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The Measure of a Year

As I think back to July 17, 2010, the day I left, I can still vividly see my Phoenix apartment. All that remained on the ecru walls were the holes left behind by the nails that hung my pictures. The few boxes that I’d be traveling with were stacked against the wall resembling a Jenga tower. And that was it. To peer through the window it would seem that life no longer existed there; but from the inside, there was an incredible sense of life and love.

My friends were with me until the moment I drove away, and those who couldn’t be there as I left made a point to see me that morning for our last Starbucks date. Not one of my girlfriends let me leave without knowing how loved I am. We spent that time laughing about all of the ridiculous situations I seem to find myself in and reminisced about how we had come to be friends. In thinking back on that special day, it reminds me of the day that I made the decision to move.

Just a few short weeks before, I sat in my room, crying on the floor over the news that the friend I cared deeply for just lost his best friend in combat. In a flash I realized that I have always lived my life measured by how well I adhere to duties and responsibilities (and how other people perceived me in that way) but what I really wanted was to measure my years in love. That was the moment I let go of being bound to duty above relationships. It was in that moment that I decided to move. It was the first step in blazing a new trail in my life. Though this path has presented hardships and lessons, they were not the only things laid at my door step. Love was found there, too.

This year my life can be measured in love. Love for my girlfriends who helped me carry the burden of hardships. These ladies stayed connected to me through every moment of weariness, sadness, anger, uncertainty and joy. Sixteen hundred miles apart never felt so close. I have the love of my best friend who has held my hand as we walk through life’s lessons together. His love inspires me to break through the confines of the self-imposed limitations and encourages me to chase after my dreams. Love for my daughter who in her own right has overcome tremendous challenge to stand on her own two feet with grace and sincerity. Love for my God whose love and faithfulness towards me is not dependent on my love and faithfulness towards Him.

What I left Phoenix to pursue, I have found this year: A life measured in love.


  1. Starlet Jackson

    My dear friend Shayna!
    What a year it has been and just as you mentioned, even though we are over a thousand miles away, I feel as though you and Isa are still a part of my life!
    You are truely beautiful (inside and out), truely loved (and not just by me), and above all truely blessed (in more ways than anyone but you and the Lord will ever know).
    Here’s to another year filled with all the happiness, love and hope your heart can hold!
    Love always, Starlet

    • Shayna

      Girl, you know you have been one that has kept my feet tappin’ to the rhythm of life. The improve circle never was my favorite part of class but when something unexpectedly cool happened, it was so fun! Thank you for your continued love prayer and friendship.

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