2017 Was the Hardest Year of My Life

2017 started out to a rocky start and let’s just say I’ve been pulling myself over the rocks ever since.

The job I got out of college.. let’s just say I saw red flags my first week there that said “this is not what I thought I was getting myself into”.  Fast forward eight months and I was miserable, stressed out of my mind, crying myself to sleep– a shell of myself. All over this job. I debated for months what to do, and finally after hitting rock bottom in June and with my husband’s support, I quit my job.  I was interviewing for another job at the time so I was optimistic that would work out, but I didn’t get the next job. So for two months, I was unemployed.

It was really hard but it was also really great.  I finally had a time to rest, renew, heal, and just focus on caring for myself.  But it was also embarrassing and difficult to constantly tell people “no I’m not working” and “no nothing else is in the works”.  This was all because I felt a responsibility to what other people would say I should be doing.

What I learned: I don’t have to be doing what other people think I should.  My decisions and my life are between me, God, and my husband.  Because I stepped out and made a brave but scary choice to leave my job, I’ve seen myself grow in confidence, boldness, faith, and greater self-assurance in embracing the way I was made– what works for me and what doesn’t.

This growth in faith may have been just-in-time as George and I had been praying for when the Lord was calling us to start a family.  We wanted it to be on His timing, not our own or again, what others would say.  We felt confidently that He was calling us now.  We were soon expecting and then blindsided– we miscarried.

Finishing out 2017 has looked very day by day, moment by moment. Taking each morning as it comes, each blessing as it comes, any kindness or prayers from others with gratefulness, and trying to keep my eyes set on what God is doing in this season of ups and downs.

But 2017 was also a really great year.

We went to the beach four times. Yes FOUR TIMES. And it was nothing short of spectacular. We vacationed as a couple alone, with dear friends on a spur of the moment trip to Mexico, with family, and finally with even more family– 50 people– for Thanksgiving!

We welcomed two beautiful new nieces into the world.

We felt the hope and joy of becoming parents for the first time.

We saw our small community here in Nashville come around us and support us in our time of need with unending grace.

We went to great concerts.

We found a new church home that we love.

I had the privilege of baptizing my husband, George.

We celebrated lifelong friends’ weddings.

We both started new jobs.

We moved next door to our best friends.

And UT finally fired Butch Jones– hehe 😉

I’ve always been one that writes New Year’s resolutions and standing on the threshold of 2017 I never could have imagined all the beauty and pain and struggle that God had in store for me.

But now on the first day of 2018, I look forward with hope and anticipation of the goodness and growth that’s in store.

I began rereading one of my favorite books, Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist, in July and I feel like she and I have been kindred spirits ever since. Her words have been the anthem of this season so I want to leave you with some of them as you begin your 2018.

“Anything can happen in a year. Broken down shattered things can be repaired in a year.  Hope can grow in a year, after a few seasons of lying dormant…

I don’t know where you are these days, what’s broken down and what’s beautiful in your life in this season.  I don’t know if this is a season of sweetness or one of sadness.  But I’m learning that neither last forever.”

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