Promises for 2019 / by rebecca keating

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30 December 2018

Today, Noah and I (and his brother Cord) have been driving from Noah’s parent’s house up near San Francisco down to San Diego. This full day of being cooped up in the car has been full of moments to be bothered and annoyed, disheartened and misunderstood. Around the fourth quarter of the drive, I really snapped. All of the anxiety that I had worked to buckle down throughout the day burst out of my chest, bringing tears to my eyes and paralyzing my mind. I pulled out my laptop to unpack the anxiety that has become too familiar to me over this year. I got the cheesy idea to start broadcasting that I am leaving anxiety in 2018 — that I won’t be bringing it into 2019. Maybe I’m not hopeful or optimistic enough yet, but I quickly nixed that idea, thinking to myself that unless a miracle happens, there’s no guarantee that my anxiety will magically disappear when the clock strikes midnight tomorrow night. (update from 2019 — anxiety is still here)

Call it a lack of faith or call it pragmatism, I have decided that if I wasn’t guaranteed that my anxiety was going to still be hanging around in the new year, the best I can do is make promises to myself for 2019 — for how I am going to handle my anxiety (and other things too). Since I’m getting married this year and writing wedding vows in May, I feel like it’s quite appropriate to write vows to myself in place of resolutions this year. 

So, in 2019, I promise these things to myself:

I promise to pursue peace in my mind. I promise to fight vigorously for my mental and emotional wellbeing. 

I promise to lean into the Holy Spirit to break myself off of years and years of horrible cycles of unhealth.

I promise to cut anxiety off from the authority I allow it to have over my present realities. I promise to protect my emotions from the attacks that anxiety relentlessly spars my way. 

I promise to give my mind more room to breathe, to give my intellect rest days and sabbaths. 

I promise to stop allowing my critical spirit to rob me of hope. I promise to be slower to judge, quicker to ask why. 

I promise to be patient with the healing of my body. 

I promise to leave college well: with grace and gentleness, lamenting the end of a season but praising God for the abundance of faithfulness that led me in and out of each semester. 

I promise to practice secrecy and gratitude. I promise to claim the goodness in the present and ponder things more deeply in my heart. 

I promise to cherish my final months of singleness, gratefully being present in these days before my life is bound to Noah’s in the eyes of God and our loved ones. 

I promise to enter into my covenant bond with Noah with a humility and selflessness that is only made true by the Holy Spirit. I promise to ask God to teach me how to love Noah like Christ loves the Church and deny myself of the selfish desires that get in the way of practicing perfect love. 

I promise to serve my Church with meekness rather than self-righteousness and generosity instead of vanity. In this year I will grow to love the Church in a way that trades my ideals of how things should go for joy to be in the Presence with God’s people. 

I promise to keep my hands and eyes open in this new year, looking for ways to help and be curious and understand and love. 

I promise to be vulnerable, even when it hurts. I promise to let myself get scary close to people.

All these things and more, I commit to these 12 months. I give myself to the Lord to be mended and mended, again and again. Willingly and in faith, I surrender these days to He who sees beyond the year to come. 

photo by the best! : Lindsey @