A New Year, The Same Me [ Insight From 2018 To Have A Great 2019 ]
Beloved friend!!! I Ringing In The New Year with a dance party!! Yeah, a freakin’ dance party! I want to shake off 2018, for you and me. Shake off any difficulty, shake off any rejection, shake off any physical illness, shake off any doubt, shake off any fear!! I can not even begin to describe how difficult 2018 has been for me and my family. It’s been an incredibly hard year full of precious opportunities to learn……
2018 was also an amazing year. Full of so much freedom. More than I’ve ever known.
How was your year? I bet it had some of both, right?! I don’t know if it’s truly possible to say one entire year, full of 365 days, complex with the fragility of what we call life, could ever be just good. Or just difficult. I think the more I grow up, the more I’m learning to accept that life will always be 50% “good” 50% “difficult”. And the problems we face don’t make us weird, they just validate that, we are, in fact, just human beings after all. Don’t you just want to feel normal in all your weirdness? Well here you go, this is your permission ticket to feel normal being on a complex human journey. Yourwelcome! Share the ticket with people you love! Haha! Naaa, but for real. I’m so done trying to hide my fear and shame, my failures and shortcomings. My past. Trying to hide behind the facade of a “perfect” life that is falling apart at the seams and being imprisoned by emotional isolation. We need each-others weird, ya’ll!! And we need to hear from each-others stories to sort out our own! Oh you got a weird cousin who likes to wear underwear on his head, yeah me too. You’re not dramatic you’re not wrecked or flawed beyond repair. This life is weird but there is a faithful God full of authority and POWER who can give us hope! It’s just life and we are just human. But God is the everlasting authority and in the end every knee shall bow and there will be peace, justice and safety. Eternal safety and no more weird.
To be honest with you, I much rather show up to the party with all my flaws so that I can truly delight in all my strengths as well! Even if no one else got me, I could stop pretending to be someone I’m not. 2018 might have been one of the most difficult years of my life, but I learned to have my back and show up authentically JUST as myself. No pretension. No B.S. Just me. I figured out that what I had been wanting all along was for someone to love me and accept me just as I am. And I discovered through reading the Bible, that God loves me like that and he understands me the way my heart aches for understanding. AND I get to do it for myself as well. I get to be my own best friend. I get to like myself in all my weirdness. I get to forgive myself. I get to show up for myself and no one else can do it for me, the way I need it from myself. With this knowledge, the expectation for others to validate me has become less and less. And I get to release them, to be just who they are as well. My worth and value come from a source that doesn’t run dry, Jesus! He is the only one who can always be there for me, PERFECTLY.
Worth and value that can not be taken from us. Now, that’s true freedom!
Here’s a recap of my year and some of the insights I took. I pray it helps you with your story!
My mother had a -physician mistake- medicine overdose in February. She almost died. But she didn’t. And on super bowl Sunday, she accepted Jesus with me on the phone! Praise God! This was WAY WAY WAY loaded for me, since we have a history of her attempting suicide in the past. I write about it in my book. She and I have healed so much and we know that there is no shame in our stories. In the past, I carried so much shame from it all and I didn’t know when I’d be free to live my life not in fear of her trying again. But in 2018, God helped me realize I can be free when I choose freedom. Not when any outside circumstance happens. No. It has to be my own choice to lay it down at his feet as many times as I need to. I can’t control anyone else but myself ! It’s been so healing to release people to live their own lives and me focus on my own healing.
I had a SEVERAL personal issues with people I am very close to. A lot of relationship issues surfaced in 2018. The difficulty of not cowering to people pleasing and speaking my truth was a very big challenge. My voice quivered but I was able to, for the first time in my life, be free to speak up! I found my VOICE. I feel like I fought my GIANTS this year. In the Bible, before the Israelites walked and enjoyed their Promised Land they had to fight GIANTS! But God was faithful and said they would have victory. So I believed I would too. My GIANTS have always been the opinion of other’s about me and God really used the difficulty in 2018 with relationships to show me that I can go through ANYTHING with him. No matter the pain of rejection or hurt by another human, God ALMIGHTY has the medicine for any disappointment we face. His word is like honey comb and it has surely been the reason why I’m still standing after this year.
My father is still battling bone cancer and walking along his side has been an honor and also one of the most difficult things of my life. To allow God and this illness to soften my heart toward him and let him into my heart has been so joyfully painful (because we didn’t have a good start to our relationship) but it has been the most courageous journey for both him and I to learn how to love each-other just as we are. I also talk a lot about this in my book, Through The Wilderness. God has redeemed so many moments of our relationship, even now, as a 35 year old woman, the little girl inside of me cries each time there is a moment of tenderness with my dad. I missed out on those when I was little, but God’s faithfulness is so beautiful to gift them to me now. Especially when I can really enjoy and savor them being fully present. But it’s required forgiveness on my part and clear communication to be able to enjoy these moments. It’s required a little bit of pain to enjoy the glory of a new relationship. Vulnerability to someone who had previously hurt me so bad. But to be clear, I would do it over and over again for God has given me the opportunity to be a mom and I now understand the complexity of being a parent! I have eyes of compassion for my family and myself. We are all going through something. We all need grace and a savior. This is exactly why I’m head over heels with our Heavenly Father because his love is what allows me to love, even when it’s hard. This is evidence for my little heart that God is truly who he says that he is. When I can do something in God’s strenght that I couldn’t do in my own power. To love unconditionally. And even then, mine is flawed and I still fall short. But I’m living some pretty amazing moments in my relationships because of the courage the Lord has given me to forgive and love anyway. And learning the difference of Godly love rather than enabling love which allows bad behavior. I’m learning to set strong boundaries and respecting myself so others have a blueprint on how to treat me. I’m learning to process my grief and forgiving and letting God do what only he can do. I’m learning how to have strong internal boundaries that speak my truth and yet still love myself and others. It’s miraculous! I used to let people walk all over me before and then deal with the pain in self-sabotaging ways. Now, I can stand with myself. It’s miraculous I tell you!
I consistently went to therapy this year and it was so healing to me. Working out so many issues and past hurts. Thank you Jesus for a God centered and Jesus loving, therapist! Sometimes, I didn’t want to go see her because I chickened out of the emotional pain. But thank you Jesus for his strenght in my weakness that always fortifies my mind to know I can do hard emotions with him by my side. The work I’ve done in 2018 with my therapist will undoubtedly set a tone of freedom for the rest of my life. Freedom of shame, pain, and any victim mentality! I don’t want to pass the “full” load to my children. I would be naive to say that I won’t pass anything yucky down to my girls, for I know how many times I’ve failed them already in the eight years I’ve been a mother. My therapist has already seen them, twice! Ha! But if I can have any part in lightening their “load” of generational sin, I will do my best to look at my pain in the face that I might heal and become mature in the way no one else in my family had the opportunity to before. I can’t even imagine what it was like for my parents to be my parents. No Google! No wonder I’m messed up!
Did you notice I didn’t write any “good” stuff. I am writing a sequel to this post next week so you’ll have something to look forward to! I just wanted you to understand the battle before you could rejoice with me in the victory! And let me tell you, friend! When we learn to rejoice for other’s blessings, we make room and a helping of EXTRAS for when God decides to bless us! Which will ALWAYS happen since we serve a God of love and abundance! He has plenty for any who believe or care to notice!
I think I could write an entire sequel to my book on this year alone. And I just might….. There was so much I want to tell you about that I can’t fit in a single blog post. One thing is for sure. What you and I went through in 2018. I know it’s prepared us for our future. Listen. We aren’t going through it just for kicks! You and I are warrior princesses training in the biggest battle there is. Darling you might be a woman but you’re not some little piece of meat that can be thrown around. You aren’t a little chicken wing to be made low and objectified. You aren’t some dumb little girl who knows nothing about life. No one can belittle you without your permission! You, my darling, are fierce. You are a feminine spirit with the grit of a billion stallions. You are precious and honored and you have what it takes to be the woman God has loved you to be. That’s right, what ever that looks life for you right now. Even if you’re in the middle of chemo and you’ve lost your hair, in your vulnerability, God is your strenght. Even if you’ve just finished school and are nervous at what the h, e, double hockey sticks you’re “supposed” to be doing with your life, even in your anxiety of the future, God loves you and he will establish his peace for you when you set your mind on today. Today you’re here. And it’s been a hard year, but you’re growing in maturity and character that will sustain you in the future! Even if you’re a mom of littles and you’re just tired and you don’t understand why your beloved kids take you to places you didn’t even know you could go, even then, in your failure, you are enough. Even if you’re a young one without a family and you feel lonely and unwanted, you’re a child who is named by the God of all Heaven. He wants you and he will keep you and use your past to catapult you into a future that is beyond your wildest imagination! Even if you’re in a stage of life where you’ve past menopause and you’re wondering where your youth went, where your dreams went, maybe even where you went? Even then, God says you’re beautiful and if you’re still breathing you still have a purpose on this earth. It’s never too late to discover who you are in Christ! You are still his little girl and he can sustain you in every way you need!
No matter who you are, what your situation is. You are called and you are cherished. You. Are. Enough. And you don’t need to worry or stress about the new year. God will give you guidance and the ability to execute your plans. I am certainly cheering you on and praying for your life to be full of joy! Thank you for reading. I look forward to writing again next week! And as I heard Sarah Jakes Roberts preach, it’s a new year but the same you is needed with all the wisdom your challenges bought you in 2018 for this 2019! I believe in you my beloved friend and the BEST of you does too!