2018, Is it Really Over Already?
Scrolling mindlessly this past holiday weekend I found myself watching the highlight reel of the lives of others. Some I know well, some distantly and some I’ve never met all. It seemed many were reliving their accomplishments of 2018. Their new jobs, new babies, new houses, new dress sizes, new zip codes, new organizations… and here I sat in my sweatpants feeling completely unaccomplished…
As I look back on 2018, I want to say I look back and see all the really good stuff. Because, there was plenty of good that happened between day 1 and day 365 of 2018! And, this video magnified both the good and bad. Maybe you couldn’t see it. But I could. My natural bend is to see the negative. It’s how I’m wired unfortunately. So, when I see this video what sticks out to me are the things I never wanted you to see.
Alarm screenshots from sleeping in past my alarm because of crazy retail hours.
Pictures of possessions being sold in the hopes of paying for things my retail job couldn’t cover.
Images of items I coveted while scrolling and subsequently found myself saving for “one day”.
I’d like to look back on 2018 and say I accomplished all of my resolutions and goals. Generally, I don’t like to set resolutions. Being the pessimist I am I tend to think this is a set up for failure. So, my resolutions are often short and vague.
For example, my 2018 resolutions included:
>> “Read through the Bible in a Year.” Truth is, I’ve been on the same 3-month study since July...Not because I’ve been diving deeper but because I haven’t desired the Divine.
>> “Workout 3-5 times a week.” Truth is, I spent more time on the couch in front of Netflix than ever before. Not because I was always tired but because I was trying to hide from what was beyond the cushions.
>> “Write everyday.” Truth is, I completely failed. Not only did I not journal but I also didn’t blog.
I could go on and on about all the things I didn’t do, the places I didn’t get to visit, the people I didn’t get to know or the opportunities I didn’t take a chance to pursue.
HOWEVER, pushing all pessimism aside I’d remiss to not mention the biggest accomplishment of 2017!
And I did nothing to earn it or deserve it. I can’t tell you I have it figured out completely. But I can tell you I have a fuller understanding of it and of the Grace Giver. I can’t tell you I’ve been as generous with it as He. But I can tell you He’s given me more than I deserved. I can’t tell you I’ve forgiven those who have hurt me and or cast me aside. But I can tell you I’m getting closer to knowing how. I can’t tell you “look at all I’ve accomplished”. But I can tell you, “look and see what He has done!”
I can tell you:
My heart is healing.
Our marriage is healing.
My career has taken flight again.
Our finances are on the mend.
My community is being restored.
Our hearts are being reconciled daily to His.
My Savior offered me Grace for 365 days. In a row. Again. (That makes 24 years of unwarranted grace!!)
That’s quite the year!
And, as far as what HE did in 2018....
>> He continued to draw our feet to The Village Church - Plano’s STEPS and Recovery programs. It was here where we were loved well and cared for tenderly. They blessed and affirmed our calling to create @Suitcasesandfaces and welcomed us to continue showing up and healing.
>> God brought me through a challenging 3-month discipleship program where my wounds were exposed and healing began.
>> God gave me the opportunity to turn around and love on a group of other women as they too walked through their 3-month discipleship program.
>> I saw God heal angry hearts, restore marriages, reconcile children to their families, encourage mothers to be daughters again and soften hearts.
>> I saw God use my husband and his story to witness to men, women, children, families, students, and anyone who would listen.
>> God sent an angel to offer me an incredible new job opportunity that would dramatically change our future.
>> Through the power of Jesus, my husband was set free from the chains of active drug addiction. Not the “I never looked back” free but the “I desire Him more than drugs” kind of free. And it’s been beautiful and scary all at once!
>> God made a way where there seemed to be no way. He’s turning my pessimistic self into a beautiful new creation. He’s turning my old husband into the man of God I need (like the kind who won’t let me quit writing because it’s scary....).
2018 might be over but God isn’t done with His miracle making or with me. So, for 2019- I resolve to this one thing: making much of His name and seeking the “God-moment” of each day. Okay, so two resolutions... hey, at least the odds are better for 2019 right!?