You guys, I'm so excited to be writing this post in particular. Throughout this year in the LULA Journal, I have tried to post monthly recaps of the previous month and share goals for the coming one, and though they always feel like my hardest posts to compose (pictures, explanations, et al), they are the ones I am most thankful for looking back.
This year looked nothing like what I had thought it would, yet, when I looked back over my 2017 goals from last January, one thing clearly stuck out - God heard my hearts desires and adjusted my plans accordingly. I had great ideal goals, but what I was putting on my schedule wasn't going to get me there.
Here, I'll let you take a look:
It took full-steam-ahead booking at the beginning of the year, taking fertility medicine and deciding it wasn't for me for right then, experiencing my first bout of anxiety and panic attacks even during work, having to stop taking clients, then dropping clients that I already had booked (the worst feeling but best decision ever), to get me on a track where many of these goals were not only possible, but imperative.
As it pertains to LULA, even the fact that the only goal related to it was number 7, and it was so very paired down, says so much about what my heart was feeling and needing, even in January.
In March, when I made the decision to put a hault on my wedding bookings, my anxiety was at an all time high. I felt completely out of control. Spending extended time with Jesus was my lifeline. I would wake up and go straight to the couch, lay down, and put on worship music. John would pray over me. I felt so helpless, and I think that's where God knew I needed to really be - to acknowledge my helplessness and dependence on Him.
I had to face and deal with my disappointment. I had to face and deal with a bustling business that wasn't brining me joy anymore. I wouldn't have penciled that into my planner, but God held my hand and walked me through a land I couldn't avoid anymore.
True self care became more important and interesting to me than beauty and style trends. Eating healthy meals from home became super important for us. I wanted to feed my body healthy, nourishing foods to assist the healing process in my body, mind, and morale. John helped so much, and cooking together gave us time to process and chat. On days that I didn't work, I would focus on sleeping in, spending time with God, and taking it easy. Working out became one of my priorities and a great way to get me out of the house. I did classes that challenged me and made me feel strong, and it helped my mood a ton!
Friendships forged in this time that helped me laugh and feel less ashamed and alone. Hearing "me too" is one of the most healing things ever! They dug in deep and weren't afraid of the truth of what I was dealing with. They stood with me in prayer and trusted me with their own needs, too.
We planned times away to celebrate life and be with God and each other, and protected those times instead of adjusting them when other things came up. We visited the beach, celebrated our anniversary with a beautiful trip to DC and Maryland, visited family and friends, John sent me to see one of my dearest friends in Nashville for my 30th birthday, we did a just-for-fun fall trip to the NC mountains, went to the beach for our sister's wedding, and are dreaming up all the traveling we want to do next year.
Our marriage was strengthened in the fire of spiritual warfare and life changes, thanks to an amazingly patient and caring husband, the Holy Spirit, great tools, and family that stood beside us.