Comfort. Courage. Chaos. (The End of 2020)

2020… it’s been a year! For me, 2019 and 2020 have felt reminiscent of 2011 and 2012. In 2011, I had a breakdown that could’ve led to serious professional help. Thankfully, God got ahold of me before I needed it. In 2019, I was dangerously close to another breakdown. In 2012, I grew closer to God than I had ever been and found my place and my people in the world at Compass Church SA. In 2020, I grew closer to God than I ever have been and learned to let go of my place and people in the world.

I spent seven years of my life as a tween and teen craving love and acceptance. I tried to please everyone. I tried to be whom I thought they wanted me to be. I’m still not sure who “they” are, but it was no one in my life. When I was eighteen, literally on my birthday, I had a come to Jesus moment and realized His opinion of and love for me were all that mattered. Just before I turned nineteen, only after I learned to cling to God and only care what He thought of me, He led me to the people who would love and accept me the way I always longed to loved and accepted. Flash forward seven more years, I was forced to let go of the people who loved and accepted me. I didn’t get to see them for six months. I didn’t get to sit next to my best friend every Sunday morning at church. I didn’t get to linger in the building that was not and is not the Church but does feel like home. I had to walk the walk and show with my actions what I said with my words—I love the Giver more than the gift. If the gift is taken away, then I will still cling to the Giver. And here’s what I learned in 2020. There is some truth to “If you love something, then set it free.”

I went out of 2019 and into 2020 with two goals—trust God and choose courage. Two of my best friends are named Shelby and both of them have helped me with these goals. Shelby the younger is adventurous and outgoing. She has taught me if I want to do something and there’s no legitimate reason not to do it then I should do it. Shelby the older is chill and confident. She has taught me if I don’t want to do something and I don’t have a legitimate need to do it then I don’t have to. If I think something will keep me or others safe, secure, or comfortable, I do it. I follow the rules. I stick to the status quo. I even make my own ridiculous rules that I “have to” follow. Or at least, I used to. In 2020, I learned to do what I want to do and not do what I don’t want to do. It’s been freeing and in freeing me it’s given me what I need to be courageous and trusting.

At the cusp of 2019/2020, I read “Let’s All Be Brave” by Annie F. Downs, “Live Fearless” by Sadie Robertson, and “Get Out of Your Head” by Jennie Allen. I also kicked off the new year alone in my bedroom worshipping with Passion Conference 2020. It is my firm belief that I only thrived in 2020 when the world was falling apart around me because I chose courage and worshipped my way into the new year.

I also firmly believe that I thrived in 2020 because the only thing that saved me 2019 was learning to rest. God taught me (sometimes while I was kicking and screaming) in 2019 to practice Sabbath and create margin. He continued to teach me that in 2020. Because I had margin and celebrated Sabbath in 2020, the hard things in life didn’t hurt as much. I had more clarity to make the right decisions. I was able to hear God speaking to me more than ever before. 2020 wasn’t much different for me than the years before. It was still financially straining. I’ve still had to rely on others more than I would choose to rely on them. I still had moment when I was fearful, anxious, doubtful, and skeptical. Those moments were fewer and farther between though. They didn’t last as long because I’ve been well-rested enough to combat those lies with truth. I was able to breaks and journal. I learned to trigger positive reactions in the same way I learned to prevent triggers for negative reactions. I truly hope 2020 has taught others to do the same.

Until a couple days ago, I had no idea what 2021 would be asking of me. I didn’t have a clue what God wanted me to focus on 2021. Usually, I know at least a month in advance what tools I’ll need in the following year. Before the other day, I thought I’d be going into 2021 still choosing courage and trust. And I will be, because that’s not something I’m just going to stop doing. My main focus will be forgiveness. I’m not sure why, because I felt like I dealt with that a couple years ago and again last year, but I guess I’ve still got some things to learn. I’m going into 2021 reading and journaling “Forgiving What You Can’t Forget” by Lysa Terkurst. And when I did one of those goofy Facebook generators asking “What’s Your Word for 2021?” I got forgiveness. Seems fitting since I’m reading that book and still learning to let go of things that I don’t want to hold onto anymore.

I’m also going to kick off 2021 the same way I kicked off 2020, with Passion Conference. Because whatever happens next year, just like I wrote on my bathroom mirror last year, I want to say, “God whatever you have planned I’m ready.” It seems to me kicking off the new year with worship rather than explosions is a pretty great plan. It worked for me last year and I’m sure it’ll work for me this year. If you choose to and are able to celebrate with fireworks, then I pray you are safe and happy. I pray you have blessed and restful 2021. I pray the Lord will restore the year the locusts ate from you this year. And I pray John 10:10 over you. The Brittany Alexandria version saying, “Jesus has come that you may live life to the fullest, seize the day, carpe diem, yolo!” Because the word He used in the original Greek was “Zoe” which means the future spiritual life AND your present physical life. We don’t have to worry about the future. We shouldn’t let it come without some planning, but for the most part we should be living in the moment. We should be living life without worrying about tomorrow “for today has its own concerns.” So, let’s do it. Let’s go into 2020 letting go of the chaos of 2020, choosing courage, and reaching out of our comfort zones! Happy New Year!

2017, I Will Not Miss You!

2017 was not my year, which especially sucks because January made it seem like I was going to have an awesome year! I even wrote, “In 2015, I quit my job at Chick-fil-a to get a “grownup” job so I could afford a new car and living on my own. In 2016, I discovered I am gluten intolerant and constantly have to make the grownup decision not to eat the thing I’m not supposed to eat. In 2017, so far, I’m just obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it’s very nice not to have to be a grownup too much for now! Sometimes, a girl just needs a break from adulting.” Then, all hell broke loose!

  1. On February 28, after being in the worst pain of my life for a week, I went to the doctor and found out I pulled my sciatic nerve. I didn’t get to do much other than sit and lie down for nearly 6 months!
  2. On March 21, I applied to move into a brand-new apartment complex with my sister. The next day we were approved to move in on June 1st. Then the date was changed to mid-June. Then, sometime in July, August 1, August 15, for sure by mid-September, no wait, now it’s October… Finally, moved in on November 1st! Seriously, the wait was so ridiculous, even my best friend started to get mad for me!
  3. On June 22, I felt led to leave the position at work that I had for 2 ½ years and start a new position. 3 months later, I quit my job altogether and went back to Chick-fil-A on September 29. Then, I quit Chick-fil-A on December 29th and am going into 2018 unemployed. There are few things I hate more than change and the unknown and 2017 was nothing but change and the unknown!
  4. On October 2, the transmission in my car went out, costing $3000. Two months later, on November 30, the battery and alternator on my car went out costing a few more hundred dollars!

But, all was not lost! Even though 2017 often felt like a big pile of crap, a lot of good/great things happened too! The following is a neat list of what my 2017 looked like in between the less than stellar events of the year! Mind you, I cried a lot in 2017, because I’m a stress crier and I don’t know that I’ve ever faced a year as difficult as 2017!

TV Shows I watched

  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  2. Angel
  3. Sabrina the Teenage Witch (incomplete)
  4. March 23 – Firefly
  5. March 27 – Dollhouse
  6. June 6 – This Is Us (incomplete)
  7. 9/20 – How I Met Your Mother (incomplete)
  8. 10/12 – Boy Meets World (incomplete)
  9. 10/29 – Stranger Things (incomplete)
  10. 12/18 – Riverdale
  11. 12/22 Fuller House Season 3b (incomplete)

Books I started

  1. January – The Selection Coloring Book
  2. February Jane Austen Books (complete)
  3. 4/11 – Buffy Coloring Book
  4. 12/19 – The Selection

Favorite Quotes

  1. “I want to exude the confidence I feel wearing heels and red lipstick.” – Me
  2. “Washing blue jeans is risky. It’s like, “When I put these on, will they be 1) snug enough that I feel like can take on anything, because, “Man, I look good!” or 2) So snug that I rethink everything I’ve ever eaten in the past 10 years?” – Me
  3. “When artists I like go on tour.
    Me: I WANNA GO!
    5 seconds later: There will be people there. I don’t like people…. staying home it is, then!” – Me
  4. “If shattering glass was an Olympic sport, then I’d take home the gold.” – Me
  5. Spencer Hastings: “Cupcakes. Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Sugar-free. Fat-free. Technically, they might not actually exist.”
  6. Unknown: “Try to live every day like Elle Woods after Warner told her she wasn’t smart enough for Harvard Law School.”
  7. 12/31 – My Sister/roommate: “Basically, all of our interactions are randomly poking each other.”

New Friends (and important interactions with old friends)

  1. Kelli Cates
  2. March 6 – Met Anna-Marie in person!
  3. 3/19 – Holly moved to Indonesia
  4. 8/19 – Five years at Compass and friendship with Allie & Holly
  5. Five years of friendship with Shelby Lilly!
  6. Abby Stewart
  7. Bill
  8. Morgan
  9. Lauren
  10. Ciara and Robert
  11. 11/8 – Facetimed Holly after not seeing her for 7 months
  12. 12/30 – Got to see Allie after a year of not seeing her!

My brother and sister-in-love had a baby!

  1. March 15 – I’m gonna be an aunt!
  2. June 2 – It’s a Boy!
  3. November 7 – Anthony James is born!
  4. December 20 – Aunt Britt and AJ meet!

Celebrity Interactions #AlmostFamous

  1. Julia Ross liked my comment on Sarah Ross’s Instagram (of Everlife)
  2. 3/7- Saw the Duggars at the bank in Ak
  3. 4/5 – Sarah Michelle Gellar liked my tweet!
  4. 5/24 – Freddie Prinze Jr. liked my tweet!
  5. 7/27 – Amber Marshall liked my comment on her Instagram post!
  6. 8/18 – Met Sunny Sweeney after her concert!
  7. Tiffany Alvord liked several of my tweets and tweeted back several times!
  8. Hurricane Harvey Relief and seeing RaeLynn perform live!

Random Milestones

  1. February: Started Writing Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fan Fiction (on hiatus now)
  2. 3/2 – Started cooking raw chicken and meals in general nearly every day!
  3. 4/16 – Combined my blogs to have one.
  4. 4/16 – Started Writing Malachi Gregory
  5. 4/27 – Blogging is my calling
  6. 5/29 – Obsessive Hope is live!
  7. 6/13 – #5 on Reverb Nation Singer Songwriter charts for San Antonio, Tx
  8. 6/21- First Vlog – “At last; It is Very Good”
  9. 6/27- Silly as it may be, I was excited to see it rain on one side of my work building, while the sun shone brightly on the other side.
  10. 8/13 – Isaac, Dinah, and Micah accepted Jesus into their hearts!
  11. 12/7 – It snowed in San Antonio!!

Total Stats at the End of the Year

  1. Facebook
  • 105 likes
  1. Instagram
  • 112 Followers
  1. obsessivehope.com
  • 221 posts
  • 30 followers
  • 4710 views
  1. Reverb Nation
  • 392 fans
  • 11 – Local Singer/Song Writers
  • 43 – Regional
  1. Twitter
  • 110 Followers
  1. Wattpad
  • 347 Reads in one month
  1. YouTube—Across three platforms
  • 357,359 views
  • 316 subscribers
  • 100 videos
  1. YouTube—Obsessive Girl
  • 530 music/vlog views
  • 254 total subscribers
  • 39 music videos/vlog

At the end of the year, I only remembered any of the good things, because I looked through all of my Facebook posts of the year. While a lot of much worse things could have happened in 2017, and I’m grateful they didn’t, a lot of things could have happened a lot more smoothly too! A lot of things could have, and in my mind, should have not happened at all! Now that it’s 2018, I kind of just want to sit at home and sleep until I run out of money, because 2017 left me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drained! I need to rest in every sense of the word and I certainly hope 2018 will give me that rest I need!

Happy New Year, everyone! May this year be everything you want it to be as you grab it and claim it as your own!