2018 was one of those years that felt certain and then chaotic and then certain and then chaotic. If you’d asked me on January 1 where I’d be, I could have told you. I would have imagined myself in Nashville or Boston. I would have seen myself in a relationship and living in a familiar place. I would have imagined a possible book deal, but had no idea what was going to come of it.
The months went fast. January was a whirlwind of snow and FaceTime dates, February was a reunion of dear ones in New England and women’s conferences, March was sorrow and travel, April was Camp Well and community and getting really honest with Jesus, May was signing a book contract, June was the first time I felt hopeful, July was finishing a book manuscript, August was the first moments of accepting leaving Nashville, September was moving away and crying most of the drive, October was Camp Well and coming to the end of myself, November was going back to New England and remembering that it’s more home than I remembered and visiting loved ones in Tennessee, December was celebration and settling into Arkansas, knowing full well it’s only another 6 months.
When I first stopped to look over these months, it felt like patches were blank. I’m certain it was heartbreak that I got lost in. And as I came up for air, I realized that my problem wasn’t that I couldn’t remember, it’s that I didn’t know how to. I didn’t know how to make sense of things that were happening. Things that I didn’t acknowledge but couldn’t forget.
The joy of finding peace.
The shock of losing love.
The way we walked in the woods, dodging snowballs thrown by the children.
The way he looked at me.
The sudden silence of loss.
The thrill of adoptions.
The angst of book writing.
The late nights of editing.
The fear of living alone.
The wedding receptions.
The admission of weakness.
The decision to leave when it didn’t make sense.
The overwhelm of a storm knocking out power.
Sitting in the dark, feeling helpless but something rising in me that said, “You have to do something.”
The shoreline of South Carolina.
The rain that stopped for the bride to walk down the aisle.
The shouting alone in my car.
The exhaustion of travel.
The whispered prayers as I lit a candle.
The way my voice gave out from yelling to women on horses.
The magic of Disneyland.
The forehead to the hardwood, begging for healing.
The dreams that we got back together.
The waking and reminding myself that I was alone.
The tears of not knowing where I belonged.
The inspiration to create.
The roadtrip playlists.
The new friendships.
The old friendships.
The dog escaping.
The hours of physical therapy.
The miles I ran.
The slow exhale of familiarity.
We all have stories of 2018. And all of them matter. Maybe this was the best year or the worst year-—or both. I can only tell mine.
2018 was tragedy mixed with comedy. It was loneliness mixed with resolve. It was some of the highest highs and some of the lowest lows. It was questions I never will get answered and exclamations I never thought I could make. It was weighty and light and a year of growing up and growing into the Kingdom and Presence of God. Everything changed and Jesus stayed the same.
He’s funny like that. Here we are, so worried about what happened and what might come that we forget that He’s got it. May our final days of 2018 tell us nothing but his faithfulness in darkness and his faithfulness in Light.