The last few years of my life have flown by it seems. I have had some great years leading up to 2019. 2015 I went on my first date with the love of my life. 2016 we got married. 2017 we had a baby and he deployed. 2018 was long and tumultuous and towards the end of 2018 and most of 2019 I experienced one of the hardest years I have ever endured. I’ve had some tough years before in the past. But who hasn’t? We’ve all, I’m sure, had moments or seasons where we felt like we were being attacked or drowning.
Sometimes I was downright confused in 2019. I was very emotional most of the year. Mostly because I was trying to process and deal with pain. I was trying to rationalize the things happening around me and in me. Instead of just being and walking into the changes before me I was stuck in where I was. I was stuck trying to understand myself and why I felt the way I felt. I also spent time trying to break myself from worrying about other people. Not just what they might be thinking or waiting for the opportunity to explain myself, but just in general worrying about others and what they were going through. I spend a lot of time doing that. I used to think that made me this great person and I’m not saying that it doesn’t but as I started focusing more on myself, more on working through my thoughts and my issues the more God started revealing things to me in reference to those that I love and care about. He helped me to learn to not take on or hold weight that wasn’t mine. So instead of constantly struggling with how I was going to help someone or taking on their pain and their issues I started taking it to God more. I started praying for them and asking God to meet their needs.
So many times, in life we can operate from a place where we feel like we deserve certain things. We wait on those around us to acknowledge us or tell us how great we are. We want to feel important and appreciated. I know for me personally I want to feel needed or valuable. But 2019 taught me the hardest lesson about depending on others to confirm your value. 2019 humbled me in ways I didn’t even know I needed to be humbled. I want to share with you some of my lessons and maybe they were some of your lessons too. Either way I hope my lessons help you gain perspective and frees you to move forward in your truth.
–I learned that I won’t and will never have all the answers and that’s ok! I learned to work with what was in front of me and the answers will be revealed bit by bit in perfect timing.
–The bare necessities are good. I convinced myself many times that there were things that I just had to have or things that I needed. I allowed the influence of others to convince me I wanted certain things that I now know I don’t. This year taught me that what I thought I needed, I didn’t.
I thought I needed people around me all the time to talk to and rely on and share my emotions or thoughts with. And while I do enjoy that and value those connections, I needed God more. I turn to Him constantly to ask Him to help me work through my feelings and emotions more than I do people. Which is big for me! This lesson was not just limited to my emotional journey but also my “things” journey. Like shoes, clothes, electronics, purses etc. I don’t see those things the way I used to. I value making memories more. I am more concerned about connections and growth.
–What I have is enough. In some instances, it’s more than enough! I’m talking about finances here. I know I’m not the only one who wants more so that I can, so that me and my family, can do more. And yes I want to say the cliché things so many people say “I want to give more and bless people more.” It’s true. I really do. I have prayed that God would bless us more and more so that we can give more and more to our church, to other ministries, to people in need. But I learned this year, he has blessed us with more.
He presented opportunities for us to give and help in times where things were financially tight and we didn’t even know where the money came from. He has covered us and filled in the gap when unexpected expenses arrived. He has surrounded us with people who are givers and the best gift they’ve given us is not what they’ve literally blessed us with but, how they’ve constantly shown us the importance of giving. He has made a way out of no way.
But I want to also be real here, I want more so that I can do more things like take trips. See the world. Do more fun things with my kids.I want to do more for my kids future and leave an inheritance not just for my kids but also for my kids kids. But to do more we had to learn to live off less and to tackle our debt. God presented an opportunity to do just that. So, as we work on being better stewards,we know that the chance to do more will present itself because what we have is enough. We made bad financial decisions and we had to own that.
–Lastly, it’s ok to be alone. I mean I’m not really alone. I have three kids and a husband who is my best friend. He consoles me, laughs with me, he believes in me, enjoys my company even when we are doing absolutely nothing. He drives me bananas but brings me so much joy. And my kids too! They are a constant source of joy, fun, laughter and headaches. But aside from family I don’t spend time with any friends, which is something I was used to doing. This time without that has served and is still serving a purpose. While I don’t know all of what that purpose is, I am grateful for it.
I don’t make new year’s resolutions because honestly, I make it a goal to work on myself and my dreams as much as I can throughout the year. But heading into 2020 I’m excited. I’m excited and not because I think the year is going to be some easy year after a few hard years. I’m excited because I know even if it is a hard year, I can make it. I have 2018 and 2019 as proof that I can. I’m joyful because I’m walking into a year of expectancy. A door on a decade’s worth of life, memories, lessons, pain, frustration, confusion, and loss is closing out. I believe that the closed door means something, and I can’t wait to live in the “next.”