2016 was the very worst year.
As my first year out of college, it was supposed to be my year of independence. I moved to Nashville, hoping to stay and find a full-time job there.
But instead of thriving in Nashville at my dream job, I ended up coming back to Dallas early and getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
The rest of the year consisted of counseling, finding out the right combination of medicine, and a never-ending struggle with on-and-off depression.
I felt the opposite of free and independent and confident and joyful.
I felt trapped and dependent and terrified and devastated.
2016 was my very bravest year.
I packed my bags and moved to a state I had only been to once before. I came out of the bipolar closet and exposed my deepest insecurities regarding my disorder. I attended group therapy and revealed stories of my past I barely allowed myself to remember.
There were many moments I hesitated, and asked myself, “What are you doing?” I stopped in my tracks and wondered if I was really capable to make my next move.
Then I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and made the first step, packed the first bag, wrote the first line, spoke the first word. I mustered up courage when I feared I had none.
2017 will be better.
I don’t hope for better, I don’t pray for better, I am prepared and ready and absolutely sure it will taste and sound and feel so much better than 2016.
The good thing is, I have already survived the very hardest year of my life, the worst diagnosis, the most unexpected news.
The better thing is, every promise God has ever made to me will always be kept. So when He says He is good, He is good. When He says He works for my good, He works for my good.
The great thing is, I am never ever alone. Not only do I have my family and friends, but I also have the God of this Universe on my side, and His Spirit alive in me.
So when bad days and diagnoses and news come in 2017, I can know that with a little bit of bravery and a whole lot of faith, I will survive, and maybe even thrive.
Friends, even if you didn’t have the worst year of your life, have faith that God still works for us and with us and in us. He does not leave us amid our struggle and worry and doubt.
He fights for us. With us. Beside us.
So let’s say goodbye to 2016. And welcome a better 2017.