Ok, so here’s a moment of more transparency. Judging by the title, one might think here comes all the reasons I hated 2016. Well, read on because you may be surprised at the turn it will take. While this year had glimpses of hope, happiness and even joy, it also had tough growing PAINS.
I spent the majority of the year teetering between thinking God wasn’t listening to a word I’m saying to I KNOW He wasn’t listening to well maybe He was cause He allowed things to happen to show I wasn’t forgotten. Then back to, “But God? Why give me this but not fix the situation?”
This year, anxiety attacks, chronic pain, depression, doubt, fear, insecurity all came thundering down a steep mountain, ran me over at times and brought me to my knees – literally. I laughed a little and cried a LOT. I had some fun but then couldn’t sleep. I was blessed with a new job after several months of unemployment and no income, but still no peace. My business had a few great moments, but still no joy. I was BROKEN. I felt like I was reading a book of me wishing I could revise the outcomes, words, characters. I was trapped outside of my own life wanting to desperately bang on the window to say, “NO! Don’t do that! Don’t say that! Don’t go there! SHUT UP! Are you paying attention at all, girl?!” 365 days of never feeling like I could woosah. 365 days of holding my breath thinking, “what next?”.
Now, please, believe me, there was much going on that was much more catastrophic, so I should have felt blessed beyond measure for those things there were NOT happening to me cause it could have been worse. Yes, I know that’s the attitude you should have, but sorry. This blog post is my truth.
I felt like most tears fell in vain. I wanted to scream at God, “Why won’t you do anything?!” But I submit that God WAS doing something. Not outside of me but INSIDE of me. The bible says, “greater is HE that’s in ME…” Problem is I wasn’t allowing the HE in me to be great. Sometimes, we don’t recognize when God IS working out exactly what you prayed for because while we prayed for it and so called “left it with God,” what we REALLY did was have in our mind how it would look to us when God has accomplished the task of answering our prayer. You’re your own blessing event planner. God, it should be done this day at this time with these people invited to the unveiling of how good you are – insert praise break! When it doesn’t look that way, we question, cry, throw tantrums, get angry or depressed. No…just stop!
I have always been very spoiled and self-centered; not in a mean girl, obnoxious sort of way but simply used to getting what I wanted and having my way. I have always wanted the approval and love of others because my love for me was based on their love for me. I had no strength of my own. I had no faith of my own. I was tied to a lifeline to someone or something – my parents, my relatives, my husband, my job, and more. I had to get a wake-up call, and God tried to drop things in my spirit to let me know I wasn’t heading in a direction He was going to bless. I felt it; was convicted by it, but was just dumb, for lack of a better term. Some of us will never truly understand who God is unless He breaks us, and that’s what I meant by growing PAINS. When God sent that wake-up call, I FINALLY took a look at ME, and I didn’t like all there was to see. I’m not a complete and utter lost cause, but I was thrust into finding my worth, strength, true faith, and love for ME outside of anything going on around me. It’s an extremely hard journey and it feels very lonely at times.
One thing I’m coming to terms with is I make mistakes, and I used to be unapologetic about it or try to justify it away. Apologizing isn’t a sign of weakness. It shows you care enough about the other person to make things right. Next, while I’m talented and gifted at certain things, I didn’t love myself and was insecure. I loved myself enough to know I didn’t want to hurt me or leave this world but not enough to believe I’m good enough. Selfish – I lived my life without much regard to those connected to me. I missed most of my son’s infancy doing everything in “busy”ness. And being a wife…refer to my previous blog post, Entering Lightly. All of this was in my mirror. Now, what was I supposed to do? I’m 39. Change is a marathon and not a sprint. I started this journey in 2015, actually, and continued on all year to a better, stronger, more faith-filled me. I fight through anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, selfishness daily. I miss the mark a lot. I try too hard a lot. BUT, I contend that I’m not the same person I’ve been. Believe it or not – matters not. My new ever-changing me is walking into 2017 with new hope and God as the guide without me as His co-pilot. It’s amazing that pastor’s message today was “When Was the Last Time You Felt Like the First Time?” The closer I get to God and the more I go after Him, other things have to get better. God is who I’m after – BETTER comes with Him. Happy New Year!