It has been awhile since I’ve written anything, let alone shared a blog post. It’s been 9 months since I shared anything on this little corner of the internet. This year has been a very pivotal year for me – in my marriage, my personal life, my work life, and in general. It has not been pivotal solely due to the good things that took place this year (and there were many really good things) but also the awful, gut wrenching, heavy things that took pace as well. I have been thinking about this past year a lot lately, as we all prepare to exit 2020 together, and I have some thoughts.
First, I believe it would be helpful and provide some context to read my post, Reflecting on 2019, from last year to see what I was coming out of as we went into 2020. The year 2019 was a really ROUGH year for me, including reasons I didn’t even mention in that blog post. BUT I was heading into 2020 with so much hope and motivation to create the life I wanted for myself. Surprisingly enough, I did. But not at all in the way I had visualized it in my head. I have spent a lot of time this year being silent, but not in a negative way – in a purposeful way, and I finally feel released to share some of the thing that have been swirling around in my heart.
This year, I learned how to be silent and ponder. In the midst of the chaos this year brought, there were many times I didn’t speak up. My usual response would be to write something, post something, do something, etc. But I felt the slightest nudge to wait. Wait before speaking. Wait before action. This year, I learned to sit in the things that make me feel uncomfortable or heavy. I learned to silence myself and really ponder the world around me. This included pondering my own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. I have never been one to sit in unwelcomed feelings but I learned so much by allowing myself to do so. In a year of so much fear, sadness, betrayal, confusion, etc., I can truly say that I have felt all of the above. I felt the fear. I felt the sadness. I felt betrayal. I felt confusion, frustration, loneliness, etc. For once in my life, I gave myself permission to not have the pressure to fix it but to just be in it.
Some of the things I have been pondering the most this past year that I hope to implement/do better in 2021 are:
1. Fighting for others in a biblical way. I do not have this all figured out yet, but after a year of injustice, pain, and hurt – I want to learn. How did Jesus fight on behalf of others? What does it look like as a Christian to cry out on the behalf of others who are hurting? As an enneagram 2, The Helper, this is the most difficult topic I’ve had to ponder. I want to help and fix, but I haven’t seen much of those actions in my search for answers – or at least not in the way that I would want to help or fix the situation.
2. Creating space for others at my table, both literally and figuratively. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I love hospitality. I love to welcome people into my home, serve them, and create a space where others enjoy being. For the past year and a half, I was without a place of my own. Brad and I were living with his parents and I really struggled with the inability to host others in our home. This was a main source of joy for me and it was a real joy sucker not being able to have people over and be a homemaker. This year, we moved into our new home and I was so excited to be able to welcome others into our spaces once again. Little did I know that the Lord was going to do a great work in me around this topic of hosting others and what that meant for me. Something He has challenged me with is the quesitons: Who is welcome at your table? Who is not welcome at your table? Why or why not?
I have thought so long and hard about these questions and I have been challenged to really think through all of my misconception, biases, and judgements. It has challenged me to love better and harder. It has also made the gospel so real for me – more real than it has ever been. I want my home to feel peaceful and I want it to be a lived out representation of Jesus and His love for the people who are in it. Similiar to the first thought, I am still learning and navigating this topic as well.
3. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. As I mentioned above, as an enneagram 2, I don’t understand what a “light burden” is. But all throughout this year, in strange ways, the verse Matthew 28-30 has come up over and over again. I am hoping to dive even more into this scripture in the new year and here are some of my questions: What does true rest look like? What does a light burden look/feel light? What does it actually look like to allow Jesus to carry the bulk of your burdens?
Overall, I am leaving 2020 with more questions than answers but very excited for what is to come! I hope some of my jumbled thoughts made sense and that it sparked thoughts of your own to ponder.
Although this year has been full of both low lows and high highs for me, I am so incredibly thankful for this year. I haven’t shared much about my life this year and I love being able to be open and honest with you guys. So I wanted to share some of the highs and lows I can remember (anyone else totally lost and confused on what actually happened in 2020?!)
- Being isolated and quarantined was very difficult for this extroverted people person.
- Brad and I still haven’t found a church home to plug into after a year of searching.
- All the heaviness in the world this year – my anxiety was awful for the majority of 2020.
- Not being able to spend time doing the things that I love was also not so great for my mental health.
- Holidays looked very different this year and I missed seeing my family.
- We bought and moved into our home! This was so awesome for our mental health and our marriage being in our own home again!
- Brad quit his teaching job to pursue his real estate career full-time! So proud of him!
- I started pursuing my Masters Degree and made all A’s for my first semester!
- I have been given more authority and leadership at my job, which is something I don’t gravitate towards naturally but I’m so excited about it!
- Many people I love welcomed sweet little ones into the world this year!
- I was more intentional with my friendships, which allowed them to grow and deepen!
At the end of the day, I’m not writing off 2020 and I’m excited to share more about all of these things as we head into the new year. That’s right – I’m back! I am so excited to start writing and creating again and I can’t wait to share more about topics that matter to me. I am also believing for GREAT things in 2021, the best is yet to come friend!