let's start at the very beginning (and the most dramatic part of 2013.) a year ago today, i was lying on the couch in tears from the amount of pain a cyst in my neck was causing. my neck was so swollen it looked like a grapefruit was growing in it. pretty picture, huh? i had been to the doctor, had a biopsy and an mri, and was waiting on a final decision regarding surgery. my doctor had put me on some strong pain killers that barely numbed the pain and made me extremely nauseated and dizzy. i couldn't eat and i couldn't sleep. two days later, i woke up from a restless night's sleep and was walking down the hallway in my house when i suddenly became incredibly dizzy, blacked out, and fell...breaking three bones in my foot in the process. everyone always asks how on earth i broke my foot by falling face forward and my response is always "i don't know...i was unconscious." ;) my mom rushed me to the orthopedic surgeon and i was put in a boot and on crutches. (this inspired the pirate-themed hashtag: #bootlegmeg) so there i was with a neck the size of the hulk, a broken foot, and doped up on pain killers that made me pass out. i was a hopping nightmare. two more days passed and i went in to see my doctor about my neck and to talk about surgery. he walked in the exam room, took one look at my neck, and told me that i needed to go to the hospital immediately because the infection in my neck had abscessed. gross, right? so i was rushed to the hospital, into surgery, and spent a night there. the reason for the infection was never found and the cyst has disappeared for now...an mri can't even find it. what a relief that was, but it also stirred up so many questions as to why all of this happened to me. it seemed so senseless. i spent months recovering from my surgery and waiting for all the swelling in my neck to go down, and two of those months were spent without being able to walk. the good news is that Jesus works miracles and i am healed.
i don't tell you all of this to complain. i tell you because i have learned even more so this year that the healing process takes a lot of time and a lot of patience. that doesn't just apply to physical wounds, but emotional wounds as well. it takes time for the heart to heal, and friends, i want you to know that's okay. it's okay to take time to grieve your losses, whether it's time, shattered dreams, or broken relationships. my physical injuries forced me to slow down and gave me a lot of time to think. sometimes those thoughts were angry ones...upset that the Lord had let this happen to me, and upset that it had put my life on hold. however, as time has passed, i can see that all the Lord allowed for me to go through was a blessing in disguise. i learned more about the power of prayer through the prayers of my prayer warriors during those weeks and months. my heart was overwhelmed by the people who loved me so well and cared for me. i constantly reminded myself that the situation i was in did not take God by surprise. He knew exactly what was happening and He was in complete control. i have learned that God allows and uses the difficult things in our lives to draw us closer to Him, and if that's the only reason i went through what i did, it was worth it.
now on to the rest of the year...
january, february, and march are all a blur. more like a slow motion blur since i spent the majority of my time stuck on the couch. however, i did fall in love with doctor who over that time period. it was also in january that i started blogging more consistently and i started getting involved in the blogging community. it was during those months when i needed community so badly that i met some of my dearest blogger friends. you all were more of an encouragement to me during those days than you realize.
in april, i got to go to colorado to see my best friend. the first of three times this year! once for business and twice for vaca. i've said it before and i'll say it again, but i wish all of my friends lived in the same place, OR that i could teleport. for now, since that isn't happening any time soon, i'm incredibly grateful the Lord provided for me to go on all of those trips. that is something i do not take for granted.
in june, my brother got married and i got to have some fun california adventures. my family flew to san diego for a long weekend to see my brother get married. besides all the wedding festivities, we also got to explore la jolla and coronado with one of our sweet cali friends. i'm excited to be going back for more adventures in 2014!
in august, i turned 25. i thought turning a quarter of a century was going to be the worst thing ever, but it turns out the big two-five isn't all that bad. plus, age is just a number, right? i feel like i've lived long enough that i can really look back at my early years and see how far i've come. i can see the mistakes, what i've learned, God's grace, how awkward i was in high school...ya know...the important stuff.
also, i opened my print shop! it's still a tiny baby of a shop. i work on projects and add as i can, but i finally accomplished my goal of setting up a shop this year. thanks to all of you who were so sweet to encourage me to chase my dreams.
in september, i roadtripped to mississippi with two of my besties. we came from three different cities and two different states to roadtrip together to visit the bayou. our friend, aimie, was preggers at the time and about to pop. we went to celebrate her upcoming entrance into motherhood and to be with her at her baby shower. i'm so thankful for friends like these.
in october, i met my bestie's baby and became "aunt megs". aimie had her baby just a couple weeks after we went to visit her in mississippi, and she and her husband made an impromput trip to chattanooga when evie girl was just 4 weeks old. it was the greatest gift to get to hold that tiny babe. i'm so looking forward to watching this little girl grow up and experience life. kids are the greatest. the end.
in november, i spent my thanksgiving in colorado. i had the best time spending the holiday with my colorado family, taking in the rockies, making elaborate gingerbread houses, and spending quality time with my best friends. spending thanksgiving away this year was a breath of fresh air. my heart was happy to be in my other home state.
in december, i spent time resting. sure this month was full of fun events and good friends, but i made sure to save time that wasn't filled with busyness. i really wanted to soak up the christmas season, and i'm glad i did, because even making time for it still didn't seem like enough.
looking back on 2013, i realize it's the little moments that i treasure most. meaningful conversations with beautiful souls, days spent in my kayak on the river, whispers of hope, learning to choose joy above all, and valuing the precious time i get to spend with friends and family.
i could look back and see all the ways and places i failed last year, but it's no use dwelling on the past. i have to look forward because it's the only way to make it through. the future is where my hope lies. i'm so thankful for Jesus and all that he has given to me. new life and new mercies every morning.
it's a good life, y'all. i can't wait to see what adventures 2014 will bring.
enjoy your new year's eve, and stay safe out there, kids!
enjoy your new year's eve, and stay safe out there, kids!