Can I just say that I am SO beyond excited that it is officially 2014!?
SERIOUSLY. FINALLY. THANK GOD.
2013 was possibly the most difficult year of my life, yet as I look back, quite honestly the most rewarding. Late January last year I got SO sick. Months passed and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Chronic fatigue symptoms, debilitating migraines, social anxiety, sleeplessness. I came down with a devastating virus in June, leaving me on bed rest for nearly 5 weeks. I had a scare with high liver enzymes and more blood work drawn in that period of time than my life combined. I say all that only to say it was one thing after the other, and I felt like I couldn’t catch up. I had just moved to Atlanta with my darling husband to be a part of Ihop Atlanta. I stepped onto staff full time and within weeks had to step down from most my commitments as I was so sick I couldn’t leave my bed or house most days. I was confused, frustrated and quickly realized my expectations were being shattered. I was barren, alone and completely dependent on the Lord and His leadership. I felt lost, hopeless and at times fought bouts of depression.
But to be brutally honest, I was angry things weren’t going MY way…
10 months went by, and we finally hit some breakthrough physically. We eliminated gluten from my diet, stopped drinking soda and eating processed food, started juicing and included essential oils into the mix. For any of you that have been following my journey the past few months, you have been tracking with me and the great breakthrough I am walking through, but as most of you know the healing process takes time!
So as I look back at the last year, my heart has such deep gratitude at His perfect leadership. I am grateful that I have seen Jesus in a new light, and His tenderness towards those who suffer. I am grateful that even in the midst of my pain and accusation, He was and always will be GOOD. I am grateful that no matter what happens to my physical body, there will be a day where I stand before Him face to face, in perfect unity, where there will be no more pain, tears, heartache or death. I am grateful that He let me walk through the valley and shook me to my core, exposing areas of accusation I had towards Him. I am grateful that He is big enough to handle my emotions and gave me a husband who loved me, cared for me, protected me and honored me through it all.
So to break in the New Year, I want to look back at 2013 and recognize the GOOD that happened. I want to remember that through the heartache and pain, He was so kind to my heart. So here are my 13 highlights from 2013, and all in all, it was a blessed year 🙂
1. On January 14th we moved into our first home together! We have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath renovated basement apartment that is the most wonderful blessing for us as newlyweds.
2. In February I was honored to preach my first message at both services at Ihop Atlanta. It was such a gift to my heart and a partial promised fulfilled by the Lord!
3. I was flown to Kansas City to speak to over 300 3rd and 4th year students about an opportunity to come and spend a semester at Ihop Atlanta!
4. In early February we adopted our sweet, spunky, precious little Lovie. She is a 6lb nothing of a Yorkie and my most loyal and faithful friend through this year of being sick!
5. We started Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover & got our Emergency fund built within a few months! It was one of the best feelings and was such a help through the year
6. In March I started my own business at rachaeldee.com and launched into a dream that has been tucked deep inside of my heart for years. I am eager to see what 2014 looks like!
7. Justin believed God for the impossible and took a leap of faith asking friends and family to help him get his dream baby grand piano! Its been such a gift to us!
8. We saved up money for MONTHS and celebrated our 1 year anniversary in Florida! We were so grateful for that gift and thanked God for an amazing 1st year of marriage!
9. I was able to drive up to Virginia to take care of my grandmother in the hospital. Such a sweet and wonderful time with my family 🙂
10. I spontaneously got to go to Disney World with my mama for the first time and we had a blast! Space Mountain anyone!? We went 4 times!!!
11. I was honored to host my in laws for the first time this Thanksgiving and cooked the entire meal with my husband! It was such a memory that I will always remember!
12. I got to see my nephew turn 1 and see my sister and family for Christmas. The beauty of seeing her growing into her identity and maturity as a new mom was staggering to me.
13. We were blessed to go get our first Christmas Tree together! What a joy it was to decorate it together and celebrate the beauty of Jesus this holiday season!
Take hold of 2014! Believe God for a breakthrough and believe that no matter how hard life gets, how the trials and blessings of life come, He is NEAR! Talk to Him today and let Him know that you need Him this year! Lets walk this journey together!
Don’t forget to comment below and let me know how I can be praying and agreeing with you this year! As always, pop over to www.facebook.com/youareallfair and join the conversation daily! You are NOT alone!
This is going to be a year of breakthrough for YOU!