living & learning

What a year it has been.

With the end of 2017 comes the end of my 17th year. This month I’ll be turning 18, and this year I’ll be graduating high school and starting college!

Let’s leave that stress to the future and to God. Looking back at 2017, He has never been more present in my life. There were several times when I was sure He had turned His back on me, only to find out He was carrying me firmly through His plan.

Here is my 2017 in pictures & words.

» J A N U A R Y «

BLOG : chapter twelve : complete.

SCRIPTURE : “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” // Psalms 16:8 — my 2017 theme verse.

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : January was probably the biggest month of the year for me.

My baby cousin Aliyah was born, who is the sweetest thing. I celebrated my seventeenth birthday, three days before travelling to Michigan for my Periacetabular Osteotomy. The rest of the month was spent recovering . . . which was the hard part.

LESSON LEARNED : Surgery is nothing to joke around with, but neither is our God.

 

» F E B R U A R Y «

BLOG : chapter thirteen : learning  — My most-read blog of the year! Thank you for your support!

SCRIPTURE : “For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty.” // Esther 1:4

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : February was all around boring and stressful.

I wasn’t in school for the entire month, so my days were spent watching movies with my mom and doing homework. I love my mom more than life itself, but we were both incapacitated by cabin fever.

LESSON LEARNED : Walking is AWESOME.

 

» M A R C H «

BLOG : chapter fourteen : #oursoulsonfire — kind of a fail of a blog, but how else do you grow?

SCRIPTURE : “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” // Micah 6:8

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : Looking back on it; March was amazing.

I was back to school in the first week, which was stressful, but no stress at all compared to doing all my schoolwork at home! (Homeschoolers . . . how!? You have my respect.)

My best friend and I held a community service project at our school that exceeded our wildest expectations and more.

I took my first steps without crutches, though all of March was spent on one crutch when I wasn’t at home.

All in all, I felt like a person again. God was like, “Calm down, Abby. I got you through it didn’t I?” And I was like, “Yeah . . . haha . . . yeah.” (That’s exactly how the conversation went. 😉 )

LESSON LEARNED : God’s hands are pretty gosh darn comforting.

 

» A P R I L «

BLOG : chapter fifteen : my PAO journey — I got a lot of generous feedback from this one. Thank you!

SCRIPTURE : “‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.'” // John 14:1

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : I finally got my camera back out in my backyard! April was busy busy busy, but oh so lovely.

I started physical therapy, which was so refreshing after sitting on my butt for three months. It was stressful, because I had a deadline with my senior year of volleyball starting in the summer. It was a good challenge, though.

I coached my sisters soccer team, which was a joy, but also pretty boring since I couldn’t actually participate. I am very excited to coach her this season, since I’ll finally be able to kick the soccer ball around. 🙂

LESSON LEARNED : A “normal” life is a blessing, and one I will never take for granted again.

 

» M A Y «

BLOG : chapter sixteen : reality

SCRIPTURE : “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” // Isaiah 54:10

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : May was crazy for many reasons.

It was the first time it had really hit me that I was growing up.

I went to my first prom with my friends (SO FUN!).

I also finished my junior year, which meant I was officially a senior. This was the first time it had ever become real to me that I was going to have to figure out my life . . . and fast. I’m still trying to figure my life out, but thankfully I’ve made a little progress since then. 😉

LESSON LEARNED : Growing up is weird.

 

» J U N E «

SCRIPTURE : “Therefore the Lord, the LORD Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: ‘Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes and avenge myself on my enemies.'” // Isaiah 1:24

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : June was stressful, joyous, chaotic and fun.

I was still not ready for volleyball, which was okay because our first game wasn’t until mid August. However, it being my senior season I wanted to miss as little as possible. That meant I lived in the PT clinic.

In June I finally got to meet my little Aliyah! (Her family lives across the country, so visits are few and far between.) Spending two weeks with her was a joy to say the very least.

June also marked one year since my grandpa had passed away. This was hard, but a milestone for us. They say the first year after losing a loved one is the hardest, and they’re right . . . whoever “they” are. I’m not saying it stops hurting once you get to that point — far from it. I just find myself reflecting on the good times I’ve had with him more so than the injustice of all that went into taking him from me.

I was also chosen by my classmates to be apart of my town’s local Fourth of July Pageant, (no, I am not a pageant person . . . this was a very new experience for me. 😉 ) and ride in the parade. I’ve never been so proud to be from a small, American town.

LESSON LEARNED : The Mighty One . . . He’s got ya.

 

» J U L Y «

BLOG : chapter seventeen : 17 things in 17 years

SCRIPTURE : “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” // Isaiah 43:19

IN PICTURES :

 

LIFE : July was a roller coaster, to say the least.

I got back on the court for the first time, which was amazing. It felt so good to be back, with pain in only one hip instead of two! #winning

The month began with a trip to Michigan for a diagnostic MRI that included a super-fun hip injection . . .

July went on uneventfully. Volleyball, physical therapy, volleyball, physical therapy. There were many moments of beautiful encouragement throughout the month that seemed to never end.

Later in the month, we got a call from my surgeon. This in and of itself was weird, because that is one busy man. For him to call us personally on a Sunday night . . . something had to be up. My dad answered, and went onto the porch where they talked for what seemed like an eternity.

Dr. Zaltz informed us that there was little he could do for me. He said my hip is over-covered from the surgery I had as a child and is pretty full of arthritis, and operating on an arthritic hip is not an awesome idea. But we did it anyway cause ya know, I’m pretty much a rebel. 😉

Let’s just say I did not take that news well at all. Since January I had been preparing myself to have another PAO right after volleyball. It would suck, but I knew exactly what to expect and I knew I could get through it. The fact that that was not God’s plan did not sit well with me.

Looking back, July was simply not my finest moment. 😉

LESSONS LEARNED : Don’t plan your life, because God has other ideas.

 

» A U G U S T «

SCRIPTURE : “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” // Isaiah 38:17

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : August began with another trip back to Michigan for a face-to-face talk with Dr. Zaltz.

He gave us a few options. One, we could wait as long as possible until someone was willing to do a hip replacement on someone as young as me . . . not an awesome option. Two, we could beg and plead with doctors to do a hip replacement before I left for college . . . also not awesome. Or, Zaltz could do what’s called a surgical dislocation. It had the same goal as a simple scope, but with an open incision so there was a better chance of a positive outcome. He made it clear that he could not promise this would work, but he believed it was worth a shot. It was going to be really hard to find someone willing to do a hip replacement on a 17 year old.

So we went with the surgical dislocation. I couldn’t go to college without at least trying something, and my dad being a physical therapist really didn’t think a hip replacement was a good idea anyways.

Back to Michigan we’d go on October 13, 2017. Volleyball season would be cut a little short for me, but it was causing me a lot of stress for various reasons, and I was ready to be done with surgeries.

Oh yeah, I started my senior year of high school this month too. Weird.

LESSON LEARNED : God’s hands are bigger than mine.

 

» S E P T E M B E R «

SCRIPTURE : “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” // Deuteronomy 31:6

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : September! WOW!

I got my first college acceptance letter. I’M OLD.

I took the ACT for the last time . . . that test is the absolute worst.

Another month, another Columbus Crew game . . . or two.

The month was basically spent with me being frustrated and annoying to everyone around me. I was stressed about my upcoming surgery, and I was having trouble in volleyball. Physically and with my coach. It was hard to find the balance between spending my last season how I wanted to and not hurting my team. Yet, I made it. Not at all how I would’ve liked, but I made it.

LESSON LEARNED : Let go, and let God.

 

» O C T O B E R «

SCRIPTURE : “His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.” // Habakkuk 3:4

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : Not to be dramatic or anything but HOLY MOTHER OF MONTHS.

Here’s a quick rundown of October.

October 5 – Senior Night. I played the best game of my career. My last home game ever, and I served 17 points in a row to finish the first set. My best friends and I were having the time of our lives finishing our home career, and I have never been happier playing this game.

October 7 – Last game of my high school career. My team was so sweet and encouraging, and though the game didn’t go great, it was a good last game, as last games go.

October 9 – Senior pictures! WHATTTTT!

October 13 – Second hip surgery in ten months woooooo funnnnnn! 😉 This time I only spent two nights in the hospital, and the stay overall was much less painful. It was a breeze compared to January.

October 17 – If you couldn’t tell by now, I have an obsession with the Columbus Crew, Ohio’s Major League Soccer team. On October 17, their owner decided that Columbus wasn’t good enough for him anymore, and announced he will most likely be moving the team to Austin, Texas in 2019. So yeah, that’s kind of annoying . . .

The rest of the month consisted of going back to school two weeks post-op, which, again, was much easier than last time. Then life was full of one-year birthday festivities for my cousin, Eleanor. ❤

 

» N O V E M B E R «

BLOG : chapter eighteen: dear me.

SCRIPTURE : “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” // Psalm 73:26

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : November was spent being very frustrated with crutches and everything that came with them.

I walked with one crutch around the house towards the end of the month, but was on two at school for the whole month. For some reason, I was having a very hard time with that. I think part of the problem was that I was in so much less pain than my previous surgery, so subconsciously I didn’t understand why I was still on crutches.

It was a long month, but I was in school. Something I didn’t get to say six weeks after the PAO. What a blessing.

LESSON LEARNED : I have no patience. I should probably work on that. 😉

 

» D E C E M B E R «

SCRIPTURE : “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.” // Deuteronomy 18:15

IN PICTURES :

LIFE : I LOVE DECEMBER!!!

I was so excited for this December all year, because compared to the last one it was going to be glorious.

I ditched the crutches early in the month (PTL), but it wasn’t the smoothest transition. Walking was killing me, but it felt so good to be off crutches I didn’t care. I mean . . . I cared . . . but not enough to go back to those devil sticks. 😉

Christmas was beautiful, as always. Plus it was the first White Christmas we’ve had in years so basically all my dreams came true. 🙂 🙂 I hope you all had a joyous holiday season as well!

LESSON LEARNED : 2017 was a really really really long year.


Thank you for reflecting on 2017 with me. I’m so happy to have been able to share my experiences with you this year, and I hope to continue to do so in 2018.

Keep living life. Keep loving others. Keep feeling as humans feel. Keep praising God with all that you have. He’s going to carry you through 2018 with as much strength and power as He did in 2017.

He’s got big hands to hold your big heart.

All my love,

Abigail ❤

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