Readers, readers, readers. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all that jazz!
2018 was the saddest, craziest, loneliest, most difficult and transforming year of my life so far.
Earlier this year I literally had a friend of mine pray to God to ease up on me. I broke my emotional breakdown record this year as well as starting and ending the year with dropping an f-bomb after nearly 8 years of going without it. I watched pretty much everything go up in flames. Relationships, dreams, money, sanity, hope, faith, and my very self, charred beyond recognition.
Now let’s look at the hilariously/painfully ironic quote from my 2017 NYE post:
“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)”
2018 was way less chill and much more crazy than 2017. In a single gif, the year looked like this:
I fought hard this year. But the interesting thing about the Christian walk is that fighting at times is just the struggle to still yourself in God when all you want to do is writhe. It’s not this ‘grin and bear it’ battle, it’s more of a wrestling to keep your mind and heart centred on God at all times. A single verse planted in your heart and bearing fruit is worth much more than a fine sounding theological debate. Remaining in the vine is a more valiant victory in God’s eyes than anything else. We were never meant to function apart from the power source of our souls, when we stay connected we win the battle.
This year has taught me a bajillion things, but one of the top 3 takeaways is learning the difference between hoping for something and putting your hope in something. Hoping for something is fine, but it is not wise to place hope in a single thing or person on this earth. You will let even yourself down at some point. Hope in God is the only safe place.
“The Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.”
What got me into a lot of trouble for the past few years was me placing my hope in places other than God. I confused blessings with antidotes for the flaws in myself that only God can heal. This confusion caused me to hoard originally good things and live in constant fear of God snatching them away. This deceived way of thinking and living led to my life falling apart.
I completely misinterpreted God’s heart. His compassion, goodness, and generosity was drowned out by lies. I’m grateful He has helped me to see who He truly is and what His unfailing love is like. Although everything is crumbling, I can trust His heart is good. Even when I have strayed, He’s ready to help me move forward and learn from my mistakes. He’s always ready to forgive and reorient my direction into light not darkness, toward Him.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”
-1 Peter 5:10
That being said, I have had a terribly difficult time forgiving myself. I keep making sure I don’t forget how much of a wretch I’ve been and what punishment I deserve. My new mantra I got from a dear friend recently is, “Jesus Christ died and you are free.” So simple. When my guilt ridden thoughts start, I repeat this to myself and strive to move on from accusing voices. It’s hard not to give in, but I’m hangin’ in there.
But it’s true.
I. Am. Free.
Free from Satan’s accusations.
Free from my negative thoughts.
Free from the judgements of others.
Free from my past self.
Free from the wrath of God Himself.
”What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Christ Jesus our Lord!”
I have been working through this scripture all year pretty much. Some days I wake up and realize it’s still 2018 and this is real life, not a nightmare. I’d sit in the first sentence:
“Anijah you are such a wretch, look at the mess you’ve made and the mess you are. There’s no hope for you, you’ve used up all of God’s grace and patience.”
My love for the Bible grew so much this year because I started truly allowing it to tell me what was true and what was false about my thoughts. The truth is I am a wretch, but what’s also true is that there is a God of restoration who loves a good fixer upper.
One who can take what is engulfed in flames and form it into something that glorifies Him. It is no longer “good as new”, but an object of greater quality and purpose altogether.
2019 will be different, simply because I serve a God who moves forward and uses all things to bring about peace. It may be another painful year or it could be pleasant, but either way it’s orchestrated by a loving, good God.
I will be okay. You will be okay. We will be okay. For we are loved now, in 2019, and beyond.
My only resolution for the new year is to live in the freedom Christ has purchased for me through His sacrifice. Jesus Christ died and I am free to grow, learn, and live for God.
But to be real, I’m also heading into 2019 bracing myself with my hands in God’s like:
“Unfortunately, very few believers, especially publicly revered ones, are willing to risk this level of vulnerability. So the false perception is perpetuated, ‘Certain people don’t deal with the kind of discouragement I deal with. That’s why God can use them and that’s why He can’t use someone like me.’ We don’t have nearly enough records of great saints who are willing to transcribe their actual, unfiltered struggles with doubt, despondency, and discouragement. But we do have a few.”
– Crashing the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick
Thank you all for reading this blog. It’s been scary at times to be vulnerable, but sharing my journey with you has helped and healed in ways that have truly surprised me. Here’s to another year of blogging it up!
Moore Awaits ♥️