R E F L E C T – 2018

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Second week into the New Year and I have been enjoying reading and hearing of other people’s reflections of their 2018 year. Marriages, babies, new businesses, #MoreLIFE… I enjoy living vicariously through others and it’s always a nice reminder that with their happiness means happiness is in the neighborhood! Because ya’ll, happiness wasn’t always the case for me in 2018. 2018 was a growing year where naturally, the changing conditions, stretching, and development was pretty painful but mostly just uncomfortable.

Five minutes into our last session of the year, my therapist (oh yea, I’m in counseling now – we’ll get into that another day) asked me to draw a picture in my head of what my future looked like. After a few seconds of desperately trying to force a picture into my mind, I gave up… “I can’t see it.” He told me to try again and I, very adamantly proclaimed that I. COULD. NOT. SEE. IT.

***

Before my Lupus diagnosis in November 2017, I was able to see it – my future – very clearly. And it was pretty dope. A husband, children, a bakery/café, ministry, travel (not necessarily in that order) but yea – I used to see it all. The sky wasn’t even the limit for all of what I could see, I shot pass the sky! But lately, well, for most of 2018, through my “lupus glasses” — that’s what my therapist calls it, lupus glasses lol — the future has been a little fuzzy and hard to see.

A husband?

  • Who would REALLY tie themselves to someone with a chronic illness?

Children?

  • Would I be able to carry them safely to term?

My café?

  • With these shaky hands?

Ministry?

  • How could I lead others when I can barely keep it together myself?

Traveling the world?

  • Lord I’m exhausted just thinking about it

We’ve been here before, I know. And not that long ago too. Sorry to beat a dead horse, I’m just sayin…

At the end of our session, I realized I had spent all of 2018 trying to figure out what, if any, my future looked like now… with lupus. Then that thought infuriated me because what a waste of perfectly good energy! For an ENTIRE YEAR ya’ll! I made a little home in my heart and let the lies settle into a stinky dark room, invisible to most, and welcomed them to live there.

***

I remember a few years ago, a good friend of mine was telling me how she lost her contact lenses, but she was always doing that – losing her contacts lol Contacts are so small but so powerful – a thin plastic lens placed directly on the surface of the eye to correct visual defects (thank you, Google).

This conversation with my therapist got me thinking about my own visual defects, the “lupus glasses.” Perpetuating the inability to see my circumstances through the lens of my Creator and preventing me from seeing God’s will for my life, the way that He does.

Too often I forget that God has made me promises and He does not lie, and He does not fail. So, just as often as I forget it, I have to remind myself that no matter what I can currently see through my limited eyesight, I must adopt His insight towards my life because that is much greater.

***

I’ve always loved Jeremiah 29:11. It’s always been a good verse to snatch me back… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I’ve had to be extremely intentional in how I read this scripture though. I’ve literally had to insert my name to remind myself that God IS talking to me. He did not just write this and think, “Oh this is for everyone EXCEPT that girl, Sydney” No! And so it goes…

“For I know the plans I have for you, SYDNEY” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, SYDNEY and not to harm you, plans to give you, SYDNEY, hope and a future.”

 ***

2018 wasn’t all gloom and grim, don’t get me wrong. I did have some pretty dope moments but at the end of it, after peeking back over my shoulder, I can say that all of the pain, confusion, doubt, fear, and loneliness has built a great faith in myself, in my God, and in my ability to push through. This has been a tough journey, but I have been determined not to let it take me out. I have too much life to do. I am better for it and I am greater for it. Because in the midst of the fire, I found there was – within me – an unshakable will.

What are you looking forward to this year? I plan to THRIVE! Will you thrive with me…

All my love, Syd

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