I’ve never really been one of those “can’t wait for the new year” people. New Years Eve has always been my least favorite holiday. I’ve never faulted a calendar number for what did or didn’t happen to me in life. But this year I caught myself anxiously awaiting 2018 to be over. Honestly, from the beginning of January, it was the start of what felt like never-ending waves knocking me down over and over again. By the time fall came around, I was ready to leave 2018 and just try and forget about it all. If I could push past and forget, it’d all go away eventually.
But a few months ago in a moment of prayer, I felt God convicting me about my desire to forget. In an urgency to forget my pain and bad memories, I was neglecting to remember how faithful and good God was to me in the midst of those situations. I was neglecting to remember His redemption, peace, and kindness. I felt like He was asking me to write down some of the things I needed to remember about this year but, truthfully, I procrastinated until today to do it. Some wounds still hurt when I think about them but I know this is a part of my healing process. And more than anything, I want to be able to look back at this over the years and let the memories build my faith and encourage me in the storms to come. And hopefully, it encourages anyone that reads it in the in-between.
18 Things to Remember about 2018
- When you were afraid of not being good enough, remember how He healed your heart and renewed your confidence.
- When you felt stuck, afraid of missing out on what the world had to offer, remember that He took you to new places you’d only dreamed of going to. You got to cross off bucket list items in a beautifully unexpected way.
- When you were crying alone in an ER waiting room, overwhelmed with panic and guilt, remember that He’s a healer and comforter. Remember the people He’s put in your life that dropped everything to come and be with you.
- When you did everything you could but couldn’t seem to shake that loneliness, remember how He surrounded you with friends that became family.
- When you were intimidated by trying new things, remember how He used it to reveal strength in you that He already saw.
- When you felt misunderstood, remember that He’s a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He understands more than any human being ever could.
- When you felt that life was unfair, remember that there’s not a single injustice that He couldn’t and wouldn’t redeem.
- When your heart broke for your loved ones, remember that He cared for and protected them more than you ever could.
- When the thought of tomorrow seemed daunting, remember that life never caught Him off guard.
- When anxiety felt like it was there to make permanent residence in your heart, remember how He steadied and healed you as you clung to Him.
- When you were frustrated with your progress and felt like you lost your rhythm, remember His kind and unending patience and grace.
- When the weight felt too heavy to carry, remember that He never asked you to do it alone.
- When you were filled with worry about letting go, remember that He was at work while you were at rest.
- When the numbers didn’t add up and expenses kept growing, remember that He never stopped being the God of “more than enough.”
- When things didn’t go as planned, remember that it all worked out exactly as He intended (and it was better than you could’ve hoped for.)
- When vulnerability felt daunting, remember that He didn’t treat your trust lightly. He’s a safe place.
- When you needed a change in perspective, remember how He taught you how to see the world in the light of gratitude. It made life so much more fun.
- When you were inclined to forget instead of forgiving, healing, or growing – remember He loved you too much to let you stay where you were. It’s worth it to remember.
At the beginning of the year, the words I felt God spoke over my 2018 were “Capacity and Reliance” and there’s not a single day that’s gone by that those words didn’t cross my mind. It truly has been a test of how much I could carry as much as it’s been a test of how much I could trust. But it wasn’t a test for God to find out the answers, it was for Him to use it to reveal to me what He saw since before I took a breath on this planet.
I am leaving 2018 with so many good memories, growth, and expectancy for what’s to come. I know there’s going to be challenges with every new adventure, but if anything, this year has just solidified to me that it’s always worth it.