One year ago it was New Years eve and I was at a friends house with my brother. And I was doing awful. It was a pathetic way to start the year. I was alone and depressed in a house full of happy people; I remember feeling anxious and ignored, even though I should have known full well I was incredibly loved by the people around me; I didn’t feel very loved. Last year I was in the worst shape I’ve ever been in. I was always sad, I felt left out and invisible, I didn’t want go out, I didn’t want people coming here, I just wanted to be left alone. I like being alone, but not feeling lonely. You get me? That was me last year. I had dug a hole for myself and I didn’t want to come out, I wanted to dig deeper and deeper; maybe there was a small part of me that wanted someone to come down and carry me out, but I wouldn’t admit that. I didn’t realize how bad I actually was until it was over. I read through journal entries and look back on memories and I realize how depressed I was. 2 days into the new year my dad left. It was a sucky start to the year.
So you might thing that the rest of the year would go like that, I thought it would, but God had a different plan. Instead, He decided to give me the best year of my life thus far. He always likes to do things differently. Honestly, this year was amazing. I’ve never had this feeling before. Usually I look back on an ok year with some really good memories scattered around, but this year was a game changer. A few really big events that changed my life this year were the womans retreat I went on with the ladies from my church where I learned about beauty, and how to live in the fullness of God’s redemption; Camp, where I kicked fear in the face, and the missions trip, where I learned so much I couldn’t even fit it in a blog post. I was thinking about all the people who have impacted me this year. I actually met new friends in 2013! Normally when I meet people, especially at camp, I meet them and have a good time but after that we’re just acquaintances. I also got to strengthen friendships with people I had already known. I would like to name a few of them; Maddi, Mrs. Jenny, Olivia, Amanda, Becca, Jake, Kendall, Dylan, Katie, and my siblings; especially Dayle and Shane. Those people get special mentions. Some of them simply taught me one thing, and others profoundly impacted my life. Either way, they’re important people and I have been blessed by them.
This year was great. It makes me incredibly thankful for God’s grace when I think about where I was. It gives me hope and faith to know that even though I didn’t see it at the time, God was working. By His grace He came and rescued me out of a hole I had dug for myself; if He can reach that low, I am convinced He can do anything. Yet, simply rescuing me wasn’t enough, each day He kept me from falling back again. Because that hole I dug will always be there, but He holds my hand to keep me from going back in there. Some days I feel like I’m falling back in again, and then I feel someone tug at my hand, and I remember that He hasn’t let go of me. And He never will. He has made me so strong. 2013 is the year I killed fear. Not alone, but with Christ and the people He put in my life.
Also, this year Rise Above It Missions was officially launched! Honestly, it feels like we’ve been doing this forever. But it’s only been a year! We started it on January 2nd, 2013. In just one year we’ve gotten 119 Likes on Facebook and 1,121 followers on Twitter. God has blessed us tons! I’ve gotten to know a lot of people through this and its always amazing to talk to the people we have on RAIM. I love hearing all their unique stories. I feel so blessed when we have people tweet us that something we said impacted them; and recovery stories are amazing. I have such a respect for this specific community of people, because they go through insane situations, and yet often times, they message me and say that if I need anything, they’re there for me. I love them!
2013 was my year for spiritual growth. I have never felt closer to God than I do right now. I have a purpose for my life and I know what I want to do and it’s wonderful! God has given me purpose. Personally, I’m finally being and becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be as well. Although this was my first year not being an AWANA leader I am glad I took the year off, even if it wasn’t my choice; it gave me a breather and allowed me to focus on myself for a bit; because while I am convinced I need to focus on someone else all the time, God knows I need to think of myself every now and then. This year God taught me about so many things; I realized I actually do like sermons, I can study my bible at home and I finally know how to, and I can disagree with something another person says! And not everything I hear is true. Crazy right? I also learned that God can do anything and that if I feel Him calling me to something, I can forget everything else I hear about how its impossible. Because one of God’s favorite hobbies is doing the impossible. I want to fill my waterpot to its fullest! I won’t settle for anything else. I want to love God and do it with zeal! I want everyone to know about Him. Sure, I might have peculiar ways, but so does God. If He tells me to do it, I’m in.
I’ve also grown a lot in my talents. My photography has blossomed! I finally get it and my desire is to use that gift to glorify God. I’m still trying to figure out how to do so but I know He’ll make it happen, I just gotta keep searching. My photography has become such an anchor for me, and I never expected it. I didn’t always want to be a photographer; I always loved pictures, but more like taking them of my family and friends with my $5 camera. But God developed that passion of mine so I know He’s going to use it. As for my singing, I used to not like my voice a lot, mostly because I thought everyone else was better than me. But this year I realized they aren’t better, they’re just different. One more thing I love; gymnastics and fitness. I renewed my love for these things this year and I have an idea of how God wants me to use it and I am wicked excited for it!
What an incredible year.
God is so so so good. I have grown so much and it’s all by God’s grace. 2014 is going to be insane! And God is going to rock it, as usual. If you’re looking back on just an ok year, I feel sorry for you. I never want to do that again.