Goodbye 26, Hello 27
Images by Steven G
Year 27 is finally here and It feels like a salted caramel sundae after a long day. I started my birthday celebration by eating cake for breakfast 3 days in a row, pausing my #OohLaLaOctober workouts, taking personal time off work for a staycation, and neglecting my typical overworking mindset to rest and relax. God has been good to me, like really good. Year 26 was difficult with the death of my papa, but the cherry on top was marrying my better half. (Read our engagement and wedding stories.)
I was in a weird space mentally, emotionally and spiritually for a lot of year 26. Honestly, I was mad at God for allowing my papa to get sick and to die and frustrated with the changes that happened before and after his death. Have you ever watched someone that you love deeply die? It sucks, yet somehow in the midst of this pain and trying time my now-husband asked for my hand in marriage.
I can still remember that visit to LA like it was yesterday. We had so much peace, love, and lust between us that it felt like we were in another world. I felt so free and loved as we laid out on the beach laughing and discussing our dreams. It never occurred to me that my papa would die less than a month later.
So here I was happily engaged and switching churches while watching my papa get sicker and sicker by the day. I can still remember the first night that we left him at the nursing home. It felt as if there was a lump in my throat and rainfalls in my eyes as I said goodbye that night. It wasn’t the same as leaving him at the hospital months prior, this was actually leaving him in hospice care to die.
Death is so final and I felt like I could have saved him like there was something that I could have done or should have done to keep him alive longer. But in actuality, there wasn’t anything that I could have done to keep him here longer. God is the author and the finisher of our faith. I know that my papa lived a long and prosperous life. He left a legacy that I am honored to help carry on.
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
The harsh reality of being human is that you cannot stop God’s plan for your loved one’s lives or for your own.
But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. Job 2:10 NLT
Imagine all of these emotions then boom, you’re trying to plan a wedding yet your future father-in-law is in the hospital and you can barely focus on anything because your mind is everywhere. This is the craziness that the beginning of year 26 brought to me, but as time went on we finally got married (our wedding and honeymoon expenses are paid off) and moved into a larger space together as husband and wife. The decorating process and merging of two lives have been really amazing. I love being married. (Check out my marriage IG Stories here.)
In the midst of everything, God showed Himself to be faithful. There were a lot of days that I didn’t want to get out of the bed or put on a smile, but I pushed through. God gave me the strength to get up and show up for everyone else in year 26. But this year He is telling me to show up for myself.
Why is that so hard? I don’t know but I am walking it out because He has never lead me astray.
And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10 NLT
You may feel like what you’re going through is too much or too hard, but He will never put more on you than you can bear. The amazing thing about God is that he doesn’t make you bear the weight alone. He charges us to cast our cares on Him for He cares for us.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
I want to encourage you to keep going. You may have been really down due to life’s circumstances but you don’t have to stay there. Stress kills people. Give it over to God and take care of yourself starting today. Make your way to the gym, eat cleaner, drink more water, start reading, and journaling your thoughts.
It will take time to be better but in due season you will be a better you. You won’t be back to your old self because that person is gone.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
That was hard for me to grasp when I first started to pull myself out of the pit of depression and confusion that I was in, but it’s real. I will never be the girl who lives with her papa and is dating her boyfriend and attends City of Truth Church and leads The City Creative. That chapter in my life has ended.
I am now a happily married woman starting to rediscover myself, working on my fitness, and serving at Greater Faith World Outreach Ministry. That is that. Facing reality breeds clarity and joy. I’m excited to see what I’m made of and to challenge myself to keep learning new things. Transition sucks sometimes but it’s always worth it.
My Birthday Weekend
You will come out on the other side of whatever you’re going through. God will not fail you. Here’s to a new year of life and many blessings!
Thanks again for all of the birthday love. It truly means a lot.
Ps. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @thejasminediane. Peace!