A Year I Didn’t Always Want to Embrace

Embrace–to take up readily or gladly; to avail oneself of

I started out 2016 embracing new experiences and all God had in store for me. In early February, while at the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza in Anaheim, California. I embraced my first ever Disney experience. The joy in my heart couldn’t be contained as my friends helped me to embrace this experience. The character parade, riding Its A Small World, watching the families as they too embraced Disney and all it has to offer.

I embraced the nudging from God to begin writing my book “Chasing Our Untils.” The words spilled out onto the page. But then something happened, God put up a different road sign. I had to embrace the fact that this book needed to go on pause while I took my 2014 Write 31 Days series and self-published it into a book. From the moment the proof copy came, I knew this was indeed something I needed to embrace. And as I held my final copy in my hands and paged through, I knew that by embracing this task, others would begin to understand more and embrace the many stories of mental illness in our world.

Every day, I embrace who God created me to be. In embracing my true self, I embrace the ways that my softness is a super power and embrace all the ways that I am a giver. In doing so, my beauty is released into the world. “Embracing your true self radiates a natural beauty that cannot be diluted or ignored.”-Dr. Steve Maroboli

I did my very best to embrace everything that was put in front of me, but embracing isn’t easy. In fact, the further we moved into this year, the more I didn’t want to embrace the world that was unfolding in front of me. I didn’t want to embrace all the evil and hatred that was taking place. I didn’t want to wake up and embrace the stark reality of a world that is broken. And to be honest, I’m still struggling to embrace this broken world. There are days that I simply want to stay under the covers away from the evil and violence in our world.

Yet in the midst of our broken world, I think that’s the beauty of even embracing all that we don’t want to embrace. It allows us the opportunity to work towards freedom, justice, mercy and kindness. It helps open our hearts to a God who promises to come again and rend the heavens.

Trusting in the promise of Emmanuel–“God with us”, I’ll continue to embrace whatever comes my way even when that is difficult to do. I’ll embrace the joy and sorrow. I’ll embrace change (if that’s what I need to do). Sometimes, I’ll fail miserably at embracing life. But I promise to continue to keep learning, trying and embracing what God has to offer me.

8 thoughts on “A Year I Didn’t Always Want to Embrace

  1. what a year! I love that you plan, prepare, schedule, and expect to do certain things, but still you're so wide open to God's Spirit of Life and of What's Best nudging you into other directions, sometimes turning you around part of the way! So exciting that you published your book! I scheduled my year in review to publish Saturday at noon… gives me time for a couple more revisions. And then we get to welcome and embrace 2017!

  2. I started a 31 days series on "embrace" this year that I never finished. Perhaps I was still learning to fully embrace my life in all the messiness and unknowns. I am thankful for a new year. Blessings!

  3. I watched your struggle this year, Tara, and your determination to fight through it. THAT is the embrace – you pushed through and now you are on the other side. None of us can say if 2017 will be better, brighter, or tougher – only God knows that and even IN it, He will ask us to embrace His perfect plan for the world and for us individually. Blessings and Love…

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