At the end of 2012 everything was falling apart in my life.

Literally.

On New Years Eve I had an eight hour long Neuro-Psych evaluation to see if I was going to be able to handle the after effects of the inevitable brain surgery that I was going to have.

In October I had been diagnosed with Chiari Malformation .  From that point on things just went downhill, well escalated I suppose.  Life had blown to shit after my return from Africa at the end of June.  It only seemed fitting (pessimistically) that it would continue to fall apart.

The pain, both physically and emotionally were just too much to handle.  My faith was hitting a wall as well.  It seemed that everything I thought I knew about God was also falling apart.  Who I understood Him to be did not seem to line up with where my life was heading.

As each blow came against me I would look up and say “REALLY God, really.”  It started to feel like I was living in some kind of sick Job like year.  I was angry, tired and truthfully starting to get a little bit bitter.

I know that the people around me were trying to help with their comments.  When you are sick, like SICK and the only thing you hear is “just trust God” or “you have to just depend on God alone” or my personal favorite “I just know that God is going to do something big with this” your own thoughts become strangely convoluted.

As the New Year was coming up I started to hear about this OneWord365 and though I really didn’t understand what it meant I thought I would give it a go and see where it took me.

With everything where it was and the truths I was hearing and trying to believe I chose Dependence as my word for 2013.  It seemed fitting based on where I was and what I knew I was facing.  I wanted to depend on God more and let learn to let go of my tight control on everything.

January rolled in with news that yes the surgeon wanted to see me ASAP, February hit with the news that yes I needed surgery.

February 21, 2013 I went under and four hours later came out able to say that I’ve had brain surgery.  I joke, I laugh about my missing pieces and the chunks of time I don’t remember because pain killers and being stoned for well a better part of 2013.

Off and on I would think about this word dependence and what it meant as I was learning to reframe my faith and what a relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit meant, what I wanted it to look like in my life and what religion really meant to me.

I could look at dependence from the aspect of provision.  There was not a single month that went by during this whole time that we did not have groceries, that our rent was not paid or that my truck was not filled with gas.  Learning to depend on God for provision was a big part of this year, it still is.  As I write this I don’t know if I can pay rent for January.  Things are still tough.  I’m still sick, I still struggle.  I’ve been in withdrawal from the pain medicine for the last two weeks and it’s BEEN A BITCH.

Do I believe God will come through, honestly?  I don’t know.  Am I scared?  Hell yeah.

I don’t understand how to live a life where I trust anyone or anything other than myself to get things done.

Why?

Because since I was a child (think 4) I have taken care of and parented myself.  It’s always been me to do it and get it done and if I don’t well it doesn’t happen.

I am raising my daughter alone, working, loving her, parenting her AND learning how to re-parent myself at the same time.  I have a hard time re-framing the lens I look through when I think about all of the things I have had to do by myself since I was a child.

Yet when I look back over 2013 and really reframe it I can see where dependence took a turn that I wasn’t expecting and yes it was God but not outright like I, in my old lens of faith expected it to look.

In June I joined this amazing group of women, artists and creators that have accepted, loved and BLESSED me beyond anything I ever thought was possible.

I have been heard.  Seen and known.  Even in my ugly, my rage and my pure, raw vulnerable moments.

These women put together money for my daughter and I to go to Austin for Thanksgiving so that we wouldn’t be alone and when our suitcase was stolen when returned they sent money and replacement items.

It was so much overwhelming love that I couldn’t even respond.

I didn’t see that as dependence until someone in the community mentioned it.  The old me never would have let that happen.  I would have brushed off the help as “Oh its ok I can take care of it”

Instead I allowed myself to depend; to let love flow from a completely unexpected avenue.

And it did.  Not just to me but to my baby girl.  This by extension is me, and fills my heart to the brim to see her experience such love.

2013 was a BAD year in so many ways.  I had to set huge boundaries with people, lost relationships with family and friends that I thought were for me but really weren’t.  I spent the majority of the year sick and in pain.  I am ready to kick this years ass out the fucking door.

This is why my word for 2014 is Reclaim.

I am ready to reframe and reclaim the shattered pieces of my life, of my faith and my heart.

I started the process this year but it got muddled in with everything else and it’s hard to sort out what is what.

There is so much I have to reclaim.  Anniversaries (shit-aversaries) hard times, scary things and trauma that I haven’t been willing to face for the 32 years I have been walking this planet.

Yet it’s time and I am more ready than I have ever been; because I don’t walk this earth for just me.  I have a precious 7 ½ year old baby girl who depends on me to be healthy, strong and loving.  She depends on me.

So maybe this year I can reclaim dependence and what it means to be dependent on the God that I am still learning to follow?

Because my faith was shattered this year.

But sometimes shattering is the best thing that can happen to a girl.

As Always,

Bethany

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