It’s that time of year… the time when I’m another year older and reflecting on the one that’s just past.
Twenty three was full of joys and still, my hardest year yet.
The past year brought the joy of marriage and the beautiful intimacy of being fully known and fully loved by the best human I’ve ever met. It brought the joy of making a home, beginning a family, and getting a puppy.
And among these big, joyous moments were the little everyday joys in between: discovering oat milk, playing board games, lunch out in the sun, reading for fun, using chick fil a rewards.
And in the middle of those joys, laid the hardest, longest, darkest season. Even in summer – it was winter.
I’ve alluded to it here & there, but in all honesty – the lowest moments came in the midst of all the joys in year 23.
On a scale of 1 to 10 my mental health was at a 0. (How’s that for practicing vulnerability, heh?)
There were days when tears couldn’t stop, when simple tasks or short comments crippled me from functioning. I’m not here to tell you that those days are gone, because they’re not.
But I am here to say that thanks to the help of my people (lookin at you babe, frenz, and psychiatrist!), I have some renewed perspective. This season has felt like forever, but the good news is that it isn’t.
The good news is that I am not defined by my mental health struggles, but I can acknowledge that they exist. I don’t have to hide, nor should I share everything. I can move towards health one step at a time, even if it feels like inching baby steps. There is not one ‘right way’ to express, or feel, or strive for mental healthiness. And that is shattering for this instruction-manual-follower.
It’s the most frustrating challenge I’ve faced.
The uncontrollable anxiety and unwelcomed dread. The inability to sustain a “solution.” Nothing seems to help, everything feels hopeless. It feels as though it will be this way forever.
But the good news is that is won’t be!
It may have deeply tainted year twenty three, but even then it does not define me.
Moving forward now into year twenty four, I’m looking forward to the unfolding of the Lord’s faithfulness as I’ve experienced before-
He is good on His promise to redeem & restore and I’m claiming that faithful goodness for year 24!
It won’t be by anything I can do on my own, but all glory and power from Him on His throne.
There may be darkness & loneliness too, but remembering His faithfulness is what I’ll choose.
Days will be hard, but we’ll make it through-
clinging to the the One who understands the hurting – clinging to His truth!
It won’t be easy, and seasons may continue to drag on, but the Lord is doing a work in me so I’ll keep singing my song –
I’ll keep telling my story all the day long.
Thanks for joining me in every bit of the journey, my friend. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
-checkout my new JAM
*cue year twenty four’s anthem, “Storyteller” by Morgan Harper Nichols*
these mountains where I climbed,
the valley where I fell,
You were there all along,
that’s the story I’ll tell.
You brought the pieces together,
made me this storyteller.
Now I know it is well, it well
That’s the story I’ll tell. (MHN)