What a year my soul has had. It would be an understatement to say, I'm ready for 2017 to come. 2016 started off rough - we lost our precious baby on January 4th and I couldn't have been more devastated. My faith was tested and stretched. I would love to say the rest of the year has been amazing....but I can't, it has been miraculous. Not in the everything turned out great, life is going wonderful kinda way but in the my faith was tested and my spirit was stretched and grown kinda way. You see, on the outside this year has seemed terrible, horrible....traumatic one might say but in the spiritual and inner growth way, it's been the best year of my life! I have learned, I have grown....I.have.changed.
From loss, to breast cancer scare, to infertility, to stomach problems, to medical procedures, to heartache....to God. All to God. My heart has turned all to Him. I battled depression and still find myself having to be intentional about not going there. I have had to cling to God some nights so that I didn't drown in my own thoughts and He has been there. He's been there to teach me, to grow me....to comfort me.
Recently I went through a time of grieving the relationships I let down in my year of roller coaster. I was carrying guilt like no other. I let friends down, I backed off certain projects so that I could breathe and grieve, I wasn't there for people when maybe I should have been.....and I started to feel a tremendous amount of guilt. This guilt weighed on me for some days. Until God....
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity." Proverbs 17:17
The night before last, I woke up with a heaviness on my heart and a pain in my stomach.....the guilt had returned. I walked downstairs and had a glass of milk as this tends to help my tummy these days. I sat on the recliner and I felt the Lord send me to Proverbs 17:17. I read it and weeped. You see, I had been feeling so terribly guilty for allowing my own depression to keep me from being the best friend I can be but the Lord wanted to show me, I was in a season of need. He wanted to remind me that I too need a strong friend from time to time who will not expect anything from me and just let me be in this season. I have needed to have the room to be late to functions, reschedule.....or even cancel because I can't seem to muster up the energy to even fix my hair let alone brush my teeth and look half way decent. I have needed the room to fail BIG and produce small. I have needed a season of zero expectations from people around me and I had to come to terms with that being OK and that I needed to have zero expectations of myself as well. In this season, it's ok.
I have learned so much about myself and my relationships have been tested and stretched this whole year and I'm SO thankful for that. God has revealed so much beauty to me and has given me permission to "just be" in this season. I'm so truly thankful for a God who makes ALL things beautiful and who takes our guilt and turns it around! I'm thankful for the friends who allowed me to just be this year. I'm thankful for the ones who have allowed me to fail with no judgment, no anger or rejection. I'm thankful to those who pulled me in closer by giving me the space and breathing room I needed to emotionally and physically heal. I'm truly thankful for this unconditional kind of love I received from true, inspiring and amazing family and friends!
My promise to you, I too will give you this space and time if you are ever in a season where you just need "to be". My compassion meter has been elevated and I get it!
Friendship is beautiful but it's so true when they say you find out who your real friends are when you are going through troubles. Thank You Jesus for this revelation. Thank You for giving me permission to not live up to other people's expectations. Thank You Jesus for not expecting anything of me this season but a complete surrender and trust in You.