It’s been quiet here on the blog lately. A lot has been happening, and I need to catch everyone up to speed. I wanted to write a couple posts looking back over 2014 and into 2015. Today, I’ll focus on 2014.
At the beginning of last year, I picked a word for 2014 – LOVE – and asked God to make this word the theme of the year. I’d never done something like this before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Unsurprisingly, He did just what I asked (only in ways I never expected).
2014 was incredibly hard. I dated for a few months and quickly realized how closed off my heart was to relationships. The wounds from grief, heartbreak, and betrayals were much deeper than I had even anticipated. My heart was cold. Lifeless. Hardened. This difficult truth catapulted me into the summer, where I faced the painful task of changing the course of my heart. I was on the way to becoming an angry, bitter, selfish person who had no real joy or love left to give to a world that had broken her heart. I was hiding behind my “success” as a viral online blogger, but the real Teryn was slowly suffocating. I needed space to heal and process and grieve.
So the summer was a time where I stepped away from blogging, from the online world, and focused inward. I wrote a lot of poetry, which highlighted the up and down emotions I was feeling during this season (check my poems out here). I spent a lot of time crying out to God for healing. I deeply grieved the wounds of the past and cleansed them from my heart. I spent a lot of time forgiving and re-learning to love.
The first real choice to love was going to Thailand to help document human trafficking and organizations working to stop such things. This was truly a life-changing experience, and so much healing came out of this trip. I walked in and out of that trip a different person. Thailand was a blazing catalyst God used to change the course of my life. I’m still processing the things I learned during the trip, but to sum it all up: In Thailand, I began to finally accept that I am loved. God loves me. People love me. I should open my heart to give and receive love.
Love is worth it.
After Thailand, I began pouring into relationships here in Colorado and suddenly found I wasn’t as alone as I thought I was. I was surrounded by people who cared deeply about me—both new and old. With God’s help, I could change my life to live in love. It is never too late. It just takes the choice to heal, to thrive, and to change. It takes bravery to fight for one’s heart.
In 2014, I learned to love. I learned what love truly looks like, what to avoid, and what to look for in love. I learned that love never fails, and every choice we make to truly love is a step toward healing in our hearts and the world. I learned that sometimes, love means letting go of friendships or relationships that aren’t the best for us. Love means loving oneself, because it’s only when we truly accept God’s love for ourselves that we can love others in the deep, powerful way that changes the world.
Part of learning to love myself and accept love in 2014 was taking the steps toward physical healing. I’ve struggled with Lyme’s Disease for almost ten years, and in 2014 I finally committed to dealing with it. To fight it with everything I have in the hopes that I can live a healthier life in the future. I’m not good at taking care of myself. I often will pour out myself to others, but I rarely take care of myself or let others truly be there for me. For a long time, part of me believed I didn’t deserve it help or love.
2014 proved me wrong. Over the last two months or so of the year (and into 2015), I’ve had so many people step up and help me through a rough transition into Lyme’s Disease treatment. A kind older woman offered to let me live with her rent-free so I can afford my medications and appointments. One of my sisters drove me back to Colorado after Christmas when I couldn’t do it alone. Friends helped move me when I was too weak to do it all—well, pretty much any of it—myself. Friends are praying for me and helping in whatever way necessary—whether that means shopping with me, decorating my new place, cleaning or cooking, or just listening and praying with me during this tough time.
Maybe through being truly sick, I’m learning to ask for help and accept love from others. No, it’s not fun. But it’s helped me realize that no one can do it all on their own. We all need a little help now and then. It’s okay to ask for help, and to ask for love, and to let others show up. It’s okay to fall apart and pick up the pieces, because we’re all on a journey towards healing.
It has almost been ten years since all the pain started: health, heartbreak, depression, unhealthy relationships, betrayal, grief, bitterness, coldness of heart… Ten years is long enough. I want the next ten years to be different. I want the past to be the past, and I want to move forward into a future with life, love, and hope. 2014 was the beginning of a beautiful transformation in me that will continue as I move forward into 2015.
New things are coming, and I’ll keep you updated! Thanks for sharing the journey with me on this blog. I hope and pray that whoever reads this can find the hope and strength that healing can come. Never give up. Fight for your heart. Love is the only hope we have in this world.