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.