Wrapping Up 2021
If you were like me, you thought that the toughest year would be 2020. At this time last year, I had hope that COVID would be a distant memory and life would be back to normal. Instead this year was about strength and revelation.
As 2021 comes to a close I want to talk about some lessons I learned as a new mom and human being (not that I’m a new human being lol.)
1. I learned to admit my weakness
This was BIG! A shift that pregnancy forced me to make this year was identifying and admitting what my true capacity was. A baby has a way of making you focus on what is truly important and one of the lessons I learned especially in the postpartum time was that I needed to slow down. This is easier said than done when you measure your success based on how much you can do. Take Back Your Time by Christy Wright taught me that a list is a system and success isn’t perpetually checking things off that list. It’s doing the hard work of first choosing what matters and making sure your time and list reflects that. When I started finding my priorities I had to admit to myself that I had been trying to do too much and it wasn’t serving my purpose or bringing me peace. I’m not 100% there but I am in a better place and enjoy life knowing I don’t have to do everything but the most important things.
“Joy to the world, the Lord has come. Let earth recieve her King.”
2. I learned to be honest
In 2021 I realized that I needed to work on honesty. I didn’t recognize my weakness ,as mentioned before, because I wasn’t honest with myself. I thought I could do it all. I also had to be honest about some bitterness, anger, and questions that I had about myself and Christianity. I started by being honest with God about what was bothering me. I chose to confront thoughts and patterns that I have consistently shoved down. I stopped trying to downplay my opinions, fears and thoughts to appease what I thought was expected of me. It was like a cloud slowly moved from over my head. It felt as if God heard the frustration but also empowered me with truth. I was empowered through listening and reading about this Jesus who I claimed to know. One resource that helped me go through this journey of honesty was The Bible Project. They helped me with answers about God and how the modern church is connected. I felt like I crawled under my “house” of faith and rebuilt my foundation on truth and the word. Now I reframe life through the truth wherever I go. I no longer ignore my questions or opinions I hold them up to the truth.
3. I learned I don’t know everything
I will be the first to admit I am still working on this one. I have had a fear in the past of looking like I have it together whether or not I actually do. I like to appear confident when I have more questions than answers. What a weight off of my shoulders it is to admit “I don’t know it all” and I don’t have to! Life is full of community for this very reason! I released myself from the expectation that I know exactly what to do at all times. I don’t always have the plan or solution but God does. I have an awesome Husband who can help too. Best believe this year I am gonna keep learning this lesson- I hope you do too!
4. I learned that family is foundational
This year I felt the full support of my family when baby Sanai was born and now more than ever I am so thankful for them! I also have been filled with so much joy watching my parents become grandparents and siblings become aunties and uncles. I have friends who have become family checking in to see how Sanai and I are doing. We also mourned together when both my grandparents passed. Watching my own family grow from two to three is indescribable. There just aren’t words to describe watching the friend you married two years ago become an awesome dad! It’s amazing to see a baby who looks like so many people you love! Finally seeing Sanai’s sweet face when she sees me makes me want to buy the whole world for her. Family has really been important this year in a whole new way that I am deeply thankful for.
5. I learned that I am stronger than I feel
Pregnancy gives you all the feels. I had some big feelings this year from anxiety to excitement to sadness. My biggest mental battle was overcoming the fear of giving birth. So much was unknown and unpredictable. That was very hard to come to terms with. The moment labor hit and I was able to walk and breathe through it, I knew it would be ok. After getting through the newborn stage I can look back with some relief that if I could do that, I can do anything! My declaration for encouraging myself was “I CAN do hard things well.” Sometimes you have no out of a situation that requires courage. Tell yourself you can do it even when it doesn’t feel that way. It’s better to face your fears with shaky feet than pretend they don’t exist.
6. I learned that time owes me nothing
I said goodbye to two of the most important people in my life. My grandparents. Both unexpectedly passed within months of each other. 2021 brought more funerals than I anticipated and I don’t have all the feelings worked out about it. I do know that time just goes on even when it feels like your world is forever changed. People are gifts and we truly don’t know how long we will enjoy them. So now every conversation looks a little different. Some arguments aren’t worth having and I realize life isn’t forever. Life is precious and beautiful and I am grateful for the time I did have with my grandparents. I am now doubly grateful for the family I have now and really value the time we spend together.
I am truly a different person than I was in 2020. Marriage, pregnancy, motherhood have really given me perspectives on life I didn’t have. A few years ago I felt as if everything familiar about myself was changing and for a while, I felt like asking “who is this NEW person?” I think in 2021 I matured a bit into myself. I am a little less scared of my flaws and really excited that God isn’t done with the work he started in me. What was 2021 like for you? What do you look forward to in 2022?