In my 26 years of living, 2018 was by far the hardest year yet. Yes, harder than the worst Crohn’s years — the years I was in the hospital for months at a time, or came close to death, or lived in 10/10 pain 24/7. It has been harder than the year my parents split up. Harder than the year I first left the cult.
This year I have experienced more heartbreak and grief then ever before. I experienced stifling depression and despair. I fell in love for the first time and had my heart shattered by that same man. I experienced severe exhaustion from a body unwilling to pump out any more adrenaline. I fought against PTSD in weekly therapy appointments. I faced more fear and lies. I watched my second father fight through cancer. I was laid off my job due to the sinful actions of another.
But in 2018 I also learned how to pray. I spent more hours on my knees than ever before. I shared my story publicly for the first time. I faced my fears and didn’t sweep them under the rug for the first time. I may have gone through more tissues than ever before, but I also picked myself up off my bedroom floor more times. I threw my despair at God and allowed Him to hold my shattered heart. I made more boundaries and discovered more freedom. I experienced more “firsts” (good, healthy ones). I experienced times of immense joy. I was baptized into the true Gospel. I celebrated three years out of the cult with an unbelievably fun photo shoot and my first tattoo. 😃 I developed more friendships and experienced more love and support than I thought possible from a very special group people. 💗
When I picked #Courage for my word of the year, I never could have imagined the various battles I would have encountered. The fear I would face. The lies Jesus would need to tear down.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade this year for anything. The strongest warriors are formed through the toughest battles. If I survived 2018, I can survive anything.
So here’s to Courage. To fighting for what you believe in. To fighting for truth. To fighting for freedom. To fighting for love. To fighting to live.
Here’s to 2018. A year I will never forget and always be grateful for.