In the dead of winter, I’m curled up under a duvet in my living room, journals strewn around me, coffee cup in hand. It’s a similar process each year: read the last year’s musings, make space to reflect, to listen, to dream again.

Lately, it’s been one or two word phrases that seem to guide and define my years. There was create (in all its forms), then there was adventure. This time?

Get closer.

That’s it. Get closer, Emma. Get closer to God, to other people, to your dreams. Don’t hide, don’t shy away, but take a step forward, take a step closer to the life you want.

Not long before Christmas, I saw Bon Iver play in Glasgow. He’s on stage with the band and what seems like more instruments than a full orchestra, and all around people are swaying and nodding and being immersed in this experience. It’s busy, and there’s people crowding around me. A group of friends move in front of me, and suddenly there is a ponytail in my face. Swaying. Nodding. And a ponytail.

Maybe God is like that ponytail in the face. Moving towards the dreams he calls us to is often uncomfortable; it’s not always what we would chose. When we step towards him, he’ll call us to change. But that ponytail-in-the-face moment is always rewarded far beyond our wildest dreams – it’s just that sometimes it doesn’t look the way we thought it would.