The Worst Year

EXHIBITION

Congratulations! You made it. After reading the title for this blog post, I’m surprised you wanted to read more. If you’re here, you’re either very concerned with depressing topics, you care very much for my wellbeing and are hoping to hear how a very bad year might have a redemptive ending, or you’re just nosy and are hoping to compare how your year was better than mine. Well, if any of those guesses are right, hopefully you won’t be disappointed.

As I’ve told my mother multiple times throughout the year, usually crying on the other side of a homesick phone call home, this has been the worst year of my life. Why, you ask? (Or maybe you don’t care, but then why are you reading this post? Hmmm?) Well…for one, the year had a depressing start.

I’d been working internships in the entertainment industry (5, to be exact) over the past year and a half and hadn’t managed to find any stable job. So, I ended up in retail. If you read any of my previous posts from a year ago, you’ll remember the venting post about this job which was rather self-indulgent and the mother of all pity parties.

Though I tried to have a positive attitude about working retail in LA, most of it was all show. If someone tells you they’re happy working retail, you can’t help but wonder if they’re lying. It’s not exactly glamorous and people are not exactly patient, kind or caring. However, I did learn a lot and came home with lots of stories and fuel for my own writing projects. I met some amazing people and after many tears, lots of prayer, and a thoughtful call from my writing mentor in Texas of all places, my break came in the form of a job in entertainment.

I started working in marketing in February as an executive assistant and thought all of my troubles had ended, when really they hadn’t- I mean, do our troubles ever end in this life? It seems to me that sometimes it’s a drizzle and other times it’s a downpour. Every now and then you get a day which is completely worry free and you can see the sun, but on those days, you’re worrying about what will come next. Or at least that’s how the pattern of this year turned out for me.

My faith was tested as it’s never been tested before and I was lost in the balance of what it means to be in the world but not OF the world. This is a fine line and that line for me this year was blurred until I couldn’t see it any longer.

Now. This is all sounding very dramatic- I’m aware. But this is how my brain works. I got lost in a parking garage and when I couldn’t find my car, or see that I had parked one level down, I jumped to the most logical conclusion that someone had stolen my car. Obviously, right? No. It was just under my feet. This is how my brain works. Things are usually a little over-dramatic in my world. Even though I’ve mastered the art of appearing calm, I’m typically freaking out on the inside.

So I’m a little dramatic? Yes. But was this year bad? Yes. Was it really that bad? Yes. Was there any good that came from it? Well, funny you should ask. There was a lot of good that came from it. And the funny thing is, the good parts seemed so ridiculously, laughably good because they were such a stark contrast to the low points. I had a hard time believing life could be so great in certain moments this year. But God kept assuring me yes, it was this good. Because HE is really this good. I didn’t believe him, so he kept showering me with blessings. So many incomprehensible blessings. And now, looking back on 2014 and all the things I dealt with and have gone through, I see that he had a reason and a purpose for all of it. He has made me a stronger person. He has made me more responsible. He’s taught me new trades and new tricks and he is allowing me to live out and pursue my dream of writing. He is reminding me that he has put me in LA for a reason, and he’s not done with me there.

I was able to come home for Christmas…and Thanksgiving…and come to think of it, a couple of other times this year. And each time I’m home I get comfortable. Comfort, my friends, is a dangerous things. I get addicted to the comfort of home and I start begging God to relieve me of my duty in LA- whatever that is. He’s still revealing this to me. But he reminds me that he’s not done with me there.

I remember the night he called me to go to LA when I was a senior in college, looking up at brilliant night sky in St. Andrews, Scotland.

I’m not done with you, he’s told me.

Well, okay, God. Then I’m not done. And I’m trusting him to show me the way.

This year, I allowed myself to get overwhelmed and overcome by the waves of life, instead of seeking out the help of others to pull me up above the waves.

At some point I began praying for friends who could do this for me in LA. And wouldn’t you know that God actually provided? And he didn’t provide this months later- he provided this within a week. One week.

I’m realizing how limited my prayers have been this year- if even at all present. I’m realizing God is much bigger than anything I’ve been praying for. He wants me – and you for that matter- to pray for things that only he can accomplish. This is my goal for 2015. And I think it’s going to be one heck of a year.

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