“Just give it time. Just wait until this time next year. Give it a year, babe.”
That’s what my mom would always tell me.
Because this time last year I was curled up in my pjs, nervous and scared and so worried about my life and what the future held.
I couldn’t see the finish line. I was worn to the bone to where my prayers were barely whispers.
I didn’t want to do anything, be anyone. I didn’t feel like dreaming or trying.
Nothing motivated me.
So I would curl up next to my mom, asking her to just take the pain away. To help me dream. To help me be okay again. To help my understand why Jesus wasn’t making my hurt disappear.
And all she would say would be this: “Just hold on, babe. Healing takes time. Give yourself time. Just imagine where you will be in a year.”
And oh what a difference a year makes.
Because today I am teaching in an elementary school classroom in Aguanga, California.
Today I am dreaming of flying to Washington DC for spring break, going to Europe for a few weeks once school ends and moving to a beach town for the rest of the summer.
I leave to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Atlanta in 3 days.
I am planning, dreaming, dancing and living – when just a year ago I could barely get out of bed.
And you guys know my story- a story where I had a plan and was determined to stick to it, but then God wanted something a little different for me.
So He changed my plans from marriage and Chicago to a move across the country, starting a new story and beginning a whole new adventure.
He changed the fear of the unknown of stage 4 cancer and an incurable disease to living in the moment and loving better and stronger than ever before.
He changed it all- but it took time.
And I am here to just whisper that truth to you today.
I want you to know that healing, growing, living, dreaming- they take time.
I am here to tell you that God isn’t holding back because he wants you to feel the consequences of your actions and reap what you sow. No, but instead, He is holding onto you, trying so hard not to let you go because He can see what comes next, and He can’t wait to let you fly- but you just have to hold out a little longer.
I want you to know that He hears you. That He is moving.
That He has been planning and moving and working this whole dang time.
He was working a year ago when you thought everything was perfect and nothing could go wrong.
He was working when you took your first steps, wrote your own name, and finally received that college diploma.
He was working and is still working and will never stop.
You just have to hold on.
You just have to make it through.
I remember the night I finally realized I was sick and that depression was a real thing- that I wasn’t “me” anymore.
And I remember sitting on my twin bed, in my apartment on the west side of Prague, white knuckle holding onto my bible and journal, hearing the Lord say, “You just have to make it through. Just hold on and make it through.”
And He wasn’t just talking about my next month abroad or the moment my dad told me he had Parkinson’s disease, or the next 6 months of me slowly but surely healing from depression and anxiety. No he wasn’t talking about just one of those moments, but all of them.
He was telling me, “This next season, this next year or so? It’s going to be hard. You are going to wish it away, you are going to cry out, but know, you just have to make it through. You just have to hold on.”
And oh sweet Jesus was my Lord and Savior more than right.
Man what a difference a year makes. Give it time guys. Give yourself time.
And I promise, sooner rather than later, you will be whispering, “Thank you, Jesus.”
See ya soon,