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Ruby Falls, Chattanooga TN

Despite achieving an amazing milestone of earning my master’s degree with honors while working full time and being a single mother, I yearned for 2018 to end. It was indeed one of the hardest years of my life. I was pulled mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially. The start of 2018 was a transition period for me and just when life started to get back to “normal” tragedy struck.

My family had just traveled to Atlanta to celebrate Aniyah’s 10th birthday in March. We created everlasting memories and strengthened our bond as a family. The day my family returned to Florida, I received a phone call at 3am to find out that my mother was about to have emergency open heart surgery. Everything after that day became a blur. I felt isolated from friends and family. I felt as though nobody really understood my state of well being. My mother spent over a month in the hospital due to several complications.

What should have been one of the happiest moments of my life quickly turned into one of the most isolated moments of life. My mother’s doctor did not clear her to travel to Atlanta to attend my graduation. Despite being surrounded by my closest family and friends, I still felt alone. Quickly after graduation, I moved out of my apartment and left to take care of my mom in Florida. It wasn’t until November of 2018, when my life started to make sense again.

As I reflect on 2018, I am thankful that God kept me. I am thankful that He gave me the wisdom to not turn from Him but to seek Him instead. As cliche as it may sound, I would not have made it to see 2019 if it wasn’t for the Lord. Here are 18 things that 2018 taught me:

  1. Be willing to continuously edit your play book
  2. When things seem comfortable, prepare to get uncomfortable
  3. You have the ability to take control of your mental health
  4. Stop allowing people to disrupt your peace
  5. Being selfish is okay
  6. You cannot care for others when you don’t have the ability to care for yourself
  7. Surround yourself with people who can cover you during rough seasons
  8. Continue to pray even when things are stagnant
  9. It is okay to put yourself first
  10. “No” is a complete sentence. It does not require an explanation.
  11. Even “good” decisions require God’s approval
  12. Be in tune with your mental health
  13. Depression is common. You will get through it.
  14. It is okay to let others know that you are not okay
  15. Never be ashamed to ask for help
  16. Your first ministry is home
  17. Continue to follow your purpose even when tragedy strikes
  18. Take that trip. Go for that jog. Never be afraid to temporarily escape the chaos

 

I pray that 2019 is a year of restoration, focus, and purpose for us all. Lets be intentional even when things don’t go as planned. I love you all and I absolutely missed sharing my experiences and thoughts with you all. Have an amazing year!

<3bri

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