Reflecting on this past year, I am amazed at how much has changed both within my heart and in my circumstances.
Last year when I turned 26 the pandemic was keeping everybody socially distant and a lot of things were shut down. There were riots and protests for Black Lives Matter and politically everything and everybody felt polarized. I was working a very unstable part time coffee shop job and trying to figure out a direction to go.
I remember feeling so restless, wanting to see people or do things but feeling confined and stuck. There were times when I didn’t see my family or Ricky and every time I went somewhere my heart ached for genuine human interaction rather than the blank stares and people keeping their distance. I hated seeing the division among people, covid seemed to bring out the worst in a lot of the world. There were moments of brightness amidst it all, but overall hope seemed to flicker dimly and quietly in the background.
Flashforward to my 27th birthday, and not only was I able to celebrate with my family but I did so engaged to my best friend. Sitting in the hammock as the sun went down, I had a moment where I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude. I have a job that I love and that challenges me and helps me grow. I am getting married in less than two months and will become a part of a family that I adore. Despite everything happening last year I have grown a community of close friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime.
Reflecting back I am recognizing that the biggest thing that has changed is that I’ve embraced slowing down and stopped running from stillness. This is partially due to covid forcing me too and partially because I started to take Adderall. Initially I fought both things, I hated being forced into isolation and I was worried that taking a medication for ADHD would change me and I wouldn’t like it. Yet as I slowed down and started to seek God in those quiet moments, I started to find myself more content and at rest. I started to sort out my priorities, able to see more clearly what I did out of obligation versus what brought me joy. I was able to invest in and be invested in by people because I wasn’t running a million miles per hour and being a social butterfly. I was able to focus more clearly and become more self-aware and more organized. I started a job managing a cleaning company, and I know that a year ago I wouldn’t have done well with but now I am thriving in it.
Something important happens when we slow down, and we learn to sit with ourselves. I’ve spent a lot of my life avoiding the quiet, not wanting to face what was within or afraid that if I wasn’t doing things, I was missing out or not living up to my full potential. Now I’m beginning to see the beauty all around me, I’m able to be present and to embrace the moments I’m in.
Slow down, allow yourself the space to rest and to grow. Take time to do an inventory of your life. Ask yourself the hard questions and know that if you aren’t happy with where you are or who you have become it is never too late to change. It is okay to say no, filling your schedule to the brim doesn’t often bring fulfillment and joy. Take time to cherish those who you love. Spend time with people that bring you joy and make you a better person. Slow down and pay attention to all the beauty surrounding you. Trust the journey you are on, and let Gods love guide you.
” Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted manta the heavens and earth” Psalm 46:10