2019. What a year. I got married, published a book, and moved across the country to start a life away from all my friends and family. I definitely learned so, so much, and I wanted to share some of the biggest lessons God taught me this year.
1. God is always in control.
I'll start with the most obvious and maybe hardest lesson. I already knew this; everyone does; but actually living like I believe that God's got me is not as easy. Moving across country with hardly any money and no job or place to live was so scary. I like to plan ahead and know what's going to happen, so it was agonizing in many ways. This year, I really couldn't be in control of my life. I thought I was in charge, and then that feeling was snatched out of my hand. I had to rely on God in a way I never had before.
Even when life feels like it's falling apart, when you wonder why God put you in a situation, know there's always a plan. He may be pushing you to grow, to rely more on him. He may be showing you that you're going in the wrong direction. Either way, the best thing to do in those situations is pray and trust Him. He will make everything clear to you in time.
2. Married life isn't that different from pre-married life.
I don't really know what I expected when I got married, but for the first couple months, both Keith and I were surprised about how normal our lives felt. We still had the same friends, worked the same jobs, ate the same food. Sure, sharing a house was a lot of fun, not to mention living together, but it didn't feel like this monumental shift. We still enjoy the same things, fight about the same things, have the same goals. And that's kind of cool. But all that to say, don't expect that getting married will solve all your relationship problems. You guys will just continue on from the same place you were before you got married.
3. Life is better with a support group.
When we moved, I realized how much I took my friends for granted. I used to complain that I never had time to write because I had to hang out with friends. My social calendar was packed. I actually looked forward to not knowing anyone in California so I could get some serious work done. And I did. I wrote a book since I've been here.
But it gets lonely. Now, not really knowing anyone, I miss spending time with people who really get me, who cheer me on, who motivate me. I've really come to appreciate my support group, even though they're far away. Because being alone isn't nearly as fun, even if I can be "more productive." Thankfully, we're slowly getting to know people, but it takes time.
4. Sometimes you have to power through the hard times, keeping in mind that they'll be over soon.
The last semester has been so hard for me and Keith. With him starting a master's in philosophy and working night shifts and me working 40+ hours in LA traffic, we hardly had any time for anything and were always stressed. Thankfully, now that the semester is over, he's taking less classes next year, and I was able to quit my stressful job to do my own thing. Life has been so much better, and looking back, if I'd just been a little more understanding of the crazy time we were living through, it would've been easier to bear.
There will always be seasons in life that are harder than others. Instead of breaking under the stress and giving up on life getting better, just remember that everything is temporary. Sooner or later things will get better. So try to make the most out of that hard season, while looking to the future.
5. The world is so beautiful! It's worth the discomfort and money to see some of it.
I'm the kind of person who loves the idea of going places, doing fun things. But I often dread actually doing it, because it takes me out of my normal, comfortable routine. But every time I actually go through with it and travel, I'm blown away by how amazing the world is. I've rarely seen anything as beautiful as the West Coast. It wasn't exactly been the most fun thing to pack up our whole lives and move into an Airbnb with other people, but it's been so worth it. I've probably seen more of America in this past half a year than the rest of my life. Some things are worth all the discomfort.
6. It's okay to stop doing something that makes you unhappy.
I don't like to quit. If I commit to something, a job, a task, I want to prove myself. If I quit, I feel like a failure. When I thought about quitting the sales job I took when I first moved here, I felt terrible. But, to tell the truth, I never ever wanted to do sales. I only took the job because I was desperate for something. And I actually found I was better at sales than I would've expected. But it was hard. It wore on me. And when my work support system quit and started disappearing, I knew I needed to move on.
Yes, it felt like a failure. But honestly, I'm so much happier now. I know that God made a way for me to have time to write more, to do what I love more. I'm so blessed to be done with sales. But I did have to swallow my pride to step down from the job I didn't even want in the first place. It wasn't a failure. It was just the right decision for me.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I'd love to hear some life lessons you've learned this year. Let's share the wisdom going into the new year!