Things 2018 taught me:

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A lot can happen in a year, everyone knows that, or at least everyone has heard it. I was starting to doubt it when I was sick. Nothing can happen if you’re sitting on a couch… at least, not anything exciting.

But flash forward to 2018. I’m still having treatment, but my entire world has shifted. I’m off the couch. I’m about to marry the man I love. I have been working a year and a half at a wonderful job I love. My world is coming into focus. I’m starting to get a clear picture of what the future is going to look like. And I’ve learned a whole lot in this busy year, so I thought I’d share a few of those lessons with you:

Things really do happen when you least expect them too. It makes life feel like a series of surprises you just stumbled into, but that’s part of the magic. It’s easy to feel like everything is out of your control when it comes to the next step, but our main job is to keep moving forward. Get farther down the trail, there is a lot of beauty ahead.

Kindness doesn’t just happen on its own. Maybe civility happens without much effort, but true kindness, the kind that shifts days and changes lives, that comes from a lot of effort and a series of repeated actions. You have to choose to be kind, and work at it. It’s always worth it.

Stress really is as bad for your body as it is for your mind. I mean, I knew this, in theory, but my Lyme Disease has actually made it insanely easy to notice. Stress makes my symptoms flare, which has made me really learn to take note on what stresses me out and what helps me relax. Everyone is different and everyone has different stress levels they can handle, but it’s a good rule to remove as much stress from your life as possible. It’ll feel good, but it’ll also make you live longer.

Things happen faster than you think. As I said above, a lot can happen in a year, but we don’t need to stop the saying there. A lot can happen in six months. A lot can happen in a month, a lot can happen in a week. Sometime it feels like like is dragging on and not much is happening, but that doesn’t mean it can’t. Sometime it’s a sign that we need to kick ourselves into action, other times it just means God is giving you some rest before change happens very quickly in a short period of time.

If you want to hear from God he has to hear from you. Faith isn’t one sided. Yes, God is all powerful, but you can’t expect him to do all the work. He needs to know you’re ready to listen, because if you aren’t, you’ll just keep walking by all the signs he plants in front of you. Spend some time praying, it’s funny how talking can double as listening sometimes.

Simply showing up is half the battle. This goes for job interviews, first dates, family functions, and parties you’re dreading that end up being a lot of fun. Putting yourself out there or doing something that makes you nervous is half the battle, it’s normally even more than that if I’m being honest. Showing up can make a big impact on your life and we seriously underestimate it.

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