With 2015 coming to an end, I was reflecting on my life a year ago, as I’m sure many of you are. And I was talking with my friend Meg about the length of our friendship and how much has changed in six years. It’s a little crazy to think about. I also think it’s really inspiring… in some ways, a year – or six – seems like a really long time, but in other ways in doesn’t. The inspiring part is that it’s never too late to make a change; things may take more time than you want, but in the grand scheme of things, you can really accomplish a lot in a year.
As I’ve been reflecting on 2015, I’ve been overwhelmed with gratitude for the one change in my life that has truly changed everything: my relationship with God.
I was raised in a wonderful family where Christ was front and foremost, but as an adult, I turned away from that church and honestly, turned away from God. I was hurting and struggling so much for years, and I didn’t think He was there…why waste so much time with Him, when what I needed was time to try to fix my life?
Last October, I was at a point where I knew I.just.couldn’t.fix.things. Absolutely at my rope’s end, miserable and hurting, I prayed in desperation for God’s help, to let me know He was there, that he cared and to please guide my life.
One small change – one prayer. Everything changed.
I get asked a by long-time blog readers how I’ve been able to find such joy, happiness and contentment…many of you also feel like life just won’t get better, and you’re struggling and hurting too. I have been there. Ohhhh have I been there. It’s awful. My heart hurts for you. And I’ve given answers like “Oh, lots of self reflection.” or “I listen to my gut.” And those are true – I did reflect on what I wanted in life and I do firmly believe in listening to your gut. But the truest and fullest answer is turning back to God is what brought so much joy into my life.
I never would have imagined all God had in store for me. I prayed for help to feel guided and to have strength. He definitely gave me that, but He also gave me so much more than I could have imagined.
He helped me find a house in Charlotte that I needed ASAP; I had to move quickly or I knew I’d never go, and I knew I needed to move for my own personal growth. And then He put me in a house with an amazing landlord who let me break my lease 8 months later without any penalty.
He closed the door when I tried to move out of that house and into an apartment (my neighborhood wasn’t the best)…and I’m so grateful that prayer wasn’t answered because I never would have been able to break a lease in an apartment as easily as I did with my house.
He put AMAZING friends into my life in Charlotte within the first week. I cannot believe what great friendships I formed there in such a short period of time, friends I now can’t imagine life without. (Hilary! Paula! Jeanette! I love you, miss you!)
He helped me find a perfect place for me in Winston to live when I decided to move back, and the timing all lined up perfectly with ending my lease, finding replacement renters, and the availability of my new place.
He brought an amazing man into my life, someone who is absolutely perfect for me; I never would have even been able to verbalize all that I want and need because he has qualities and traits I’d never thought of…but now I know that’s exactly what I need. God knew that. That amazing man has an incredible family, which is such a blessing being so far from my own in Utah.
He gave me a wonderful job that I truly enjoy, with amazing coworkers and a boss who was supportive of me moving not once, but twice.
He has brought so many wonderful friends into my life – in Winston, in Charlotte, across the country, at work, online (Twitter friends are real y’all) – who make life so sweet and so fun. I have an incredible circle of friends, near and far.
Since my plea for His help last October, I’ve actively been working to strengthen my relationship with God. I knew it wasn’t just one prayer and everything was fixed. I knew that I needed to put in effort to develop my relationship with Him: I started going to church again; I’ve started a daily routine of having quiet time in the mornings, reading a daily devotional, spending time in the scriptures and praying; on the many drives back and forth between Winston and Charlotte (and now I do this while cleaning or walking Maizey), I would listen to podcasts from some of my favorite pastors; I have great conversations with a few great friends about being a Christian and what that means to each of us individually. Any relationship takes work to strengthen and improve over time, and that goes for my relationship with God too.
This is still a health blog. But health is more than just working out and eating salads; taking care of emotional/spiritual/mental health in whatever way works for you is just as important as physical health. And while I don’t intend to change the main focus of this blog from health to religion, I wanted to share what I’ve done to improve the non-physical part of my health, and you might see that aspect in the blog a little bit more going forward.
I know life won’t always be amazing – this year has had its own trials. And sometimes I even feel guilty for how happy I am, which is kind of crazy. But one thing I know for sure now is that the trials I’ve gone through over the years have prepared me for where I am now in life; hard things teach us a lot if we let them. And I know going forward, I’d much rather have God in my life when the going gets tough than attempt to go through it alone.
You’ve been a good one 2015. Can’t wait to see what’s in store in 2016.