2014, thank you.

We are less than a week away from 2015. Seems a little crazy to me but as I tweeted yesterday 2014 has been been good to me, my heart is full. It’s been a year that started with a broken heart and is ending with a heart that has so much to appreciate, love and is getting used to being vulnerable.

2014 In Review:

-Highlights: One best friend got married, and the other got engaged. I hit a point in April-May where I started to settle in who I was dating because I truly didn’t believe love was going to happen. I was 27 and cynical. Thankfully I was smart enough to let it go and someone so great came into my life. I bravely went to counseling and have started living life vulnerably with walls down. (Along with counseling I witnessed some ugly ugly parts of myself. I’m working on those. Good thing life is a learning adventure.)
-Game Changers: Joining a Lifegroup. Hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In short these girls are my home team. They understand me and never make me feel less than. Meeting my boyfriend. I won’t say much more about that other than he’s changed my life. Lastly, I finally said goodbye to some toxic people in my life. It was by choice finally, I typically try to make every relationship work. Wayyyy beyond when it’s over. This year I’d had enough of being torn down. Walking away from that friendship might be the best thing I’ve done for myself.
-Things I Focused On: Bettering myself. For the first time in a long time I focused on taking care of my heart, making sure I cleared out the lies I’ve believed. I’ve gone into my struggles. Lately, I’ve focused on forgiving. Whoa let me tell you bitterness is hard to let go of but it’s beautiful freedom when you do. I’ve focused on being a good girlfriend, not perfect but I’m actively making myself better in life. I also realized we aren’t in a competition with each other. I want to be known for building people up, not tearing people down.
-Reflection: In the end 2014 might have been one of the best years I’ve ever had. Personal growth, the friends that have come into my life and this relationship. I’ve changed, I’m more aware, and I’m living in freedom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who have made my life so great.
-The future: I’ve talked about what I want to focus on in the next year. I want to work more on understanding and listening. There’s so much to hear when you aren’t speaking or worrying about responding. Just listening. I want to detox from Social Media. That’s necessary. I really, really just want to build on what I started in 2014. I want my heart to stay full and open and to continue to love.

Thank you.

Thank you for courage. For support. For love. I sometimes wonder when I write if I’m being selfish by asking others to read my problems, which sometimes aren’t that huge, but I received a few texts about last weeks post. About vulnerability. About the idea that we’re all struggling with something. Sometimes others just show it more. That it’s ok to be weak. Let me tell you it gets better. Awareness is a powerful thing. When you’re aware to the weakness’ you will still struggle but you’ll be able to see them quickly and try to stop that thought train. I haven’t felt this strong in a while. I haven’t felt this worthy in a while. My worth isn’t determined in Chris, or my relationship, or my friendships. It’s found in me. It’s found in my God. He says I’m worthy, that I’m his daughter. When that thought is firmly placed in your mind it’ll be easier to let go of the you aren’t good enough thoughts, or he’s going to find someone better.

Ownit

There’s still a lot of work to be done in my heart but I’m on my way. Thank you for walking with me and praying along this journey. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, if heartbreak is on the horizon, or if big changes are happening but I know it’s good. This life is worth being lived and lived fully. Joy, loss, love, heartbreak, grace, mercy. I want it all. We were designed to live a full life, not a scared life.

I have a deep sense of insecurity and un-wantedness.

This is scary. It’s easier for me to joke and skim over top of what is really going on in my heart. It’s easier for all of us to do that. I find myself saying often well I didn’t want to tell you that because it is weak. I think sometimes what I mean is it makes me human. Human, non-perfect. Non-perfect so you might leave me. I worry, I get anxious, I get fearful, I cry when I’m alone and I let my mind be over-taken by the lies that Satan so easily tells us. That nobody wants my burdens. No one wants to carry them with me. There’s bondage in that lie. I get into the trap that God doesn’t even see my fears, he doesn’t see my affliction. I literally think no one will understand. So I silently deal with them, trust me not the best idea. Today’s devotional smacked me in the face, Freeway: Chaos-mas – Tuesday, “Famine of hope, famine of security, famine of affection and love. He sees you in all of it. He is not far off, He is not uninterested.” My God is with me. He sees it. He has put people in my life who are willing to walk in the trenches with me, who are willing to walk forward when others might take a step back, He has taken every step forward and meets me in my mire and filthiness.

At the end of the devotional is ask a couple questions and I thought where else should I be vulnerable with these fears. It’s ok to struggle and if that is publicly it can’t be worse than the private struggle.

1.What is a fear you couldn’t care less if the whole world was aware of?

I’m scared of ladybugs. No joke. I’m not a fan of heights, airplanes do not bother me but roller coasters do. I will jump every time you act like your going to throw a ball at me. Scares me, no idea why. It’s not like I’ve been drilled with footballs or basketballs often in my life.

2.What is one you are terrified someone else will know about you?

I have a deep sense of insecurity and un-wantedness. I am utterly terrified of being left, I feel vulnerable and I struggle to be everything to people so that I will add worth to their life. I don’t let them see struggles or pain because I don’t want to be a burden. I don’t want them to walk away. I know where some of this fear comes from. My parents divorce and in the past I’ve basically been told because I wasn’t happy 100% of the time some people didn’t want to be around me. I’ve been told that I wasn’t worth it and people’s life would be better if I wasn’t around. I was told that no one wants me. I was “strong” during that time and laughed it off. I acted like it didn’t care while mentally filing that into my brain. Over and over again it’s come back up. In the form of no wonder you’re still single, no one could love you, you’re ugly, you mess up, you get moody. (and I start to believe I’m the only one that way.) In my relationship I start to think that one day he’ll wake up and say what am I doing she’s not worth the trouble. To counteract this I act out in ways that are ugly. I push people away, I don’t take time to think about what is really bothering me and I let my immediate oh it has to be this that is bothering me take over. When in reality it’s a fear, in some form, that I’ve been battling for years.

At 28 I’m tired of letting this control me and ruin relationship after relationship, I accept who I am, I am owning up to my faults and who I can become with help and prayer. I put my pride aside and asked for prayer. I asked for peace. I started the process of renewing my mind and moving through those lies. “Capturing” the thoughts that enter my mind and decided who those thoughts actually come from. What is truth.

This sucks honestly. But I know it’s worth it. I’ve hurt people I care about and I wonder/pray that it’s not too late.

Why Not Start Early.

Sometimes I get retrospective when holidays roll around, tis the season. This week, I had a little free time in my hotel room, which is usually a dangerous thing. I started thinking about 2014. What I’ve learned, where I’ve failed, where I’ve succeeded. Disclaimer, I’ll always be harder on myself than anyone else will ever be. I realized just how much I let fear control some of my relationships for 20 plus years. I was legitimately scared of people leaving my life. For a long time I didn’t believe I was worth good things happening. I’m blessed (beyond what I deserve) to have friends who over the years have quietly fought those fears and beliefs for me. This past year I welcomed a man into my life who beyond my understanding and without him knowing helped me realize just how ridiculous these fears have become. I’m thankful for his mom and cousin whose faith in me sometimes surpassed my own. I’m thankful for 10 life-group girls who consistently share in my struggles and push me towards God. I’m a full believer in God bringing people in our lives for specific purposes. There is no doubt the people He brought in my life this year have built me up and reminded me of the good. I posted this Shauna Niequist quote yesterday and it’s perfect. “Life sneaks up on us every once in a while and gives us something we didn’t ever know we wanted, and lights within us a love we didn’t even know existed.” I can honestly say I didn’t know I could ever feel this way, love this deep or be this free. Never doubt what believing you truly belong can do for a person.

I’m happier than I’ve ever been, I’m proud that I decided to take a step and see a counselor so that I could start to overcome the fears I have in my life, I’ve been kinder to myself, I’ve fully opened my heart, I’ve allowed myself to feel loved. 2014 will be a year that I cherish. I want to keep the positive vibes and growth flowing into 2015.

Here’s what I want to practice:

1. Listening – I really want to hear people. Not assume what they mean, not worry about what I’m going to say back but really listen to what they’re saying.
2. Patience – A friend called me patient the other day and I scoffed. I feel far from it most days. I feel like I waited a long time, years actually, for Chris that I get impatient easily. I don’t enjoy the moments as much because I’m impatiently waiting for the next big thing, that’s the trap I am working actively to avoid. Everyday life is the big thing. Every date, kiss and hug are moments I want. I want to practice patience, actively with him and in all my relationships, even myself.
3. Gratitude – I can be ugly at times. I can be demanding and I can forget all the great things I have in my life. I saw this on Pinterest the other day and am working on creating my own Gratitude Wheel. I have so many things in my life that I didn’t even ask for, so many blessings that I couldn’t have imagined. I should be more grateful. I think we are more apt to see blessings when we are grateful for all we have and even for things we do not have.
4. Understanding – I think this goes along with listening. I want to understand more about what the people in my life are going through. I want to be kind. I want to support the people around me fully. I want to build them up. I want to remind them of the light I see when they forget.

Lastly, same as in previous years I want to start where I am and just try. I’m going to fail but I won’t quit. I’m too stubborn for that 🙂

I’m starting my 2015 goals a little early. I’m starting now. Hold me accountable?