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A Reflection: 2023

This mug was purchased at the beginning of 2023 as my official "Hey Y'all" coffee vessel. Little did I know that the phrase "One Step at a Time" was going to become my mantra. God has a sense of humor doesn't he?

As I sit down to reflect on 2023 and all it has held, I realize that I may not truly grasp the impact of this year until much further down the road. This year has been an interesting one to say the least and might hold the title of most unexpected in my adult life which is ironic being that my word for 2023 was “expectation”. Turns out, if you hold everything loosely and trust the Father to work a lot can happen and while I can’t remember, summarize or put into words half of what 2023 has held I do want to remember that…

This was the year I finally got some answers to a million different health questions that seem to be wrapped up in the concept of Hashimoto’s Disease. While I’m not done trying to find my way back to energy and sleep and a million other little things, I am done feeling like a crazy person or believing that this is just “normal for my body”. It’s okay to not be okay.

This year I also learned to choose joy at a point when joy seemed like the furthest thing from my mind. I typically choose my devotions for the year way in advance so I have no doubt that the Lord intended for me to study “Choosing Joy” by Angela Thomas ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL year long because I’ve needed that reminder many times. Much like love, joy is a choice, and this year I chose both in abundance even when my heart would have wanted otherwise and I’ve seen the blessing of doing such twelve months later. 

Surprisingly, this was the year I learned more about the United States court system than I could have ever wanted… even as a Business Law teacher and one of the main things I learned is it takes for-ev-er. My journey taught me to speak up for myself and quite literally stand before others while feeling so uncomfortable and on the verge of vomiting, yet, what started out as a situation that made me feel trapped and helpless became a moment where I proved to myself how brave I could be.  

This is the year I started therapy and stopped chasing perfection… most days. When I started therapy I was desperate for an answer to my physical reactions to anxiety. I didn’t realize that my Hashimoto’s was contributing but I knew that I couldn’t keep going as I was. Now that my anxiety is mostly under control I find that my time spent in therapy has become one of my favorite places. It’s calm. It’s genuine. It’s instructive. I put it off for years out of fear and embarrassment and now I tell everyone about it. Much of my “hang ups” have taken time to unravel and surely aren’t done but boy, am I a different person on the inside, even if I may not look different to you. 

Ultimately, this was also the year of stretching my comfort zones and limits of what I thought my bravery could handle. I’ve accepted the unknown, been imperfect, strived to do LESS and learned the art of saying, “No.”. So much has changed so quickly that I regularly catch my friends saying, “Who are you?” as they laugh because they remember a different version of me. 

Every step of my journey this year was so clearly orchestrated and woven together by God, even the bad moments had His hand on them. Every year I look back and think there’s no way God could surprise me more than He currently has and then the next year rolls around and I’m shocked again. I wish I could tell you all the things the Father has already started for 2024. Apparently, His plans are so big that twelve months can’t hold them so He’s starting early. I don’t know what all 2024 will hold but I’ve learned to hold it loosely with great expectation so bring it on!


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