It’s wild to me that 2019 is over. This year has been one of my toughest, full of time’s I still don’t understand, as I wait expectantly for God to reveal what the hell he’s been doing. It hasn’t been shiny, or pretty, or nice. It’s been grating, revealing, defining, and just plain hard. There’s something almost reverential about time’s of trial. How barren seasons display the best and the worst of who we are, and how they shape forthcoming seasons of abundance.
I personally hate new year’s resolutions. I never stick to them, and mine have always seemed shallow and superficial, adding no real meaning to my life. I don’t believe they can account for the vast changes that happen within a years time, or the ways in which we inherently change as people. As well, I think they can produce a lot of anxiety and striving towards perfection to reach goals that can often be unrealistic. Instead of resolutions in the last two or so years I’ve implemented a word to guide my year. I love what this represents and how you can look back and see what God did through the word he gave you for that year. I don’t think I ever posted on here what my word for 2019 was, but I did a 2018 post explaining that my word/theme was INTENTIONAL. That year of intentionality was amazing, but with it came a lot of perceived control and rigidity. Coming into 2019 I kept hearing the same word, I would pray and all that I could hear is “you need to surrender.” I felt so strongly that 2019 needed to be my year of SURRENDER. I had no idea just how hard that would be…
When I prayed over my word for the year and landed on surrender, I couldn’t even imagine just how accurate it would be for 2019. I didn’t understand that the health issues I started dealing with two months prior wouldn’t stop, and would eventually lead to a life long diagnosis. I couldn’t understand the changes this condition caused; the rapid weight gain no matter how healthy or active I was, the severe acne I’d never dealt with that nothing fixed, or that I would start to lose my hair and begin finding bald spots. I didn’t foresee my relationship ending or how tumultuous that would be. I wasn’t prepared for the struggles that come with post grad life and subsequently moving to a developing country, starting my first job, and leaving all your people. I didn’t know moving and acclimation would be as hard as it was. There was so much that I could never have predicted, so much I had very little control over. This past year taught me what it means to brokenly surrender all that we want and plan.
I have been my best and worst self this year. I’ve been selfish and selfless, felt crazy and calm, I have controlled and let go, been unsure and unwavering, I have felt it all this past year. I can say without a doubt this season grew me in ways I didn’t want or know I needed, and while I’m grateful I am so happy it’s over. I don’t know a single person personally that has had a good year. 2019 brought about so much brokenness that I’m praying 2020 would begin to heal. Of course there were great moments, but the overwhelming heaviness overshadowed the good most times.
A very unexpected aspect of 2019 for me was the feeling that I was starting to lose my faith. I always pictured surrender bringing me closer to God, I didn’t expect to I have never been mad at God like I was, or questioned his plan and my beliefs. Ultimately this grew me closer to the father, but with evolving beliefs and ideals. I really hope to dive into scripture and the varying interpretations in 2020 to truly begin understanding different perspectives.
All of that being said, let’s just review a little bit of 2019 shall we? Even though this year was tough, there are so many memories that I always want to remember
January 2019: Spent NYE with my then boyfriend before beginning my final semester of university where I took 22 units and interned at a law clinic all while doing long distance. It was a really hectic time but January holds a lot of special memories
February 2019: I was in the throes of long distance between LA and San Diego and spent a good majority of the month in San Diego. I got really comfortable doing the drive, and felt like if I had too I could do it with my eyes closed. I really started to fall in love with the city and the coffee shops there and San Diego will always hold a special place in my heart. February was also when I got my official offer to intern with IJM in Uganda! It was the beginning of a hard and tough time, but also holds some great memories with people I love
March 2019: Lots of friend time and spring break, which was my last time seeing snow before moving to Uganda! This month also started our university’s “countdown to commencement” where they put on a ton of events leading up to graduation
April 2019: April was mostly spent wrapping up my time at LMU, finishing the semester and all my graduation requirements. The first day of April did start with me forcing my then boyfriend to do a photoshoot which everyone makes fun of, and looking back I understand hahaha. It was also our LMU Senior Bash “One Last Roar”, which was super fun, but at this time I was still in the throws of being really sick from an undiagnosed hormonal/autoimmune condition, so I wasn’t able to stay for long.
May 2019: This month was insane. Some super high highs, like graduating university (and all the events that came with it), to some super low lows, with many things came to an end. May also holds my birthday, but we’re just going to skip over the 2019 birthday
June 2019: I went to Washington D.C. for orientation before moving to Uganda in August, which was so much fun, but also a really hard time. This was also the month where I finally got a diagnosis after a nine month long health battle where I had no idea what was going on, which was such a relief. I moved out of my college house I’d lived in for two years and transitioned all of my stuff back to my parents house before I moved overseas. It was so bittersweet to leave. I ended up driving myself all the way from LA to Seattle and learned I love roadtrips when I’m the one driving
July 2019: I spent the majority of this month traveling through the US visiting friends before I left the country. It was a super fun trip, I love traveling alone and taking time to visit new places. I went to Tennessee, Oklahoma, and California (to visit my doctor and some friends/favorite places)
August 2019: Soaked in the last few weeks with family and home, made one last trip to LA to see the doctor (and see my best friend one last time), and then moved to Uganda. A very big month in 2019
September 2019: September was spent trying to adapt to my new home and get over the endings that happened over the summer. This is the month I got my kitty Archie, who is my little bestie, even though he’s literally so much work and I’ve never been a cat person, but now I’m a little obsessed. The end of September into October was my two week Malaria fiasco
October 2019: Things had been rough for a little while, in all honesty since May, but October is when everything really started to devolve, but we did get our sweet puppy Ali! I went to the best event in Uganda, The Goat Races!
November 2019: This is when the rails really came off. Lots of struggles obtaining my work permit, being forced to leave the country, different tensions and illnesses. I did get to see Rwanda, which was beautiful, but overall a stressful period. I want to *eventually* get around to posting about my whirlwind weekend in Rwanda
December 2019: Praise the freaking LORD 2019 is almost over! This month was hard, but also good. We had our national work retreat, and then I spent time where I used to live in Jinja, and after that I headed to Europe (which, I also hope to getting around to doing an individual post on) to meet my parents for Christmas. I also had the great surprise of my work permit getting approved! It was crazy busy, but so good. December ended pretty rough though when I was on a boda in Kampala and was hit by a car. I got really lucky and thankfully only walked about with cuts, soft tissue damage, and a concussion. I ended 2019 with a literal bang that made me even happier to say goodbye and welcome in 2020
Happy 2020 everyone! I hope this year is abundantly more than you expect or imagine!