Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: A Year (of lessons) in Review

2018 was the year I had been waiting and praying for. Here are a few of the lessons I learned along the way:

I began 2018 with a broken heart. This heartbreak was one I felt the deepest. No longer fogged or tainted by the unhealthy lifestyle I once lived, I felt this at my core. If I had the chance to undo this, I wouldn't.  The greatest gift that came from this was in fact, love. I love myself today in a way I never knew I was capable of.  I have also grown in love for my parents. I cherish them deeply. They continue to be my biggest supporters and defenders. Most importantly, my love for my Savior has grown immensely. His love restored me, fully.

I learned at new lengths that grace should be freely given. At the end of each day I think about how many opportunities I chose to take to give grace and all the ones I chose not to take. This has been SOBERING to say the least. I have a long way to go but taking the time to be honest with myself stretches me and challenges me to be better. This last year I chose to forgive because I too have been forgiven.

This was a big one.
The more you try to live a life of integrity, the more your character will be questioned.  There were times when I deserved it. I'm imperfect. I make big and messy mistakes even when I try my hardest not to. I've learned that character has everything to do with heart. I'm continuing to strive to be a woman of great character. In doing so I'm also in the process of learning to silence the opinions of those who don't quite understand my heart yet...the truth is they may never and that's okay.  All of this has everything to do with grace and I couldn't have survived this lesson without leaning into Jesus.

I was called to be obedient in 2018.
I am an I N D E P E N D E N T gal and one of the things I value most is my time. As lessons usually go, God asked me to give Him my time and this time I listened. I also cut my spending tremendously and entrusted my finances in a way I never have before. I saw God make the impossible happen through my obedience. Lastly, I had to be obedient in trusting God. My parents faced a number of serious health issues and then when I was at what I thought was empty, I faced my own set of health issues.  I had no insurance and I was terrified of losing my mom and dad. Instead of dwelling in our fear we were obedient as a family and trusted.  We prayed and we prayed and we prayed. In typical fashion God answered.  I'm beginning 2019 with a new (to me) car, a new job (with medical benefits!!), and my parents and I currently all have clean bills of health. God is faithful and He is so GOOD.

2018 transformed me. I'm quite sad to see it go but I look to 2019 with hope and great anticipation for a beautiful harvest. I will continue to be obedient even when the fight calls.

Here are a few of my goals for 2019:
-Transition back into healthy eating habits
-Pay off my smaller debts
-Drink less coffee
-Speak encouragement and positivity (!!)
-Find the right credential program/path for me
-Cut what is toxic (this is a continual life goal)
-Date intentionally
-Read more, write more
-Travel more (no trip is too small mentality)
-Commit to more family time
-Speak more Spanish
-Dream big dreams for youth ministry
-Dedicate more time to growing my vocal/worship talents
-Pursue Jesus wholeheartedly (another lifelong goal)

To finish this off I'd like to say thank you to my crew, Theee Crew! Ya'll know who you are. You have prayed with me and for me, loved me through my loneliness, and celebrated my victories. I prayed a long time for community like yours. I love you all, deeply.

I'm ready for you 2019!