My 2015. Beauty in the ashes.
It’s hard to know where to begin. This is the sixth “End of Year” post I have written on this blog. Crazy. As always, the years go by fast, and I feel as though I just wrote the last one. This year–wow. It’s hard to find the words. I would dare to say this has been the hardest year of my life. But.
I feel as though that sums up this year–hell, but. Brokenness, but. Helplessness, but. Suffering, but.
2014 ended painfully, and I brought in 2015 completely debilitated–my body relentlessly torturing me day and night with symptoms caused by an unknown ailment. An “ailment” that remains, to this day, unknown.
I have been in and out of so many doctors’ offices this year. It’s hard to remember them all. Some kind, most not. I spent a great deal of the first half of the year in bed. Some days I thought I would lose my mind. Some days I did. I have cried so much this year. I wept onto the pages of my Bible crying out to a God who I doubted was even listening. But.
I had incredibly dark days. There were days I begged God to kill me. I didn’t want to go on. Not like this. Not in constant pain. I sat numbly in counselors’ offices. I didn’t know how to not be sad. The sadness would not go away. I felt like a mere shadow of the person I had once been. I felt like a shell. The Lord had ripped everything away from me, and I had nothing left. There were even darker days. One day in particular, desperate to be “normal”, I tried to drive myself to Starbucks, and all the while I was thinking about ways to drive into traffic and end it all.
In May, I didn’t think I would be able to continue with grad school. My symptoms made school incredibly difficult, and I didn’t want to go through it anymore. Additionally, my symptoms would make becoming a teacher impossible. But.
A LOT of really crappy (in the non-edited version in my head, I used a different word) stuff happened in 2015. But.
But the Lord was faithful. But the Lord sustained me. But, whenever I fell, the Lord never once failed to pick me back up. But the Lord graciously placed incredible people in my life whom I do not deserve. But I had beautiful days. But I laughed. But I danced. But I ice skated. But I saw plays and musicals. But I saw incredible sunsets. But I went to weddings (FOUR). But I wore red lipstick pretty much every single day. But I ran miles. But I stayed in school and earned a 4.0 both semesters. But the Lord changed me. But I found a church and became a member. But I have worked. But I went to the beach. But I drank delicious coffee. But I cooked and baked. But I read. But the Lord worked in and through me to the praise of His glorious grace.
But I lived.
I have failed every day this year, but the Lord never fails. He has never changed through the ups and downs, the highs and the unbearable lows. I have learned so much about His love this year–and, how my battle with sickness is Him loving me. He is committed to molding me into the image of Christ, no matter how painful the process might be. This year has been filled with a lot of sadness, but, also with so much peace and joy. I have written about many of the lessons I have been learning in previous posts, so I will not delve into them all here. I cannot point to anything remarkable that I have done this year, but, I can tell you a lot about the Lord’s goodness. I can tell you a lot of about the beauty that is found in the ashes.
Alright. Picture time! (in no particular order)
My roommates made me an incredible book shelf for my birthday. It is the most beautiful shelf in the world.
Speaking of birthdays. I turned 26 this year. It was rough.
I also FINALLY found my name.
I went to see a lot of neurologists. I spent 4 1/2 hours in an MRI machine. I’ve never had so much fun!
Blueberry picking! In maternity overalls I found at Goodwill.
I was published! Bedlam Magazine published my first article about living with chronic illness in June. I couldn’t believe it. Check it: http://www.bedlammag.com/relearning-to-breathe-learning-to-be-okay-with-a-chronic-illness/
I read all the Harry Potter books again 🙂
Attempted and failed to become a viral meme. My goal in life. It’s going to happen.
I am still single. The Lord continues to teach me through lifelong singleness. With my health, I have wrestled a lot with it. But, strangely, I have felt much more at peace about it this year. Some days are a little harder, but, I, honestly, am not upset about it. I enjoy laughing about it and making jokes here and there, but, it is my normal. I am not bothered by it. But, I have written about my single lyfe, so feel free to peruse past posts 🙂
Nothing is wasted. This year, no matter what I feel, has not been wasted. I am not a wasted life. His power is made perfect in weakness. He gives more grace. He holds me in the fire. He will never let me go.
Almost 6 years ago, I asked God to “ruin my life”. He did. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
May He be greatly glorified in 2016.