2017…C'est la vie…It’s Been Real.
At this point on New Year’s Eve, I am usually trying to figure out what my New Year's resolution is going to be or how toned I am going to get in the upcoming year. I typically come up with a new workout regimen and diet to follow. Tonight, however, I said, “What’s the point? I am 23 weeks pregnant and I am going to eat that piece of Italian cream cake in the fridge…someone try to stop me. I dare you!” Instead, I am thinking about how my worst year was also my best year. I am thinking about the people that said I wasn't worthy or deserving. I am thinking about depression and how life is just hard sometimes. I am thinking about how God blessed me with a new baby and used post-partum depression to reveal deep wounds in my heart. Whatever your 2017 was like or how hard it has been, I assure you...you are not alone.
My highlight reel this year includes the happiest moments of my life. I became a mom again after believing God would make a way for 12 years. I was able to acknowledge to myself, God and the world that I struggled with depression and was able to seek help for it. I willingly gave God my past hurts and was able to give up control of things I held onto so tightly since my divorce. We started a new business and have other projects in the works. He is answering my husband's prayers and fulfilling his dreams. My oldest baby is living life and finding her place in this world. My boys are thanking God that He heard their prayers and their dad is living closer and seeing them 50% of the time. How can you ask for anything more? He is good.
On the other side of all the joy, there were things that hurt me deeper than ever before. Sitting with a group of women and acknowledging that you need healing for things that were buried deep since childhood was not easy. Taking inventory of every person and event that has ever affected me negatively and revisiting every wound I know that I’ve caused others was completely draining and sucked the life right out of me. Making a list of all the destructive words spoken over me for 34 years and convincing myself that they are not true was possibly the hardest, though. If you know me at all, then you know I have the memory of an elephant and can recite every word you have ever said to me or that I know you have said about me. My husband feels as though it is an extraordinary gift I have been given…when I use it for good. Lol. Most the time, however, I do not use it for good and tuck it in my back pocket just waiting for the perfect moment to pull it back out. Friends, this has made me miserable and a very sad person for too long.
2017 has taught me so much about myself and about others. It has made me thankful for the good and the bad and has forced me to take a step back and discern if others might be hurting too. It has put me in front of the mirror every morning to remind myself that I am worthy and that my life does matter. It has forced me to make a conscious decision to stand next to people that may not deserve it or when they need me. It has made me aware that everyone is human and has the right to mess up and have a moment. We are people and there is no one in this world that has not or is not walking through something. I have become a better version of myself and am committed to love myself more in 2018. I am committed to love others more. I am committed to walk out the purpose for my life.
The work I did in 2017 was supposed to be outer work and superficial. I was going to lose all of the baby weight from my pregnancy with Adelyne and be super toned. Instead, I got pregnant again! I am so thankful that it happened that way and the work I had to do was mostly internal, however. I assure you, I have never worked out harder or disciplined myself more than I did this past year. It was harder than any other, but I am so thankful for the muscle and strength it has developed. If there is anything difficult that you have walked through in 2017, do not lose heart. What I thought was my demise ended up being what pushed me closer to God’s heart, my own heart and my husband’s. Tonight, I am firing up the fireplace and burning the list I have kept of harmful words spoken over me. I am releasing the inventory of pain I have walked through and the pain I have caused others. If you do anything tonight, make a conscious decision to love yourself more and find a way to discover what may be holding you back. I am not naive, 2018 will have trials. I know, that I know, though that there is nothing that can keep my from what God has called me to do: Be Alive and Be Loved.