If I had to describe 2019 in one word, it would be CHALLENGING.
The definition of challenging from the oxford dictionary is ” testing one’s abilities; demanding.” and this year I was challenged in a LOT of different areas. My faith, confidence, community, and relationship with God was rocked this year. It was a tough year for me. Yes there are moments that I felt peace and got to explore, but for the most part, I questioned a lot of what God was doing this year.
I think it is ironic that at the end of 2018, I felt God calling me to REST in 2019. I didn’t really know what that meant or what it would look like, just that my word for 2019 was REST. So at the beginning of the year, I said “no” to any ministries who asked me to serve. I was confuse as to why God would call me to pause on the areas that brought me joy and gave me purpose, to go to a season of not serving. Soon after the year started, I started to see why REST was my word.
2018 ended with my mom breaking her hip and having hip replacement 4 days before I left to Thailand for 3 weeks. After Thailand, I came back to work and hit the ground running. I mean, I flew in on a Tuesday night and was at the office Wednesday morning at 6 am because I was jet legged. I didnt pause but just kept going. I worked 10 days straight and then had a day off to only keep going.
My first weekend free from work, weddings and showers, I flew to Washington D.C. to visit my best friend. I was physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted. I needed to be somewhere with a friend who would allow me to be broken, be raw and not need me to give or do something for her. See what I didn’t tell you was that my trip to Thailand was hard. It was the perfect storm of sickness, team dynamic issues, organization issues and village issues that all happened on this 2 weeks mission trip. So I was still picking up the pieces of my life from that trip when I went to D.C.
So here I was on the Metro in D.C. crying to my best friend as I told her I was tired of being needed with my family, friends, work and that I just wanted to be. She listened, prayed with me and encouraged me to not give up yet. In that moment, I keep hearing God tell me, ” Rosa, I need you to trust me and rest on my promises and truth.” So I went home that weekend, feeling more refreshed, feeling 50% more like me and ready to go round 2 with life back in California.
Spring/Summer came and I was excited for what was in store. I had big dreams of what I wanted it to look like. I started running and realize it was such a good outlet for me and my mental health. I was still struggling with my self confidence and finding community but was hopeful for the first time this year. I was still tired from work and family responsibilities. I kept asking God if it was going to get any easier and God would just whisper to me,” Just keep resting in me Rosa, I have you.” and I did.
I went into the fall with a trip to Costa Rica to visit friends and honestly to get away from my life in California. I needed a break again. Round 2 had me drained and I needed a “time out” from my life. There I was in Costa Rica, having some good conversations with people who I had done life with, processing events that had happened this year. It was the first time this year, that I had time to sit, pray, journal, read and cry out to God. I got to have my own space to process and then share some of that with my friends there. I had been questioning Christian community all year long and felt like a bad believer for having those thoughts, that I never shared them with anyone. I questioned if community was even worth having or fighting for. If we are supposed to be unified, then why is there so much conflict with people? If I am not in community, am I still a Christian? The list goes on and on and as I sat with God each morning, He would remind me that He was the one God who was over everything. That people weren’t perfect but He was and to continue to rest in Him.
After Costa Rica, I went to Orlando for a missions conference for work. It was amazing. I felt like people there new me and understood me. I felt God renew my calling for my job and knew I was in the right place. I also realized that the thing that I really missed was the close group of people who I can do life with. The one thing that I had be questioning all year was the one thing that I needed in California. Community. I had it in Costa Rica, and those who I would consider my “tribe” dont live in the same city as me. So I set out to find those people.
This was about the time that I decided to give up social media (I will explain why on another blog post) and I realized that I had all these dreams of what I wanted my life to look like, it hadn’t happened. I thought I would be married, have kids and be able to do ministry with a husband. Instead I am almost 40, still single, will most likely not be able to have kids if I don’t get married soon ( I am ok with adoption, just an FYI) and still waiting to do ministry with a husband. Hear me when I say that I know that being married has it own challenges. The season I am in, I am mourning the lost of a dream that I had and I am learning to dream new dreams for my life. I still hear God telling me ” Rosa don’t give up, I am still here and I still hear your prayers. Just rest in my truths and promises” and I am. But there are days, seasons that are easier said and done.
So, as 2019 is over, I look back and see the challenges that I have walked through this year. It was a hard year, a challenging year that I am tired from. I am looking into 2020 with hope for what is to come!
Happy New Years Friends! Here’s to 2020!