Last year (crazy we are already in 2016) was not what I expected it would be.
I went from praying that I would be content living in San Bernardino to moving to Ventura, CA. We went from thinking we would start building a nest egg to having a huge part of our savings taken out from our move. We went from thinking Nike would be a little longer term, to having Andrew become a Sales Lead at REI. I went from praying for contentment about Starbucks to working at Apple. I went from taking advantage of where we used to live, to missing its food, people, and being only 30 minutes from the mountains.
I went from feeling complete peace about our move to struggling with God and questioning His plan for us. I doubted what we felt God was doing. I asked why He would bring us to this place, of the unknown, financial stress, uncertainty. I became so stressed about everything I started having pretty wild muscle spasms and anxiety. And then learned how to become aware of anxious thoughts so I could refocus on Him.
I learned and relearned how to trust in the goodness, power, and love of God. I was (and am still) reminded over and over to stop controlling and just cling to God when it doesn't make sense how things will work out.
I saw God provide comfort through the smallest things and the kindest of friends. I felt so much love from family and friends driving out to visit and then blessing us with a full fridge, a night out to dinner, and words of encouragement. We built new friendships and have been so grateful for the community He has provided for us here.
I began to love the idea of having our own little one and started praying for our future family. I even babysat for the first time!
We felt the Lord grow us in our marriage and stretch us in ways we never thought. Andrew and I became closer as we continued to find joy in the less then ideal moments. We went on more adventures together in the great outdoors. We pushed ourselves physically with hikes in higher altitudes and longer treks. We tried new things and new places. We encouraged each other when we struggled and pushed each other forward.
I have slowly grown to be more comfortable in my own skin and grateful for the way God made me, personality and all. I have grown to be okay being the gentle, quiet, calm, and sometimes fiery spirit. While everyone around me is louder and much more talkative, I have learned the good and necessity of the observer. Don't get me wrong, I do envy those who can start conversations about anything and everything. But I have grown to learn more about the art of conversation.
So while the year was maybe not what I envisioned in January 2015, it certainly was a good year. It was difficult and yet I am grateful for the things those difficulties have taught us, and continue to teach us.
Here's to another year, full of more moves, possibilities, trials, and trails.