Twenty three minutes until my thirty second birthday, well, uh the anniversary of my twenty ninth birthday and I can’t help but lay here and reminisce. The drastic changes that have taken place in the past year have been so all consuming, I am still trying to process them. How differently life looked a year ago is shocking. I lay here grateful. Grateful for what has been and all the people I have been able to know. Grateful that we have found a place here in Knoxville to be able to grow new relationships. This will be the first year we haven’t celebrated my birthday with “my” ladies in as long as I can remember. It was tradition to either go out to eat or on some crazy adventure with 10+ of my closest friends. 
Sometimes it’s okay to grieve what once was. But wallowing in it does nothing but hinder the present. I am so grateful that those ladies, I still consider some of my closest friends. Though I am saddened that this year will not be filled with inside jokes and laughing until I snort, it will be beautiful none the less. There is beauty in change. Not just outward circumstantial change, but change of the heart. Change of ones thought process and even center of thought. 

This year has stretched me in ways I never thought possible. The growth that has taken place sometimes felt like it was tearing me apart. But there was always purpose in the pain.  

The things I have accomplished this past year may not seem like much to some, but for me, they have been monumental. 

I can now say that I survived. And because of those life altering changes, I am a better woman. 

I have questioned “why, God?” So many many times in the past year, I’m pretty sure He tuned me out on more than one occasion as I have my children when they Just. Won’t. Stop. Pestering me. 😂

All joking aside, I have learned to walk closer with my Savior than ever before. Every aspect of who I am/who I was has been tried. I have not only questioned why, but I have questioned my very existence- who am I? 

I have always been the one in charge and in control, it’s where I prefer to be. But this past year has afforded so many changes, that I no longer have control in any area. 

Drastic changes in my job position for months that took me away from my family to having the opportunity to be with my family 24/7. Change in not only location, but two moves in 4 months after living in the same house since before we had children. Having the same circle of friends for years to moving to a town where we knew not a soul. 

I can’t even being to comprehend how so much has happened in such a short amount of time.

But, God

If I have learned anything in the last year, it is utter dependency upon His grace and goodness. A little over three years ago, my sister passed away and I spent months wrestling with God. But that defining moment settled one thing in my heart. I don’t know the answer to why, but I know this one thing. HE IS GOOD. There is nothing that He can do apart from His goodness. His goodness is intrinsic to His being. 

So I trust. 

I trust blindly and boldly. I trust wholeheartedly. I may cry and fuss and question. But above all else, I trust His goodness. Because He is faithful even when it seems your world is crumbling around you. He is peace in the midst of the hardest storm and He promises to be right beside you when you feel as if your heart has been ripped from your chest. 

I seriously do not know how people survive this life without Him. He is my Hope in the midst of great sorrow. And my Joy while the ashes of grief surround me. He is overwhelming Peace when chaos is oppressing. 

Because He is control
, I need not be

That was good enough to say again. 

Because He is control, I need not be.
Which is as comforting as it is frightful for a control freak like me. But He also knows that. Which is why He doesn’t ask our opinion when teaching us the hard things. Because we would avoid them for comfort every time. 

Thirty-one is now over. It was trying and difficult but will always be a year I will look back on with admiration and hope. Because He demolished every comfort zone I had. And I’m still standing by His grace. 

I have no idea what thirty-two will hold, but in the words of Paul “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬