2015: The Year I Gave Up

unnamedWhile the New Year naturally prompts making resolutions, goals or loathing them, in 2015 I took it a step further and adopted a theme. I declared this would be the year I gave up! Let me explain….

I have to live in faith. Not the Christian-ese kind. You know the one that answers “I’m blessed and highly favored, God is good all the time,” when someone simply asks how you’re doing. I live with the faith that my dreams will come true and the desires of my heart will EVENTUALLY be fulfilled (hopefully sooner than later). I literally live in the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Let me tell you, it was EXHAUSTING! It’s the understanding that you’re on a journey and your current situation is just a stop and not the destination. It’s knowing that you sometimes have to do what you have to do, to go to where you want to go. It’s becoming an expert in delayed gratification. It’s having an explanation for the “are you crazy” eyebrow raises. It’s knowing you could easily make things MUCH easier in an instant at the expense of following your destiny. It’s looking around and seeing everyone else get their breakthrough while waiting…and waiting for your own.

But this year I gave up! I felt like a hamster in a wheel and I just wanted it to stop. I realized there are years of my life I really don’t remember. I may remember a thing here, or a thing there but at the end of the year I couldn’t remember what happened. I don’t really remember my second year in Georgia. I only remember a little bit of my nine months back home. I remember things here and there about living in Charlotte and there I was, living in Nashville physically but always somewhere else in my mind. I was never present! Everything was just a means to a hopeful, faithful end. I was just existing for what was next and that needed to stop.

So I continued to do my best. I continued trying to create opportunities for myself. But I got a crash course in surrender. It’s still an inexact science. It’s the realization that you could do everything right and STILL not get the desired outcome. The kicker is that I had to suck it up and be okay with it. Let me be perfectly clear, I had pity parties for one but now they were timed. It helped that I attended an AMAZING church in Nashville that ALWAYS spoke to me. If my anxiety was rising about paying down my debt, the next sermon I heard was about how God supplies all of our needs. Fear about getting a new job and getting close to home, I heard a word about how God has a plan for our lives. My mom would always chime in with something encouraging often times without me even explaining my concerns. EXHALE.

I gave up the rigidity of my timing. I gave up a false sense of power that fooled me into thinking I could will my way to what I want. I gave up altering my uniqueness to better fit a mold that may be more marketable but felt all wrong. I gave up the labels of good or bad and focused on making the best decision in the moment for that moment. I gave up but I never quit, there’s a difference.

You know what? Life went on just as it was supposed to. Doors were open. Doors were shut. People entered. People exited. Unexpected friends became some of my biggest blessings.

It’s my most poignant lesson of 2015. I’m NOT Superwoman. I’m limited in my abilities. Grace and favor do the rest.

The result wasn’t perfection. The result was peace and I can remember all of it!

Wishing you peace and joy in your journey in 2016!



  1. Micheal Redd
    January 1, 2016

    I love it and I’m proud of you.

  2. Vicki Yates
    January 1, 2016

    I love this Aundrea!! I think it perfectly sums up how many of us feel about believing we hold our destiny in our hands, not realizing that if we just loosen our grip sometimes, the blessing will flow to us.
    I’m so proud of you…beautiful inside and out.
    Happy New Year sweetie!!

  3. P Blair
    March 7, 2016

    Hello Andrea:
    It’s so exciting to read your ” piece”
    and to realize you now have “peace”
    You are one of my favorite people from my experience as
    a parent at BC.
    I am very proud of you.
    Continue to be sweet!!!!!.

    Best regards to your MOM.

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