d choose this one. Because every one of us, we each need to know that we don’t have to fight for love because Love fought for us.

And Love won.

As Jennifer says, God’s got it. He’s got you. And right now, for me? That’s more than enough to help me walk through these next one hundred and thirteen days. Maybe I’ll even throw a little confetti around.

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I received a copy of Love Idol from Tyndale House in exchange for my honest opinion, but I would buy this book myself many times over. {Affiliate links have been used in this post.}