Sverige 2015

Sverige 2015

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016: I was not killed by a gorilla

Hey there pals,

It has been a very long time since I blogged publicly, but fear not, I never stopped writing. My writing over the past 2 years has been deeply personal, raw, cathartic, and...not something to be shared (trust me). 

However, I have learned so much when others have let me into their hearts, even, no, especially, when they are broken. It is an honor to be a part of their journeys. So I am writing this with the intent to invite you into mine, with the hope that I can help someone else.


I have had some incredible experiences this year. I traveled to many cities, saw musical and comedic legends live and in their glory, and went zip lining without dying. Annelise and I did loads of fun family outings like strawberry picking, multiple beach trips, orchard visits, trips to children’s museums, and a visit to the zoo (also without death by gorilla). Most of all, we were able to spend quality time and grow in relationships with family, friends, and our church community.

2016 contained a lot of firsts for me: my first dating relationship (!) and broken heart since the divorce, the first vacation for Annelise and I as a family unit, and the first wedding I attended since the divorce. These were all wonderful events and opportunities for growth, but they were also incredibly difficult. 

Speaking of difficult things, in 2016 I walked with my friends through devastating losses and grief that was (and in some ways still is) unspeakably deep. My heart breaks for the devastation happening around the world, in our own nation, and in my own backyard. Why, God? I am not sure I will ever understand. But, I have learned a lot about grief over the past 2.5 years. Mostly that it is long, painful, messy, and that it rears its ugly head at the most unexpected moments. Grief is not linear. Recovery isn’t either.

Rather than draft a list of new years expectations that I am probably not going to meet, I have started giving myself a theme word for each new year. My word for 2016 was “grace.” Mostly that I would give myself the same measure of grace that I grant others. It is not easy and to be honest, I feel like I kept it in the forefront of my mind until maybe January 5, 2016. Grace is probably something that I will wrestle with for the rest of my life.

My word for 2017 is “surrender.” When my marriage ended in 2014, it not only entailed the loss of my husband, marriage, best friend, and our future together. It also meant a sudden jerk in the trajectory of my life. It’s like I was moving full speed ahead in one direction and BAM life suddenly jerked 90ยบ to the left. I am still feeling bruised and whiplashed and it is taking a lot longer to heal than I thought I would. Part of me wants to keep pumping the brakes, because I am so fearful of what lies ahead. I am still working on embracing my new reality, but I am also hopeful that the future contains good—even though it won’t be the one I imagined in 2014. And maybe, just will be better?

2016 was a volatile time in my relationship with God. I was angry with God. I questioned him with every fiber of my being. I resisted and acted against what I knew He would have wanted for me. I faced deeper doubts than I ever have before. I feel like I wrestled with God the way that Jacob wrestled in Genesis 32. What did Jacob demand? God’s blessing. What do I demand? Something deep, authentic, and vibrant with God. I won’t settle for less. It’s all or nothing for me. And in order to find that, I have come to the point of surrender. I must surrender my plans and my own will. So that is my hope for 2017. That it will be a year of surrendering my own junk and discovering what my new future looks like—the one that God has planned for Annelise and I, come what may. 

So what do I wish for you in 2017? Peace, growth, wholeness...and most of all, grace.