It was a good year.

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This is the first year in awhile I’ve felt really good as I look back. I don’t mean to sound over the top or anything, but there’s a chance that 2014 was the best year of my life. When it started, I was at an all-time low… the kind where I couldn’t be alone without checking in with my husband every hour because I was so depressed and anxious. There was nowhere to go but up from there, though. So up we went.

I went to counseling and began to heal. I learned about fear and shame and failure and why it’s dangerous and unhealthy to focus for too long on those things. Around the same time, I discovered Lara Casey’s Powersheets. They shifted my focus and sharpened my life management skills in a way that changed me for the better.

And then the sun started to come out. We found hardwoods beneath our carpets and blackberries in the backyard. There were tropical vacations and afternoons spent working in the dirt. Speaking engagements and trips to the children’s museum. I fell in love with my family all over again. I found my long-lost sense of style and paid it some much-needed attention. I began to walk alongside women in a new way, allowing them to encourage me and cheering them on in return. Then came along a high schooler, a middle schooler, and a preschooler. My husband and I connected more deeply and effectively than ever, on a therapist’s couch and at a women’s conference and during an anniversary getaway. I started a new job, and a new rhythm, a new season as a hospice nurse. I began to use phrases like redemption and life change and hope, words that I’d always seen in others and never imagined would apply to me.

Don’t get me wrong – I struggled this year. But the illness and the arguments and the stress and the problems only drove me to Jesus instead of away from Him. I can look back on 2014 and see His hand on every situation, His sovereignty oozing from every crevice. I can remember the darkness and call Him good. And for someone who has a thing about darkness, that feels like a win.

11 thoughts on “It was a good year.”

  1. Such a beautiful post with so much hope. I feel like my husband and I are a year behind you, coming into 2015 with many of the same struggles that you faced at the beginning of 2014, battered and beaten up quite a bit by life and looking for God in the midst of it all. I pray that we are able to look back at 2015 the same way you are seeing 2014.

  2. Oh my goodness. Me too, me too, me too. I actually just wrote about the same sort of journey that I had this past year. It’s exciting to look back and see growth and then begin this new year feeling new and refreshed. Praying this year will be full of more growth, trust, and joy for you and yours!

  3. Thank you for putting this out there. I have been feeling like you were at the beginning of 2014 and posts like this, that the the real, the messy, the dark, let me know that it is okay to be where I am. That there is hope. That I am not alone. If I may ask, how did you go about seeking counseling? What were you looking for in a counselor? How did you know they were a good match for you? Thanks again for your reallness and hope Rachel! Best wishes to your family for 2015!

    1. Sure, counseling is difficult! I made a lot of phone calls, only to hang up when the office person answered. I ended up going with a guy that came highly recommended by several close friends of ours. It’s a joke now, how many of us have seen him. I think you know after one session if it’s gonna be a good fit. I was looking for someone to listen for a few minutes, but mostly suggest me to think hard about myself. I wanted someone who would ask me questions and challenge my thinking a bit. And of course, I wanted someone who pointed me to Jesus instead of telling me I could pull myself out of depression.

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