Well hey there, 2018

2018Yes. I’m finally writing my 2017 re-cap/2018 goal blog.

Around this time last year, I rec-capped 2016 for you guys. It was undoubtedly the hardest year of my life, thus far. It was filled with a lot of pain, uncertainty, and changes. I was happy to say goodbye to 2016 and expectant for 2017. You can read that piece here, if you wish.
2017 was very strange. There were moments where I so clearly felt the Lord’s presence, and others where I wondered where He was at. Moments of joy and moments pain. Now I know that ups and downs are part of life and ‘normal.’ So I’m not too surprised, but there were significant lessons and moments during this year for me.

bold

In 2018 I want to be bold. I listened to a sermon last year that was about praying boldly with the faith that the Lord can answer bold prayers. I want to pray boldly, live boldly, and believe boldly. I’m praying boldly that the Lord will give me the strength to find my worth in Him.

As a former beauty queen, people automatically assume that I exude self-confidence. While I do feel confident in interviews, answering difficult questions, and speaking in public (all traits thanks to pageants, holla), I struggle with insecurity when it comes to appearance and relationships, and in finding my worth.

Last year, I began seeing a man who helped me realize that my heart was capable of falling for a man again after my my last relationship. I fell for him, and his family, pretty hard. Unfortunately, I wasn’t what (or who) he wanted. It hurt, a lot. I didn’t think my heart could be broken again, but it did.

Last year, I lost 15 pounds to compete in a pageant in March. I looked & felt even better than I did at Miss SC, but I didn’t win the pageant. It was very hard to process. I then proceeded to gain that 15 pounds back, and then some. I hated swimsuit season last year and I’ve never felt that before. I know it’s something a lot of women struggle with, but it was new for me. It was hard.

Last year (and 2016), I struggled with anxiety and depression. I’m about to get real vulnerable with you here. There were days where it took every ounce of my energy to just get out of bed. Days where I was so overwhelmed I wondered how I would make it to the end of the day. Days where I was so caught up in “what if’s” that I felt suffocated.

I kept wondering “what’s wong with me?” and “what did I do wrong?”
The answer to those questions is nothing. Nothing was wrong with me and I did nothing wrong (except maybe eating one too many ice cream cones). I thought that if I could fall in love again, I’d feel complete. I thought if I was a beauty queen again, I would feel ‘myself’ again. I thought if I finally moved out and I started being a ‘real adult,’ that I would feel whole. I began making my own plans again. But there’s the problem: I was looking in the wrong places for completeness, for my worth, and for my identity. I was making my own plans, instead of asking the Lord what His plans were. As a Christian, my worth is found in Christ and His plans are far greater than mine.

I’m thankful for these moments where I feel lost. Because I know that the Lord was right there, guiding me back to Him. He gave me moments of joy in new family members, promotions at work (2 in one year!), a new adventure (I’m a Mary Kay consultant), and new friendships. Those little whispers of grace kept me moving along.

So, pray for me friends. Please pray that this year I will boldy seek Him, boldly put my worth in Him. I pray this on your lives as well. My favorite Christmas gift was my 2018 prayer journal from my parents. It’s challenging me in my prayer life and I’m writing down my fears and worries, making them ‘real.’ I challenge you to do the same this year.

 

Until next time,
S.

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