What did you think of 2016? Was it terrible or was it amazing? What lessons did you learn? Did you create some fond memories? Will 2016 go down as the best or the worst year of your life? (Take a moment to think about it.)
2016 was a roller coaster for me, personally. And by roller coaster I mean the kind with sudden drops, twists, loops, and sudden backward motions that leave you crying and praying to God for the forgiveness of your sins, a chance to see your family again, and the promise that you’ll stop whatever secret sin you cherish in your heart if he showers you with mercy this one time… yup, that type of roller coaster.
It was a year filled with doubt, fear, uncertainty, pain, and sleepless nights. I battled with depression, health issues, and thoughts of self harm like never before, I encountered the evil side of people, lost my baby girl to an ectopic pregnancy, and wrestled with myself and my God.
The greatest of all these battles was the one I had within myself.
Every trial, every heart break, and every nightmare lead to me asking myself if it was better and easier just to give up or if it would be better, and far more rewarding, to hang on and push through.
Oh yeah sure I’m not under fire anymore; I’m alive and I’m enjoying life, but what about when you are under constant attack and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel?
What about when you get knocked down again and again with disappointment and fear? What about those around you who seem to have it so together and far better than you in all aspects of life? And what about when you start to doubt that God will come through for you and start to believe that hope is pointless?
This is where faith comes into play. And I don’t mean the kind of faith that is easy to talk about in a place like church with other believers. I don’t mean the kind of faith that sounds nice when everything in life is going well. And I certainly don’t mean the kind of faith that you see beautifully painted and hung up on a wall in a Christian or Barnes & Noble store.
I’m talking about the kind of faith that you grab on to even when everything around you makes it clear that your situation has no solution. And if there is a solution, boy… we certainly have no evidence that it’s there. People might as well tell you to give up. And they will..
“Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.” -Mark 5:25-29 NKJV
I can’t imagine bleeding for 12 years, can you? While I don’t know what it’s like to bleed for 12 years straight (and trust me, I wouldn’t want to know), I do know what it’s like to feel completely hopeless and desperate. I know what it’s like to try and try but only feel worse.
My battle with depression and self harm caused me to believe that I was beyond repair & healing. Losing my daughter made me feel like a miserable failure as a mother and as a wife. Battling insecurities made me feel incredibly alone and worthless. And dealing with evil, if not difficult, people almost made me lose hope in humanity.
Like the woman in the story, I was faced with a choice- believe nothing would get better or hold on and push through with mustard seed faith.
My journey was not perfect, and guess what? It still isn’t. It didn’t get well overnight, nor in a week, nor even in a month.
Till this day, I’m still dealing with the repercussions of the events that unfolded last year, as well as the repercussions of events that unfolded in my childhood, but my faith has gotten stronger & I’ve seen God provide in one way or another again and again.
It’s now 2017. I’m challenged, I’m inspired, and I’m alive!
I’m planning things, setting goals, learning, growing, and reminding myself to be patient with the process. Of all these, patience is my greatest and on-going struggle.
I need to remind myself that I have been blessed with wonderful friends who understand the struggle of not having it together whether spiritually, emotionally, mentally, financially, or physically, a husband who fights for me even on the worst days, an adopted father who cares about every detail of my life, a chance to live and enjoy my life, and the assurance of seeing my daughter again when Jesus comes back.
What about you? Is there something you’ve been struggling with? Do you feel lost or hopeless? Take it from me, you’re not alone. It will get better. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow… but it will. Never give up. The struggle is part of your own original story ❤️