2019 has come to a close, and I for one could not be more grateful that it is over. There were great moments, most of which I highlighted in my year end review post, but overall it was a very unhappy, hard, and revealing year. I had been waiting in anticipation for the new year, because even though nothing truly changes, I mentally feel a shift, especially with 2020 being the start of a new decade. Every year I pick a word to guide my year, and at the end of the year look back and see how God weaved the word I prayerfully picked through that year. I do this instead of resolutions or goals, because for me they’re counterproductive. Most years I feel a very clear word come to me and have such confidence in it, but that was not the case this year. I was so stuck in the mindset of “thank God it’s over”, that nothing was resonating. I had a lot of words I liked, but none felt like God was prompting them.
If you read my last post, you know just how much 2019 took it out of me. I was completely depleted and over everything, simply praying that 2020 would restore all of the broken pieces of the previous year. I love learning about words and really diving into the root and different meanings, so sometimes I can get extremely caught up in the picking and not focus as much on listening to the Lord. That being said, I had a few words that were in the running; Abide, Restore, Steadfast, Evergreen, and Revive. I feel like each word is so special, but ultimately I knew that there was so much in my life that needed REVIVAL.
Revive, “to restore from a depressed, inactive, or unused state: bring back; to renew; to give new strength and energy to”
Although I wasn’t confident in any word in the beginning, the longer I sat with REVIVE, the more “right” it felt. Looking back on the last year I wasn’t who I wanted to be. Surrender showed me a lot of areas in which I need a lot of work, and a lot of areas in which I lost myself. I want to REVIVE my health; REVIVE my faith; REVIVE my relationships; REVIVE my values; REVIVE my passions. I am simply ready for REVIVAL.
I mentioned it a little in my 2019 year end review, but my health became absolutely awful in 2019. I went off a medicine I was on and it threw my body in havoc. It turns out that medicine was masking a hormonal condition I have that affects so much of my life. I gained weight, lost my hair, developed acne, learned of issues that will impact my future, and the possibility of future surgeries. I have a very common condition, but one that is also very misunderstood by doctors. Instead of truly treating it they’ll throw a band aid over it and call it good. Thankfully, I found a wonderful doctor who while being an MD believes in a holistic approach to health, not just the quick cover up. I was really dedicated to pursuing my health during the middle/end of 2019, but it has gotten trickier since moving to Uganda. I want 2020 to be a year where I focus on my health to ward off further conditions or complications. One thing I’ve started is working out! It took me a minute but I’ve really fallen in love with strength training and running! For years I’ve had the goal to become a runner, and I’m finally making that happen. It’s been so important for me to finally make this commitment to myself and keep it.
Beside physical health, managing my mental health is also extremely important to me because of the fact that since I was five years old I’ve dealt with a severe case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Maybe one day I’ll write a post on what OCD really looks like (no I don’t need to have everything organized…) but not yet. To learn more about true OCD, you can click here! Since working on my physical health, specifically running, I’ve seen a direct correlation to an improvement in my mental health. There was a period at the end of 2019 where I let my mental health slide and didn’t have the energy to care. I’m leaning into and prioritizing the things that I know are beneficial to me; journaling, exercising, eating well, rest, counseling, mindfulness, challenging thought patters, and Jesus!
Speaking of Jesus, my faith was in a really solid place during my junior year of college and going into my senior year, and then somewhere along the way it took a major backseat. Part of it has to do with leaving my church community and young life back in Los Angeles, and the other part is simply being in a season of questioning. Part of me thought that by working in a christian organization where spiritual formation is such an important value that I wouldn’t struggle in my relationship with Jesus. We do stillness daily along with corporate prayer and devotions, but for me that hasn’t translated into a deeper relationship with the Lord. I’ve noticed that my natural thinking (thanks OCD!) is very legalistic and rules based, and that’s how I’ve unintentionally been approaching my faith, instead of focusing on my relationship with Jesus. I truly desire to study God’s word, but can come at it from a point of quantity over quality, and compliance over comprehension. I get so fixated on following a schedule instead of taking the time I need to understand his word and what he wants to do in me through it. This year I want to REVIVE my relationship with the Lord; I want to do away with the rules and regulations and focus on the heart of God and what he wants to do in my own heart. When I became a christian during Sophomore year of college, it changed my life, knowing God has changed my life in the best way possible, and I can’t wait to rediscover him and watch as a new type of relationship unfolds. It might look different than before, but I want to go where he leads me and trust that it will be as meaningful as before.
2020 is going to be interesting because it is going to be filled with transition. I moved to Northern Uganda at the end of 2019, and at the end of 2020 I’ll be moving back to the states to start graduate school. I didn’t apply to a single school in a place I’ve lived before, and a lot of them are places I’ve never even visited. I want to change and grow from what I’m used to and have known by being in a new place, but with all of that change comes new relationships. I don’t know if I have a ton to say on this, but I want there to be a focus on my friendships this year. I want to be refined in what it means to be a good friend; to the ones I have now, and the ones that are to come. I spent the majority of 2019 focusing on a boyfriend and cultivating that relationship, and with that you can unintentionally stop pursuing your friendships in the way they deserve, so my hope is that 2020 will be a time to really dig into them.
This one goes along with reviving my faith. I think when you’re in a season of questioning (hello 20’s!), when you’re confused by God, when you’re in a new and completely different place, you just start to reevaluate what you value. There were so many hard moments of 2019 that everything honestly just became so confusing to me. I want to feel rock solid in my values, and I think as I grow my faith, I’ll solidify these as well.
I’m not sure I can really say what I’m passionate about, I feel like I have so many passions, then at the same time none at all. In college I was always passionate about getting my degree so I could move internationally. Now I’m here and I’m not sure what I truly care about. I want to explore this and try things that I’ve held back from because of limiting beliefs. One of these was exercising. I had always thought because I was never a very active person and have very little athletic ability I would never like exercising or ever become “good” at it. I read a quote by Rachel Hollis that said, “are you willing to such at something long enough to get good at it?” and that really stuck with me. I want to be bad at so many things for so long until I start seeing what I love and might actually be good at!
I have no idea what 2020 is going to look like. I have no idea how the Lord is going to work, or where he wants to see REVIVAL, but I’m ready and willing to go where he leads, and focus on becoming the best version of myself through who he is.