My word for 2018 was stay. 2017 had been marked by a move and months of travel, so when I heard “stay”, it felt like it made sense. I felt like I knew what it’d mean to embrace that word as a way of settling into Langley as home again.
It turned into much more. Stay became the mantra when things got really hard. Not to stay even though it was hard, but to stay in spite of it. Stay present to the moment in front of me, stay when it would be easier not to, stay true to how God has spoken before. And ultimately it led to some leaving, but staying close to the Lord was the ever present theme.
The depression I found myself in last year was one of the hardest seasons I’ve lived through. I’d had friends who’ve walked it before me, my husband included, but there’s nothing quite like living it yourself. I was/am now part of a club. I hadn’t asked to join, so I didn’t know what to do now that I was in it. And because depression shows up differently in everyone, I didn’t know how to manage it.
Depression demanded a lot and diminished my ability to handle regular life. I wasn’t motivated to do anything, so when I showered and put makeup on that was a win for the day already. During my medical leave from work, on bad days I’d just get to Brandon’s place and sleep on the couch. Watch Netflix. Maybe pile more stuff into the spare room as we prepared for me to move in after the wedding.
On better days I’d do errands for the wedding. Go for a walk. Talk to a friend on the phone. Try organize the piles.
On all the days I’d eat. It was one of the only things that brought me real comfort. Yes, God is my ultimate Comforter, but y’all – chocolate helped me survive some of the darkest days. I wasn’t feeling emotional “treats” anymore (happiness? hm?) so food treats were the next best thing to look forward to.
I’ve never been a “skinny Minnie” but I’ve never been as big as I am now, the aftermath of a year dealing with depression.
During Advent last year I received the word “delight” from the Lord. I was finally clear minded, present to life, able to say I’d gotten a handle on my depression. After a hard, hard year, delight was just the thing I needed to embrace. And I loved every minute of squeeling over Christmas lights and glitter and cute puppies and cheesy movies and snuggles and seeing friends and and and…!
So it was no surprise when, that week between Christmas & New Year’s, the Lord whispered the next right thing for me to embrace into my heart.
Delight in discipline.
At first I was like YEAH! Awesome! Leave behind the lazy and get ‘er done! Let’s do it!
And then I remembered how hard it’d be to break some of the habits engrained during a year just fighting for survival.
Sure, some of it was laziness, but a lot of how I lived last year was just to get through the day. Sometimes just to get through the next hour. Of all the things I could’ve done, I’m okay with the fact that I went to food for comfort during a really hard time.
But this new year ain’t about survival anymore. I want to feel good in both my mind and my body and that’s going to take some work. I already know it’s going to be hard to reign in the amount of comfort food I consume because I’m in the thick of it already. Eating healthy foods isn’t hard – I love nutritious meals – but cutting out the extras my body doesn’t need nor respond well to even though I love them? Oof.
The theme for the year isn’t just about food, either. It’s about praying every morning. Moving my body. Reading actual books. Scheduling my days. Putting down my phone. Budgeting our money. Writing writing writing.
And delighting in the discipline of doing these things.
Delighting in the discipline of a new rhythm of life.
Do you have a word for the year? I’d love to hear how you got it. Tell me below or even send it in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.