2014 / by Sarah Schwartz

2014 was bitter and sweet, difficult and long, beautiful and weird.

It started on a beach with my friends, looking each other in the eyes and telling the truth, & as Ram Dass says, walking each other home.

It was the year I gave myself permission to be angry, to believe that my wounds and hurts matter enough to truly feel, and maybe even speak up about.

A college student emailed me asking if I would speak at a dorm event about Valentines Day, and I proceeded to spend the next week laughing. (I eventually said yes.)

I met some of my very favorite internet people at Faith & Culture NW Writer’s Conference.

One of those people was Sarah Bessey, who was kind enough to ask me to contribute to Jesus Feminist Book Club Week with, Does it seem radical to you that God thinks women are people, too?

The good people over at A Deeper Story invited me to join the team as a writer, with my first piece, 5 Pounds, running in May.

Some of the most fierce and wonderful women I know helped me put together a series on Street Harassment.

Running's not my thing, but I ran across a finish line anyway.

My brilliant friend Julie wrote a piece for me On Being a Woman, & a Bible Major.

Thrive Ministry, Biola’s Chapter of Christians for Biblical Equality, sponsored a panel discussion about the meaning and constructs of masculinity.

I moved, and it was just the reminder I needed that things are always changing and being made new. And maybe that includes me.

I spoke on the intersection of Faith & Feminism as a part of Biola RedTalks.

I prayed the Psalms over the Willamette Valley.

I cried in a coffee drive-thru when I found out that Antidepressants as Means of Grace made Rachel Held Evan’s Sunday Superlatives.

I started to feel things again.

My friend Olivia put together an incredible photo show on modesty culture that I was lucky enough to be a part of, called Embodied: Flesh & the Church.

I saw the Kingdom of God show up to a lake house in Minnesota.

I invited myself and a few others to take up some space.

I got the chance to speak at a chapel for my alma mater on Rethinking the Metaphors: Deeper Conversations on Purity.

Like I said---bitter, sweet, difficult, long, beautiful and weird.

But we made it, didn't we? And hopefully we paused often enough to be truly, wildly, fiercely present in the moments that were good and true. Let's try and do more of that next year.

Thanks for being along for the ride.