The Fat Hydrangea

Sara Michelle - Columbus, Ohio

What a Difference a Year Can Make

Sara Michelle B.2 Comments

Last year on August 1st, my Facebook post was “What a difference a year can make.” And I didn’t mean it in a good way..

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On August 1, 2017, I was enjoying my first few days of being a stay at home mom. I was over the moon to be able to spend all day every day with my kiddos and kiss the corporate world goodbye! I was so excited to have a slower paced life and more time to focus on serving and caring for the ones I love. Plus, I officially relaunched my blog on August 1st and was dreaming of opening up my own interior decorating business as a passion project/side hustle. It felt like the BEST day and a new beginning.

On August 1, 2018, I went back to work in finance full-time. It was the first day I ever dropped the boys off at a daycare. Also a major new beginning, but not one I’d expected or wanted. I was living with my parents, raising three kids alone, heartbroken, and exhausted.

What a difference a year can make is right.

But you know what? The “me” in 2018, in spite of being in an unforeseen and seriously undesired position in life, had a lot of faith and was clinging to hope... I KNEW God had seen this storm in my life coming and had a way through it. I KNEW God had placed this job and this daycare and this new house in my path. I KNEW I was where I was supposed to be and that eventually - somehow, someway - God was going to bring good out of my circumstances. I KNEW God was working even if I didn’t know how the pieces were going to come together. Though I’d gotten through the worst of it, I was still overwhelmed with grief and fear because there was so much unknown ahead of me, but I kept walking in faith in spite of those feelings. One small step ahead of the other, I kept moving forward. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I trusted that though some major things in my life had ended, that this wasn’t the end of all that was good. My life wasn’t over! The “me” on that day - through all of the tears - had fierce hope and saw the light starting to shine through the cracks.

On August 1, 2019, I say it again - what a difference a year can make! After a year of so much unexpected hardship, I feel like I had a year more defined by unexpected blessings. By the grace of God, I am happy. I am healing. The boys are amazing and kind and hilarious and thriving. I have grown SO MUCH! My faith has exponentially deepened. I see how so many of the puzzles pieces came together because I trusted God and took the actions he put on my heart even when they stretched me seriously beyond my comfort zone. I’ve deepened and developed some awesome friendships that have brought so much light and laughter into my life. I’ve started writing and have experienced some incredible bonding and rich blessings by sharing my story. There have been so many good trips and books and house projects and experiences and memories made. Don’t get me wrong, there are still many REALLY hard days… days where I can hardly get in a deep breath... days when it all hits me... but my hope and my faith are greater than my grief. I’ve learned they can coexist and in that, it actually makes the sweet stuff sweeter. (Isn’t that a gift?) While this isn’t the path I would have ever chosen for myself, there are still so many blessings that God has placed in my life. Today I choose to be grateful for those blessings and that is enough! It truly overflows my heart when I sit still and think about it all.

I don’t know what the next year holds for me, and honestly I’ve pretty much given up having expectations or plans for my life at this point :) I’ve 100% given it to God! But I do know that whatever comes my way we will be ok. We’ll grow in the darkest of valleys and give thanks - immense thanks- for the blessings that come our way.