This year has gone by in the blink of an eye. It seems that with every year I get older the faster time flies. It is bittersweet. So far this year has been one of the best years of my life. It has definitely had its downs. There were moments when I was sad, frustrated, confused, worried, and lonely. I’ve had to end friendships and family relationships that weren’t healthy. I’ve had to ask God for peace. Especially, when a close family member was recovering from a stroke. But despite all of this, I’m glad to say that the ups have far outweighed the downs.

In the beginning of the year, God healed a family member from a pretty severe stroke they had back in the end of 2016. My family and I had decided to go hear Ryan LeStrange speak. As he was prophesying, people were being miraculously healed by God. This particular family member was one of the many who experienced God’s healing power. When they were walking, into the building for the event, they struggled to walk with a walker. But when all was said and done, they were able to walk without any help. I also had a lot of inner healing in the first few months of this year. In the past, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression. But it is no longer a struggle for me. God has come in and given peace, hope, and happiness. He has opened my eyes to see where He was at in the lowest points of my life. For that, I can not thank Him enough. And for anyone who struggles with depression and/or anxiety, there is always hope. God is with you, even if you do not have a relationship with Him or maybe you have been lead astray. He loves you. He always has and He always will. His arms are open wide, ready to embrace you. I love the Bible verse: “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds [Healing their pain and comforting their sorrows]” Psalm 147:43 AMP. It reminds me that He is a loving God and He wants us to be healed and whole. And my prayer is that everyone who struggles with anxiety and/or depression is able to experience God’s love, mercy, and healing. I also would like to add that there is nothing wrong in seeking help. I’ve had to seek help before. And I am so happy I did. Just remember you were never meant to go through life alone.

In April and May, I gained new friendships. Some of the people I had known for a little bit and others I had never met. These two months were spent hanging out with them, throwing birthday parties, having get-togethers, and swimming at the lake. The first time we went to the lake with our friends, we decided to play a game called “Questionnaire”. In the game, you have to ask someone a question and they have to answer back with a question to you or somebody else. If they accidentally give you an answer that is not a question, they are out of the game. During our first or second round of the game, my sister turned to one of the guys in our group and asked, “Are you a model?” I think nearly everyone died of laughter. These two months were my absolute favorite.  I no longer hear or very rarely hear from most of the friends I had in late Spring. We all have gone our separate ways. But I’m very grateful for the short amount of time they were in my life. I can’t count how many times I smiled until it hurt or laughed until I cried. As for the friends that I still have from that season and even before then, thank you so much for sticking around. I love every single one of you. And I can’t wait to see what God has planned for you all in the future.

During the middle of the year, we were crazy busy. My parents received jobs in a new town. So we had to pack up our belongings and find another place to live. Once we got there, the house was in such disrepair. The oven was ruined from a fire that left soot all over the house, the walls had to be scrubbed, there was tons of dog hair in the carpet, toilets were broken, rooms needed to be painted, and the list goes on and on. We spent two or three weeks just cleaning and repairing the new house. Finally, the day came when we were able to move in. But just when we felt like we could take a breath, chaos started. There were major problems related to my parent’s jobs. As the deals were made and the cards were shown, things gradually got uglier. For the sake of our whole family, my parents decided to pull away. We were all disheartened but realized that despite the situation God had blessed us in so many ways. My dad still has a job. The neighborhood and our home are better than our last. We have pretty landscaping, a pool, and a clubhouse. Our new house is bigger and more beautiful. And we have been able to experience a lot of healing as a family. And now that we are not tied to anything, we are taking this time to rest and refuel. I have a hard time resting. I like to always be doing something, even if it doesn’t seem like much. So it has also been a great learning experience.

Towards the end of the year, we were blessed with money to take a family trip to Detroit, MI and on our back home stop in Cleveland, OH for a night. In Detroit, we saw U2 perform at Ford Field. My mom had been dreaming of seeing U2 in concert since she was a teenager. We were able to get really great seats for 50 dollars a ticket. That price is usually unheard of for a U2 concert. I’m not a huge fan of the band, but I do enjoy listening to a number of their songs. And I thought they put on an amazing show. We also got to go to Washington D.C. for Awaken the Dawn’s event in early October. It was life-changing to see thousands upon thousands of God’s people unite in prayer for the United States of America. The last day there was the most impactful. Women and men of every race and age stood together holding hands asking for forgiveness of all the innocent lives lost through abortion. We proclaimed, “No More!” And regardless of your political views, I think we all know how important this time is for our Country. And the best way to make a difference is to unite as one body and one blood. And I think that was the most beautiful thing about this event. We were able to gather in one place without pointing fingers at each other or any other person or group of people.

November and December have been very relaxed. The weather has gotten colder and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The first day of winter is nearly here. Stores are picked over from everyone doing their Christmas shopping. And New Year’s Day is right around the corner. So I’ve taken these last two months to reflect on what I’ve learned, gained, been blessed with, and realized over the last 12 months. I believe it is always a good idea to do this before the start of another year. I think it is wise because you can leave what needs to be left and take what needs to be taken into the next season of life.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my year. Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below. I’d love to hear what has happened in your life this year, what you have learned, what you’ve been blessed with, and what you are looking forward to in 2018.

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About a week ago, my family bought a Labradoodle! We decided to name her Faith, to remind us of God’s faithfulness. She is almost 9 weeks old now. I can’t wait to share more photos with you all. Isn’t she adorable? Please let me know what you think in the comments below and what other posts you’d like to see in the future.

Good morning! I have created a playlist for you all to listen to as you go about your day. Whether that would include getting ready for church, having devotional time, driving somewhere, or chilling around the house. I hope you find these songs as encouraging and uplifting as I do.

Have wonderful Sunday,

The West End Girl

I Love You Lord by Elevation Worship

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Redeemer by Nicole C. Mullen

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Waste It All ( Live) by Kim Walker-Smith

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Where You Go I Go by Jesus Culture (Feat: Kim Walker-Smith) [Live}

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There Will Be a Day by Jeremy Camp

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It is Well (Live) by Bethel Music & Kristene Dimarco

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What You Should Know About Me…

My name is Victoria West and I am currently a homeschool student in my senior year of high school. I am a Christian and I take joy in sharing the love, kindness, and mercy of God to everyone I meet. Therefore, my blog will be geared towards young Christian women. I believe that as Christian women we should be uplifting and encouraging one another in our day to day lives. I hope to do that through this blog. But regardless of your religion, I would be so grateful if you check out my blog. There will be a little bit of something for everyone.

Why Did I Start “The West End Girl” Blog?

This school year I decided to take a Web Development course. One of my assignments was to make a website explaining the history of the web, but I was luckily able to get it modified. I have decided to name my blog “The West End Girl” not only because my last name is West, but I also love the song West End Girls by The Pet Shop Boys. It came out in 1984. You may be thinking,”If the song was made in 1984 and she is in her last year of high school, How has she ever heard it? I’m near her age and have never heard of the song or group.” Well, my parents introduced me at a very young age to 80’s music. I grew up listening to The Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, Madonna, General Public, INXS, The B-52’s, New Order, Billy Joel, The Bangles, U2,  The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Police, WHAM!, Phil Collins, etc. Fast forward to now and you will find me listening to everything listed above plus Coldplay, The Cranberries, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Jesus Culture, Sarah Mclachlan, Dido, Elevation Worship, Barlowgirl, Nicole Nordeman, Hillsong United, Dave Matthews Band, Bethel Music, New Order, Paramore, The Goo Goo Dolls, Tenth Avenue North, TobyMac, Casting Crowns, Lecrae, Lifehouse, Switchfoot, The 1975, U2 and much more.

What Does My Blog Cover?

My blog consists of three sections: Music & Lyrics, Daily Thoughts, and Create. In Music & Lyrics; you will find Sunday worship playlists (And many other types of playlists), reviews on the latest albums and songs, concert reviews, music related product reviews, and lyrics to songs that speak to me. The second part of my blog -Daily Thoughts-  is dedicated to my every day life, things that are on my mind, scripture, and inspirational words. Lastly, Create will contain tutorials, recipes, and art. On the homepage, I will have my latest posts. I am also in the process of making some social media accounts to link to the blog. I may even add some other features. I hope to have everything up and running soon.

Thank you so much for checking out my blog! Please feel free to leave comments below.

“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace”  Numbers 6:24-26 NLT

-The West End Girl