2018: please be over with already.
In the last five years, I have not felt this incredible need to express how much I have hated an entire year or desperately wanting it to be over, but this year? this year, could be over tomorrow and I would not feel sad in the least. I am pretty certain I have expressed this in the past years, but this one? This one has had too many painful moments and heartbreaking seasons. It is bringing back memories of the other really awful year of 2006 where I lost both of my Grandmas within two months of each other. At 16, I was really unsure how I was ever going to get through that year and I have found myself wondering that this year as well.
honestly, 2017 wasn’t so great in a lot of ways either but it was also a year of growth and strength for me. Looking back I can see how much I grew and that even though things were hard and ugly, I saw how strong I became. And I believe I will say that again when reflecting on this year but sometimes it’s so damn hard to see it when you’re in the middle of it. I believe and trust in God to turn these horrible moments and seasons into something amazing and inspiring growth. I know when we are at our weakest, He is right there, reminding us that He is carrying us and will always stay by us. That promise and hope is what I have held onto this year as well in the midst of some incredibly challenging times.
Two of my dear friends have lost very important people in their lives in the last two days and their losses have forced me to think about my loss and the fear of another loss I have experienced this year. One friend suddenly lost probably one of the most important people in her life and that has triggered me into realizing I have not fully mourned the loss of Di. When Di passed away in April, I felt so at peace with the whole thing. It was sudden, I did not expect it, but somehow and someway I felt peace. I felt sad, obviously, but felt that everyone else in my family was so in shock that I needed to take care of and be strong for them. I don’t think I was consciously feeling that at the time but that’s the mode I went into. I cried some but I never felt like I mourned her loss. In so many ways it felt so surreal that I couldn’t even believe it was happening so I think that’s a huge part of it. Plus I had things to look forward to–starting this new journey in Montana and I had to get ready for that. But when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a month after Di passed away FROM breast cancer, I really struggled. I couldn’t even fathom that both my mom and my aunt, two of THE most important people in my life, had breast cancer and we lost one of them to it….I just….I couldn’t deal. It was too much for me. The sheer fleeting thought of losing my mom too was a place I could not go. I could not lose the most important person in my life this year. I could not. I wrote more about my mom’s journey with breast cancer a few weeks ago but I practically was begging God not to take her yet…I was and am still not ready for that. And even the thought of it now makes me cry.
I know death is a part of life and that is what I’ve been saying out loud all morning. I know death is just apart of this life and I can accept that but it just feels so unfair sometimes. We all experience death in our lives and all handle it in different ways. And they are all right and OK. But death sucks, no way around that, and I can talk to God as much or as long as I want about my most important people but in reality, it won’t change the plan. For all I know, this could be my last year on this earth and here I am whining about how horrible it’s been!
I am trying to remember that these dark and painful moments make one stronger…even me…because 5 years ago I would not have been strong enough to move 1400 miles away and be living on my own. Yes, I would have moved with someone but not by myself. And that is because even in the darkest times, I became strong. I feel strong…stronger than I ever have before. Everyone has their tough stuff they experience and go through, it’s a part of life. No one is immune to it but it’s how you come through it that tells you who you are and what you’re made of. And I have had my fair share of dark seasons….broken heart, losing friends, losing loved ones….and in them, I truly wondered if I would ever be OK again. I am no different than anyone else on this earth…but we have to be there to support and love one another through it all. We only have this one life and I do not want to waste anymore of it carrying around pain that does not serve me anymore. I may wonder and question what is the point of it all is while I’m struggling through the dark seasons but I want to hold onto the hope that God rescues us in those times and He uses them to make us stronger and more faithful people. I know that I would not be who I am or where I am without the loss or pain I’ve experienced.
and back to 2018, oh 2018. I am ready for a new chapter and a new season and God willing He will give me that. I feel I have so much to give this world and the people I find along my way. Even with the tough stuff, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have had in my life this year. I am living in a place I NEVER thought I would live in or even heard of 5 years ago…which by the way, has been the best decision I have ever made in my adult life. AND on top of that, my dreams changed last year and I am living those out right now. I am pursuing a career I never dreamed of would be a right fit for me and I’m doing it. Not without it’s challenges too but they are worth it. I remind myself when talking how blessed I am and how grateful I am in my life. And life will continue to throw me curveballs and seasons of pain and hurt and I just have to trust in what it will bring you and how you will grow from it.