This Year Has Been Hard.

When this year started, I knew it was going to be a year of transition. I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but I knew something was going to happen. On January 6th, I wrote in my journal, "I sense things stirring and while I don't what they are or when they'll happen, I'm certain that they're there. Waiting. God is doing something, planning something, preparing our hearts for something. All I know I know is that it will be good."

Six months later we were packed up in a truck headed to Massachusetts to start a new adventure. And now here we are, another six months later. This year has not been easy on me. There are so many new tensions and I feel pulled in a million different directions. I'm now on the sidelines while my husband serves in ministry and that is a new and uncomfortable thing for me. Our entire relationship was always accompanied by our roles in ministry and now that's gone. Now it's just him and I'm home and that's what we've chosen and that's how we want it, but the tension is there. I've found myself resenting him and pouting and being a big baby about this new season of life. I've struggled to find my purpose now that I'm "just mom". This is the first time I haven't had something else to attach myself too. When I wasn't in ministry, I had my blog, but this blog and writing has been such a back burner thing that it doesn't feel like it's a part of my identity anymore. 

It's been a weird year, to say the very least. And once again, I can sense things moving and shifting, but this time in a settling way, not an uproot your family and move kind of way. I can feel the weight of 2015 begin to lift of my shoulders. We're in our new home and it's beautiful and I'm so thankful for it. For the first time since we got married, we love where we live. The constant transition is over. We're here, we're getting settled, and we have no desire to go anywhere else. For the first time, we feel like we're home. That's a strange and wonderful feeling for my nomadic heart. 

Although I'm here in the sense that I am happy to be here and I want to be here and I'm committed to being here, I haven't felt like I've been really present in my life, my church, and my relationships. I've kind of just had my head down and my elbows out trying to get through this difficult season. We've been at our church for six months and last Sunday, for the first time, I finally felt like it was my church. Up until then, I felt like an outsider, a stranger, a mysterious attendee that talks to the guitar player a lot and has a bunch of kids but they're loud and busy so she never stays in one place very long. But something about that Sunday made me feel comfortable acting like I belonged there...six months later. I still don't feel like I fully belong in my relationships, in our church, even in our family at times, but I'm getting there. Things aren't getting easier, but they're getting to the point where I can start hoping for them to get easier. If that makes sense...

I ended 2014 with a bit of arrogance about how much 2015 was going to bow to my will. 2015 flatlined me. I survived, just barely, but I survived. So I'm not going to end this end of the year post with a diatribe about how 2016 is not going to know what happened to it. I'm not going to inspire you with my goals, my intentions, or my plans, because I don't have any. I just want to be done with this year and on to the next one. I don't even want to kick 2015 in the face or anything, I just want it to be over. I have no high aspirations for what 2016 will bring, but I have hope that it will be better. I'm clinging to that hope like it's the only thing I have left because it kind of is. It's that "against all hope in hope believed" kind of thing. 2016 may not be my best year ever, but it's bound to be a heck of a lot better than this one. So from my new house, in my new bed, with my sleeping baby next to me in her brand new leg cast (because I fell and broke her femur last week!), I bid you adieu.

2016, please be kind. 

*I can't end this post without telling you that my book is being released TOMORROW. As in...TOMORROW. Christmas Eve! The book is a 30 Day journey through the darkest season of my life and is all about finding God in the most difficult places. Click here for more info!*

Kristen LaValley1 Comment