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Reflecting on 2022

As I’ve been thinking back on this past year and really feeling as if the end of the year has sneaked up on me, I can’t help but think of the goodness of God. This year has been a difficult one, but God has carried me through in such precious ways.

At the end of 2021, my dad got some fun party hats with a space to write on them what we planned to do in 2022. I kept mine after that night as a way of sorts to remind myself to hold onto hope. At the time, I was in horrible pain, trying to deal with the symptoms caused by my Chiari malformation. I was tired and I was scared, but I was desperately holding on to God, that He would get me through. That things would be better.

I didn’t know at the start of 2022 what would come or when my pain would be better. I definitely didn’t know that I would end up having brain surgery in May. But looking back at this past year, I remembered the things I wrote on that hat. Many of them were things I loved but were unable to do because of the pain I was in. My hopes for 2022 were comprised of working on my novels, drawing and painting, practicing my violin, working hard on my studies, and most importantly, leaning into God and trusting in Him.

By the grace of God alone, I got through the spring semester at the start of this year and managed to get good grades when I was experiencing debilitating pain and brain fog. Then when May rolled around, God carried me through my surgery and kept me safe. He’s continued to carry me through my recovery, and I’ve found that once again I’m able to work on those things I enjoy. I haven’t finished the first draft of A Wood So Great and Terrible yet like I had hoped, but I’m 40,000 words further into the story than I was before. I’m able to paint and draw again, and I’ve done more drawing this year than I have in a while. I still have some muscle pain in my neck from time to time and so I can’t yet play my violin for longer stretches of time, but I’m able to play again, which is such an answered prayer. And all of that is such progress when compared to where I was last year.

But most importantly, God has been teaching me to rely on Him and trust Him with everything in my life. The past two months have been difficult with quite a few unexpected things that have hit my family and I, but God has been there for us and has carried us through. And if He can carry us through this year, He can carry us through this new year to come.

Going into this new year, I’m excited to see where God takes me. I have a few goals for the new year, such as finishing the first draft of A Wood So Great and Terrible and working on and refining my art, but more than anything, I want to continue to lean into Him and trust Him as He takes me where He wants me to be.

May God bless you and keep you in this new year ahead,

C. K. Heartwing


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