Messy Faith,  Personal and Spiritual Ramblings,  Recovering Perfectionist,  Writing and blogging

How I’ve grown and changed in 2012 {Top 12 posts of 2012}

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What a year!

That’s the only way I can think to start this post.

I had no idea what I was getting into at the beginning of last year. All I knew is that my husband was finally coming home for good and that I was worried about things like reintegration and putting our family back together.

But I didn’t expect to come out of 2012 a totally different person. Well, honestly, I can’t say that I’m a totally different person. I’m the same person I have always been. But what has changed is how I view myself, how I take care of myself, how I view God, and how I view life. And in that sense, I FEEL like a totally different person.

It’s been a year of tears, growing pains, and heart-wrenching experiences. It’s been a year of lifestyle changes like a healthier diet, more exercise, and changing how I view and use social media.

It’s been a year of breaking chains. Chains of negative thinking, addiction, perfectionism, and legalism.

It’s been a year of pain that has led to freedom.

I can’t just sit here and list my top 12 posts based on things like stats and comments. This isn’t a list of my most popular posts. This is a list of posts that tell what happened to my heart, body, and soul in 2012.

These posts are some of my most lengthly, most in-depth, heavy posts. They are not for the faint of heart. But if you want to know more about me, where I come from, the inner workings of my soul, all that God has freed me from this year, then read on my friend!

1012 top 12

1. Answers: a post about my health and what has been causing a lifetime of physical ailments, and what I planned to do about it.

2. Radiant: Silencing the Inner Voices: a post about how I have struggled with self-worth and reclaimed a healthy self-view based on who I am in Christ.

3. Make March Matter: a post where I decided to quit moping about having to wait an entire year to expand our family and make this year of waiting be one of growth and self-improvement.

4. Deactivate…ACTIVATE!: a post where I realized that if I was going to see my goals accomplished and believe the truths about who I am in Christ, I had to make some drastic changes–starting with deactivating my Facebook account for a month.

5. On being a Facebook addict, privacy, and pleasing people: A post where I finally admitted to myself that I had an unhealthy addiction to Facebook and pleasing people which was rooted in a lacking relationship with God and never feeling good enough for Him or anyone else.

6. Facebook: the flip side ~ on relationships, community, and who I am: a post where I delve into what bothers me about Facebook, what its benefits are, and how I discovered how I can still incorporate it into my life according to my personality and how I want to interact with people.

7. Confessions of a recovering perfectionist: a post about who I have been in my past and how far I’ve come in breaking the chains of perfectionism; how I’ve realized that I will never be “good enough” for some people, and that’s okay.

8: Junk Mail” Changed My Life: a post about how I made even more lifestyle changes, starting with an even more restrictive diet and joining a fitness club. Included are weight-loss photos.

9. Embracing Grace: My PWOC story: a post where I share how my journey as a military wife has taught me so much about legalism and grace; a post about how making a leap “across the aisle” and joining a multi-denominational support group brought me closer to God.

10. Leave it all behind… {What God did through PWOCI}: a post that really is the culmination of everything I’ve gone through this year. It is a post where I share how being at a 4-day conference brought me to a point where I left behind my “pursuit of perfection,” my “fear of rejection,” “dried up, empty religion,” and the guilt that has been weighing me down my entire life. I share the moment where I stopped trying to be “good enough” to win God’s favor, and instead let go of ALL ELSE but Him, knowing that His love will always be enough for me.

11. Choosing joy when the Christmas spirit is broken: a post that began what was one of the most amazing Christmas season ever. A post about my struggles as a wife of a combat veteran who has severe anxiety who has difficulties celebrating the holidays, and how that would affect me during the Christmas season.

12. Faith…refreshed: a post about how I have come to more full celebrate the birth of Christ because of the love and freedom that I have found in Him…how worshipping Him is the only reasonable response I have, now that I have embraced His love and grace.

Even listing out these brief descriptions of these posts has put a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. It was so much to go through. Years of pain and striving and confusion and anxiety trying to figure out who I am and where I am going in this life…and somehow through this year, the confusion is no more. The pain has decreased. The striving has ceased.

I have found rest…I have found love…

I have found grace…I have found freedom!

I have found beauty!

I don’t know why it had to be this year or why it had to take this long. But God does. And His way and His timing is always perfect.

He truly does make everything beautiful…in His time.

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