🎶 This are my reflectioooons 🎶 (Old school Usher come thrrooouugghh)
My 2017 is best summarised in the following gifs:
- Killing it at the gym
- Growing in self-discipline
- Listening to millions of Ted Talks
- Writing a bunch
- Itching to do great things and dream big
- 3 different types of rejections in a single week
- The beginning of the dark days
- The Dark Days
- Quarter Century Crisis
- Watched the entirety of Lost in two weeks on Netflix (hated the ending)
- Contemplating life
- SO. MUCH. TRAVELING.
- Gradually returning to myself and God
- Planning for Australia
- Overthinking if I deserve to go
- Creating a bunch of lists
- Attempting to correct my misconceptions of God
- Re-realizing I’m in Australia almost every day
- Wondering what to do next
- Looking back on 2017
- Curious about 2018
2017: What I Learned
1. Self-Realisation is Needed
I was nearly unrecognisable to myself for a lot of 2017, I’m just now getting comfortable with who I am now. I realised I am becoming more and more of an introvert which is very odd for me. I figured out my social limits the hard way and researched how I need to recharge through trial and error. I fell in love with writing again and started setting aside time to be alone in a cafe somewhere to do it. Looking back on the poetry I wrote this year was disheartening , but I know it was therapeutic for me. Socially, I discovered which relationships were the most beneficial to me and which ones I needed to step back from. Not in the “Imma cut all y’all fake friends out” way, but more so understanding who I am a priority to. My heart was trying to communicate that I give away more than I should to too many people, but I didn’t want to listen. But once I did, I started finding these safe haven people God placed in my life. You don’t need many. I still love them all, but I learned who my personal Peter, James, and John were.
Communicating with myself was difficult and, as a result, I had a hard time expressing myself to others. I gotta tell you it was weird learning how to read myself in a new way. I had to stop condemning myself for not being the old me and instead acknowledge and nourish the new woman I was becoming. Someone who is deep, complex, and reflective, yet still enjoyed watching The Amazing World of Gumball on Cartoon Network. Most importantly, I had to accept that I will probably change some more over the years and that’s okay as long as I work with it.
2. Build on the Rock
2017 was the year I found myself the furthest from God. I didn’t want to read the Bible because I felt it did not apply to me since I was so hardened and angry at life. I couldn’t pray because it felt overwhelming, then I didn’t want to pray anymore because I fabricated this false view of God’s feelings toward me. The less I prayed and read, the worse I became, I was a shell of myself. I was looking directly at who I would have been if I never gave my life over to God. A person who was in a bottomless pit of despair, confusion, darkness, and debilitating fear. I dealt with my personal hardship by drowning my sorrows with Netflix, music, work, and traveling. The most I did was show up to couple of church things a week, barely listen to the teaching, and leave before anyone could see how broken I was.
Around that time, a friend of mine was engaged to be married and I was set up to DJ the reception, but I stopped hearing from her about the arrangements. I called her to see what was going on and it turns out her fiancé cheated on her so the wedding was canceled. It was heartbreaking, but I heard this amazing calm in her voice as she expressed to me how much she was grateful for God’s love. I knew she wasn’t being fake as much as my newfound cynicism wanted to believe otherwise. That was when I sincerely understood and accepted that hardship can and will happen whether or not I’m walking with God. So I was at a crossroads, I had to decide if I was going to follow through and leave God or grab His hand and let Him guide me through life. Obviously, I accepted that I have a much better chance at life if I stayed close to God.
3. Watch Your Mind
I hate buzz words but mindfulness may have been the most important lesson I learned in 2017. I began consistently going to therapy once I saw how bleak my thoughts were becoming. Such a great choice. Seriously, do not be ashamed if you’re considering getting professional help, it’s worth trying. I went to two different therapists and they told me nearly the same exact thing, “You have really unhealthy thought patterns.” When the negative train of thought leaves the station it goes full speed ahead. Both women assisted me in figuring out how to pinpoint and overcome my thoughts. In addition to that I happened upon, and by happened upon I mean God totally set up, so many lessons on godly thinking. One of my favourites being Kim Reed’s sermon on GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) which explains how our thinking affects our life. And of course she used Philippians 4:6-8 as the theme scripture because it’s a total mindfulness gem. While maintaining healthy thinking habits is still a daily struggle, it’s become much more feasible.
4. God Is Faithful
So often throughout the past year, I assumed false things about God. The main thing being that He was completely done with me. I could not imagine He would want to use me to do great things given my juvenile anger I had toward Him and my faithlessness. But when I really look back at everything that transpired in 2017, and years and years before then, it’s so evident He never left. He placed incredible friends in my path who fervently prayed, fasted, and encouraged me. As much as I wanted to ignore it, He was constantly tugging at my heart trying to remind me that He loved me and I needed to remain close to Him. Even in my short time of rebellion He was patient and still allowed me to see great miracles. He was listening to the few, short prayers I said and He noticed my obvious suffering. I just had to get over my pride and run into His arms again. That’s all I had to do and He would take care of the rest. He can handle my sorrow, frustration, anger, fear, crying, and overthinking. He will always be able to and He will always be willing to.
5. It’s Possible
I aimed to lose 50lbs last year, didn’t quite reach it, but I did lose 25lbs which is the best I’ve done at any fitness NYE resolution so yaaas. In the midst of my toughest days wrestling with depression I managed to plan my first fundraiser and raised over $2000 for children in Kenya, medical patients in Cambodia, and support for churches in need around the world. I finally got to see my dream of moving abroad come true in a matter of seconds. Literally. The VISA got approved in under a minute, it was insane. And most incredibly of all, I overcame the most challenging inner turmoil of my life so far. I honestly wanted to die because I thought my life was going to be consistently downhill from that point onward. “There’s no way” “This is the end” “It’s over” “That’s impossible” All of these negative thoughts and so many more were the soundtrack of my 2017. Yet God, in His infinite love remixed every song.
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ ” -Matthew 19:26
So with all of that I say, “2018 you better be more chill than 2017 because that was a crazy ride that I don’t want to get on again.” Just kidding. (Kinda) I hope the lessons I gleaned from 2017 will remain in my back pocket I went through too much to get them! But in all seriousness, I plan on making 2018 a year of productivity, positive thinking, and trusting in God’s orchestration of my life. It’s cheesy, but it really is what I’m aiming for this year ❤️