Pressing Forward…Or Trying To.

There are so many things I want to say about this last year. God, so many things…

I’ve been struggling for weeks with where to start and where to end this post, or if I should even write it at all. Do I even have anything to say that will add to someone else’s life? Did this year really teach me anything? Or did I just trudge through it like a zombified idiot? Should I wait to write this until the dust has settled or just let everything out in the raw heart-broken faded glory that it is?

I think it would be unjust to the purpose of this whole blog to wait until I had it sorted out because you might never hear from me again if that was the case.

2018 was more than any year has ever been for me. Such a breathtaking mixture of happiness and tragedy. Every year to me is a stained glass window. Each year having a mixture of hues and colors that represent ups and downs in my life. But this year, it wasn’t just different colors, it was intense dark colors, vibrant and blinding bright colors and a whole lot of muddled grey that represented a numbing-confusion I spent the better part of my year experiencing.

I feel everything to the fullest extent of human emotion. I hold nothing back, push nothing down and let nothing stand in my way of full and truthful transparency. In my own mind, it’s inconsiderate to hide how you truly feel from people. Yeah, it might be easier for you in case you get hurt, but it’s selfish. You have no idea how someone will react to you and there is no way to judge a true relationship with someone unless you’re both (sometimes painfully) honest.

When I lived in Tri-Cities, I had this amazing tribe of truly authentic, Jesus-loving, broken, and beautiful people. It’s been 3.5 years and I have yet to find a similar spirit-feeding group like I had there. There’s a couple gold pieces in the sand, they were hard to find but I’m glad I kept looking. What it seems I am coming to discover is, more often than not, people are so broken by life and other people that they are terrified to tell anyone what they really feel. Or inversely, people so selfish they don’t care about anything other than what THEY feel and that’s a whole different kind of awful.

If I could go back, I usually choose not to. God has a great plan that is just miles and miles a head of where I can imagine seeing, I don’t even pretend anymore to have a clue. This year though, I think there might be some things I would have changed. Not even for my own benefit. I spent the better part of this year allowing myself to waste time and be selfish because I think that’s just what I needed at the time. However, looking back, my indecisiveness was at the expense of others. My inability to let go was at the expense of others, and my always-about-me nature caused me to miss some important clues God was trying to give me about my future.

So, now here I am. December was full of tragedy and heart break. I think maybe it’s creating a disoriented view of my 2018, but it’s hard not to considering everything that happened between December 1st and January 1st. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to put into words the black hole that was December 21st for me and so many people I care about. It’s really hard not to be confused about a day like that… It’s hard not to be upset with God about a day like that. Watching so many people you love be shattered into a million pieces in front of your eyes… being completely helpless to stop the physically palpable brokenness… staring at people you care so much about and not being able to relieve any of their suffering. It’s suffocating. I still don’t feel like I’ve taken a breath since that day. I can’t. How do you breathe when people you love are so deep in a hole of sadness you feel like you’ll never build a ladder long enough to get them out? How do you celebrate something like your birthday when there is a little girl who will never get to celebrate another one? How do you not hate a year that was filled with so many sad moments and capped in the most excruciating one of all?…

You know, most of the time I try and keep things pretty neutral here so I can reach as many people as possible and not turn people off by being too religious. But that kind of goes against what I said about transparency, doesn’t it?

It’s times like this in life I cannot possibly fathom not having a God who loves us to lean into.

How can anyone go through life and adversity and not trust in a God who has a greater purpose for each and everything that happens to us? How terrifying that would be. How angry I would be. If I didn’t know that there was a God up there who cared about me and my struggle and knew what He was doing, I would be so mad, all the time.

Without an understanding that God is in complete control, that He’s got this, how does anyone move on? How could anyone feel happiness following devastation?

I’ve been trying to talk thorough all of this lately. And I keep coming back to the same few conclusions. The most important being that I am not meant to understand God, because I am not God. I am in the maze and he can see over the maze, I might disagree with the directions, but He will never lead me astray if I listen to Him, he will never leave me alone if I seek His guidance. The other thing being that when you come so close to death, when you realize your own mortality, it’s much easier to try and live every single day to it’s fullest and most importantly to always tell people how you feel. NEVER miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them, or you miss them, or you think they are great, or if someone hurt you, TELL THEM. Whatever it is. Someone will ALWAYS need to hear it and you will never be worse off for saying it.

We have been distinguished as a species largely by our sophisticated and evolved way of communicating. We have thousands upon thousands of words just used for describing things.

I’m not really a fan of New Years Resolutions, it feels like a frivolous attempt to half-ass something we actually need to change. However, at this current point in time. I have zero place left to try but zeroing in on the future because there’s nothing left for me in what’s past and thinking about what’s back there is too painful anyway.

I want to make 2019 the year I stop taking things so lightly. Specifically, my relationships. I don’t want anymore sorta-friends. I want to surround myself with people who want to grow and aren’t afraid to fail or be broken sometimes, and more importantly people who aren’t afraid to show their brokenness and failures because people like me will always love you anyway.

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