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  • Writer's pictureLaura Hewett

One Year Later

Last New Year's Eve, inspired by Matt's 22 lessons learned in 2022, I posted 23 things I was looking forward to in 2023. What the internet didn't know at the time was that I was already in the process of transition. At that point, I'd done my first interview with the church and was waiting to schedule my second. There's a lot of layers written into a handful of those 2023 expectations knowing I'd likely be here by the end of the year. While Esther's trip was unfortunately cancelled, everything else on that list beautifully happened; some things even more beautifully than expected or hoped.


I'm just two and a half weeks away from my ten year traumaversary, and I'm already thinking of how I'll mark and reflect on that major date.


This single year has not had the major gains in physio that I'm always hoping for, but the drop in my high blood pressure concerns has been significant.

Don't worry, I don't have any more major surprises on the horizon. I'm taking it easy for a bit and giving my body and soul a chance to recover from a wild few years. In fact, I stayed in for New Year's tonight because I value sleep. I'll be in bed before most people in my time zone, but I'm living my absolute best life right now.


Alicia and I are barely going to make it to midnight, but she's helped me write a list of 24 things to look forward to in 2024:


  1. Hanging my PDX bridge artwork on the wall in my new home.

  2. Working with a fantastic youth leader team.

  3. Getting youth leader team merch for our "MacPack" because we're awesome.

  4. Surviving Easter Camp.

  5. Reading the Bible with teenagers.

  6. Hearing the wind in Christchurch.

  7. Making new friends.

  8. Celebrating winter solstice on the opposite end of Christmas with new and exciting traditions (imma have a party, guys).

  9. Celebrating Alicia's birthday four days after the winter solstice.

  10. Getting more tattoos.

  11. Beach days.

  12. Making American chocolate chip cookies with Kiwi friends.

  13. Spontaneous after church lunches at my dining table.

  14. Filling my gratitude journal.

  15. Making recycled paper and sending loved ones cards.

  16. Reading more books.

  17. Exploring more of New Zealand.

  18. Rainstorms. (No joke, a wild one just started dumping here.)

  19. More gains in my physical recovery - I'm never giving up.

  20. Living near quality coffee shop options.

  21. Having more Kiwi youth sign my second map.

  22. Talking with Jacqui regularly (still).

  23. Growing closer to Jesus.

  24. Acting in obedience to the wild and crazy things God calls me into.


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