Well, this year was certainly nothing like I expected it to be.
I put such value in my relationships with people that it absolutely devastates me to realize that I've lost a friend, but as time goes on, I'm realizing that sometimes...that just happens. No one has every single friend they love stay in their life forever. Some people really are only meant to be here for a short amount of time, but I've learned that God knows how long a friendship will be good for me and help me grow, and that it's a good thing those friendships end when they stop being healthy, because the pain from that would be far greater in the long run than the pain of losing them. I never expected Ryann to ghost me like she did, and sometimes it still stings, I still want answers, but God has been so faithful to me to strengthen new relationships and to help me find peace with what happened. And as the years pass, I know it's only going to become more difficult. The rest of my soccer boys are going to graduate Campbell, and I will be forced to learn which ones are meant to withstand leaving the college bubble. That scares me, but I have to trust that God knows what is best. Also, after six long years of torment, I managed to finally quit Landon back in August (I don't know that I mentioned that). This year has been a big one in terms of learning that I truly do deserve love and that what he had for me was not that. This is the longest I've ever gone without speaking to him, and sometimes it's still hard, sometimes I still want to text him and see if he's okay, but I don't. It's not that I don't love him, I think a part of me will always love him, I've just finally begun to realize that I have to love myself more.
This blog became less of an obsession/priority this year. To be honest, I had a feeling this was going to happen sooner or later. Writing a post for every single day of the year is a lot for anyone to take on, and I did it for five solid years. Grad school took up a lot of my time this year, as it should, and my depression got bad this summer, so I just didn't have as much to say or the desire to continue that pace. Plus, I just don't have nearly as much free time as I used to to devote to it, and I'm glad I reached the point of realizing it this year, before my internship starts, because I know between that and my Master's thesis, I'm going to have even less free time in the next few months.
One of the biggest surprises for me this year was actually my decision to apply for my Ph.D. For the longest time, I had absolutely no intention of continuing past my Master's, but my mom was constantly bugging me. Gotta love that woman. The more I thought about it, though, thanks to her incessant nagging, I realized that GASP! She was probably right. And I think that it's the right decision. I know that God will direct me in the path that I should go, so if doing my Ph.D. is the best next step for me right now, then I'll get an acceptance (or multiple). It's scary for someone as Type A as me not to know what is coming next, because education wise, this is the first time in my life I don't know what is coming next, but this is a great and big lesson in patience and letting go of control. I can never have too many of those.
I definitely found my footing in New York this year. I stopped feeling like a visitor or like I was waiting to wake up from a dream, and it just became normal life. I found my rhythm. I had tons of new personal experiences that I never saw coming but made me that much more excited to see what and who God is going to bring into my life in the future. I began to feel like I really had friends, even if they were just mostly through church and Spiegel. I slowly began to feel like I maybe belonged in the city, even if my heart ached to be back with my soccer boys and the people who know and love me best. I'm finally feeling comfortable here, even if it feels like I just moved here, and now in 7 or 8 months, I will likely not be living here and will have to start this resettlement process all over again. It's never easy, but I believe that God will be faithful to bring me to a community wherever I end up next, just like what happened in New York.
My One Word for 2015 was fearless. I definitely saw ways that I improved, as I slowly began to trust that God would work out details even when I couldn't see how, like with the PhD stuff or paying for this semester of school or finding an internship. But there's still a long way for me to go. With the Cushing's/brain tumor scare this spring, and then the thyroid tumor scare this fall, plus the months of uncontrollable seizures across the late spring and summer, there were plenty of days that I let fear overtake me and my depression roared its ugly head. But I think that's part of this One Word thing; a year isn't supposed to magically fix everything in a certain area of your life, it's just supposed to open your eyes and start you off on that path to continue growing in the years to come. I'm praying that God will continue to help me become more fearless.
Here's the thing, y'all. I have no idea what I'm doing most of the time. I like to pretend that I do, but I don't. People often treat me like I do, but I really don't. The truth is that growing up is scary, and like most people my age, I'm sort of stumbling my way through hoping that things will make sense eventually. But as the years go on, I've become more and more aware of the fact that I can't do any of this without God walking with me and directing me back to the path that is best for me. God and the people He has placed in my life that are such faithful support to me are the only way I have made it through another year without absolutely losing my mind. And I know that as the years continue to pass, I'm going to need to hold on to that even more because the world is only going to get bigger and the changes are only going to get more intimidating. My prayer for this year, as I face my last semester at NYU and graduation and the overwhelming feeling of trying to figure out what to do next, is that I would remember that God really is enough for me, that with God, I can handle any task or decision that is placed before me.
I'm buckling up for the ride that is coming this new year. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me. Because as the song says, I know it's going to be wild and great and full of Him. And that's all I can ask for.
Happy New Year, lovelies. May peace, grace, love and blessings abound for you in 2016.