Content Despite Challenges

The first semester is over, and I can’t help but reflect on the past several months.

This year has been the craziest year that I have had in a long time (I’ve had some crazy hard years).

I have had anxiety. Some days are so hard that I’m not sure how to handle it. But y’all, it’s different this time.

I think everyone has had anxiety this year. Everyone. It has been crazy. And since I have struggled with severe anxiety my whole life (even more this decade than ever), this hasn’t felt so bad. Seems odd I’m sure. I feel like I was almost prepared to be okay this year with all that I’ve learned about myself and how to cope in a healthy way over the years. Most importantly, God has proven His faithfulness and sovereignty time and time again.

It’s different, also, because God has made so many things super clear this year. He allowed me to hit rock bottom a few years ago and has slowly been lifting me up and putting me back together. He has reminded me who I am in Him and who He has called me to be. He has made my calling known and provided a way in a very clear and obvious way. So despite anxiety that I have (it definitely still happens), I never question my calling. I know that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do and I actually love it so so much. It’s not perfect. But nothing is. So I try to just focus on the good and try not to get worked up about things that I can’t change.

Finally figuring out who I am, what I want, what I’m gifted to do, what I’m passionate about, what I need, and who to rely on to have the strength to do all of these things despite chronic health issues is a huge part of my year.

And no, I’m not being self-absorbed when I say these things. I believe that all of this is necessary to be who I want and need to be. And to live out my calling with confidence.

Teaching is hard. Especially during a pandemic, with chronic health issues, commuting every day, in a new school with new co-workers and students. But it has been so sweet. I love how I teach and what I teach. My students are amazing. I love and adore them so much. It is such a shift from when I taught before. I’m really starting to develop relationships with my sweet co-workers. It’s a laid back environment. I’m trusted as a teacher by admin.

Honestly? The hardest thing is that I still don’t have a treatment that works for my chronic illness. But I won’t give in because I want to live life. Some days are super hard. Some days I feel good, then I don’t. I have no idea why this happens. It’s so hard. But I keep going and doing things that I enjoy because if I don’t, and if I give in to the struggle, I wouldn’t be living a life that I love. And I would get super depressed. So I keep moving. And I keep doing things that I enjoy. And I keep loving others hard and well. And I keep relying on Jesus for what I need.

I say that I’m content (in the title) because despite all of the struggle, I’m truly more content than I’ve ever been. It’s an interesting place to be. I have strived for this for years. Truly. I think I had to go through a whole lot to get to where I am. I had to learn who I am and what brings joy. I had to be reminded how God has gifted me for ministry. It had to be totally clear for me to take a step, and God knew that. He knows me better than I know myself.

What brings you joy?

I’ve learned that the “little” things are just as important as the “big” things.

Sunsets, coffee (hot and cold brew), a fun journal and stickers, fun pens, cooking and baking, supporting friends and acquaintances through buying their products (shop local!), Poetry Teatime with my students, my tattoos (I’m getting another next week), flannels and beanies, fun art (most of it I have purchased at thrift stores), Christmas lights, my office, lesson planning (yep!), my fun car, cacti, my amazing job, the high desert and mountains, our animals, natural living, a good book (when I have the time to read!), homemade granola, kombucha (and making it!), community, and so many other things.

Most of all, a close relationship with Jesus and my family is what I strive for. It is daily work, but it’s worth it.

The picture that is my featured image is a stock photo, but I adore it! The high desert is my favorite, and I cannot wait to visit again.

I’m working on another post along with this one. It’s going to be all about some things that are coming up in the new year! Stay tuned.

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