"Sometimes when you're in a dark place you think you've been buried, but actually you've been planted... be patient. You'll blossom soon"
I think it's safe to say that 2019 was a year of many highs and extreme lows for a lot of people, according to the many posts I've been reading on social media. I started off 2019 completely broken, scared, faithless, and feeling like I was never going to get myself out of the deep hole I was in. I had no money, lots of debt, and after years of being on my own I was about to have to move back into my parents house with my son (Brody) who was only 2 & 1/2 at the time. I had no motivation, I was angry, and confused about how I got to this point and had no idea where to even go from here. The good news is that I had just left an extremely toxic relationship but that was about all I had going for me at this point.
A few months after moving back into my parents house my mom suggested that we try a new church because it had been a LONG time since we had been to any church. The thought of going to church at this time in my life did NOT sound appealing. There was no relationship there anymore after many years of hardships & loneliness, I was numb to anything involving God. I was reluctant to go but I figured if anything, getting my son involved in a good church would be good for him, so despite my disbelief that going to church would do anything to help my situation, I went.
I don't remember many details about the first morning I attended Highest Praise Church but what I can tell you is that I bawled my eyes out like a baby and wanted to stay there forever because I had never felt the presence of Jesus like I had that day (& EVERY time I go there). That morning my whole life, outlook, and attitude changed. I realized that my lack of faith, negativity, and down talking myself were the very things keeping me back from the blessings and potential God had in store for Brody & I. I wanted to have a closer relationship and to build on it each day and that's what I started to do...
Now that's not to say that during the lows of 2019 I didn't cry and throw little fits out of fear and anger (I am human and this was an unusually hard year for me) BUT the closer I got to Jesus and the deeper I dug into the word the more he spoke to me... He showed me my situations in a whole new light & taught me how to trust him even when things seemed so impossible. He gave me the strength and courage to be an amazing mom to Brody even with all the chaos going on around me. He proved to me that If I worked hard, did what I was supposed to do, and trusted him in the waiting that he would restore double to me (Zechariah 9:12 NIV) and boy did he NOT disappoint on that...
Today Brody and I attend Church every weekend & that sweet boy talks about Jesus all the time, I am surrounded by amazing family & friends with hearts of gold, I have paid off THOUSANDS of dollars of debt, my business has grown more in the last 6 months than it has EVER has, I have the most amazing clients (past & new), I just bought a gorgeous new minivan for Brody and I after driving a beat up van, that was literally falling apart, for years. I have more hope, faith, courage, strength, gratitude, & joy than I ever have. I share my story about the last year as often as I can because I know it can help someone who felt the way I did a year ago today. It's part of my calling. There is HOPE! There is unspeakable JOY ahead for any and everyone. I understand that there are many long & difficult roads ahead but I also understand that I can handle what's ahead with grace and dignity as long as I keep close to Jesus, he will work it all out for my good (Romans 8:28 NIV).
The great news is that he can and WILL do the same to you if you just trust him and dig a little deeper into his word. Wanted to leave a little list of tips for anyone who may be in the place I was in last year...
1. Find a GOOD church (keep searching until you find the right one) HIGHLY recommend my church! Highest Praise Church
2. Find a good support group (a lot of churches can probably help with this also)
3. Get yourself a good daily devotional and DO IT in the mornings or evenings.
4. Get a prayer journal.
5. CRY. LET IT ALL OUT. Crying is extremely healing. What you sow in tears you will REAP IN JOY! (tried, tested, and true lol)
So here's to making 2020 the greatest year yet. To giving the Glory to God when times are tough and also when times are good because in the end, it's all going to be ok. BETTER than ok.