2019, You Took COURAGE

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There may be some of you who could care less that we are now in a new year, a new decade, but I am celebrating. I was so happy, sick as I was, to watch 2019 turn to 2020 the other day. 2019, you took COURAGE, that is for sure.

My 2019 Word of the Year Lived Up

I’m one of those “set a word of the year” people and 2019’s word of the year was courage. What I didn’t know was how much courage it was going to take to get through the year.

Ava, my middle daugther, loves to run around singing “I’m still standing/yeah, yeah, yeah” and while I’m not sure if it was on some kids’ movie or if I was belting it out from my vocal chords between tears. What a year.

Looking at it in pictures, it was a pretty good year though, right?

The Positives of Courage

Let’s take a look at how POSITIVE ways 2019 took my courage, shall we?

  • I lived up a dream of mine, serving as an Official Blogger of the Pittsburgh Marathon. No offense to my family, but this was the highlight of my year and has really charged me with some blogging inspiration for 2020. I am so grateful to my fellow bloggers and the whole P3R Team for what 2019’s weekend of events was for me and my family and for you readers who signed up to race alongside me on the streets of Pittsburgh. THANK YOU!
  • At the start of the year I was about five weeks into my new job as a Salesforce Consultant and I was tbh scared to death. Turns out I love what I do and even when it had some not so fun moments (like a daily commute to Pittsburgh per the client), it was a truly awesome year. I had the flexibility I needed for the roughest six months of my life physically and emotionally. I gained three new certifications and learned about four new businesses. It truly changed me professionally and took courage to own my awesome admin self like I did.
  • With a new job for me (and a new one for Greg), we hired a caregiver for the kids. This was super big for us, our parents and the one daycare in Myrtle Beach that kicked Arianna out for staying home when she had RSV (truth) are the only ones who have ever had our kids for more than 2 hours straight. And our Mrs. Velma has been a true blessing to our babies.
  • I was nominated for and won a spot on our church board – the first woman to serve in this role. It is truly an honor to represent the NLC church body on our board.
  • I played keyboard when our worship leader was on maternity leave (goodness, did I shake the first few times). I led a song in November, too!

The Tough Parts of Courage

This year was also a very tough year for me. I know I keep saying it, but the truth is that if you look at this list you might think I am complaining, but goodness was it a year of tests and in the end I survived.

June was the worst month of my life.

  • I had been in pain for three weeks and had some horrific bleeding due to what was an ovarian cyst. I was in and out of the hospital and could barely function. Surgery (and relief) came in July, but between the first hospital visit and that day I went through the wringer.
  • Our cousin Emily died by suicide days after I started my physical struggle. She might have lived in Alabama, but that girl had a place in the hearts of the six people in this house and the hearts of my entire extended family. At seventeen, with so many more chapters to write, her story ended. Emily, I miss you and I don’t really know what more to say right now love.
  • And then when I thought nothing could get worse, it did. We were ten days away from celebrating our tenth anniversary when our marriage hit a very critical point. I’m still reeling over our reality, but I thank God every single morning that this family is still whole and that there are really good Christian counselors and friends out there to keep us supported. And for forgiveness. xoxo

Somewhere in my spare time, there is a book to be written about surviving that month and then the ways it impacted the next six. I couldn’t run – and running has been my emotional outlet for years. I still am not 100% back to running but have had glimpses of the possibilities and am so glad my physical health didn’t have to completely go to the wayside — no knee surgery! And when I couldn’t run, I’d sing. I’d sing about courage and God loving me as He finds me. I’d sing about being in a storm and about not coming off a wall. I’d find hope within those words and stand strong knowing there was more to the story of me.

2019 so that’s a wrap

Alright. Well, know that I’ve basically wrapped up the high level version of me that you’ve already gotten – it is time to move forward to 2020. My goal is 2020 is to give you bits of my life that inspire you and not make you wonder if I am okay – but to be transparent with you when I am not. Because in the end, the year 2019 was a horrible year for me, but it was a growing year that I survived and I am thankful for. And who knows who might need to hear it, but there is always more for you and your story if you just have the courage and faith to see it through.

God loves you and I love you. Remember that.

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