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A look back on 2018

Ally Carmichael


I have always loved the beginning of a new year. Everything seems fresh and brand new. I was reading my blog post from this time last year and unfortunately it sounds a lot like where I am at right now. I’m coming off of really busy season with my business and just life in general. A lot of things have been put to the side that shouldn’t of but it’s always this week between Christmas and New Year’s that I seem to regain my focus. The weird thing about a new year is you spend time reflecting on the previous year and the normal things that happened you tend to forget about and only the good and bad things stick. This year has been a heck of a year, everyone says you figure out who you are in your twenties and this is the first year where I feel that way. Here are some things I have learned in 2018,

  1. Confidence in yourself needs to come from God. I told myself at the beginning of last year that this was finally going to be the year where I stopped caring SO much about what everyone thought of me. I thought it would be simple to make the decision and live it out. Honestly that was not the case. I don’t in any way feel like I was perfect at this this year but I do feel like this is the most confident I have ever felt. That came from reminding myself every single morning who God says I am. Let him fill your head with who He says you are before walking into the world for the day and letting others decide. My small group decided to start doing self declartions in the morning and whenever a negative thought pops into your head in the morning you write a positive truth from God to battle it. We spent time writing ours out and made the commitment to speaking them over our lives every morning. It’s been life changing, seriously. I have added a lot but some of mine are

    • I am strong, disciplined, focused and driven.

    • I am creative because a creative God created me.

    • The enemy has no power over my thoughts.

    • I love people and believe the best about others. (this ones a tough one for me)

  2. Not being confident in yourself affects more than you think. Like any good lesson you start noticing something in people around you and then take a good hard look at yourself and realize you are doing the exact same thing. I realized that when I am not resting in who God says I am I become a very self consumed person. My husband would say this isn’t true but that’s because he’s Luke and truly believes the best about me. It is true, when I am stressed and focusing on what everyone is doing and what I am not doing and start to let myself believe I am failing I find myself building myself up. It’s a super odd thing but it’s like I don’t view myself as anything but I want other people to still find value in me so I talk about myself? It’s awkward and weird but it’s something I became VERY aware of this year.

  3. Saying no is not failing. I am a people pleaser to my core. I never want to say no to things and I take on much more than I can handle. This year I threw in the towel. At first it began as just taking a solid look at what someone is asking of me, asking myself if it’s a good fit and if not say no. The more I started saying no to things is when I realized that life went on. Nothing crazy happened, no one started to hate me and saying no became easier and easier. In fact I think people actually appreciated it because I was able to give more attention to the smaller amount of things I took on. I stepped back from things I’ve been doing for years and took on some new things and overall it’s been so good.

  4. People might not understand and that is OKAY. This year has just been crazy for both Luke and myself. We both took on too much work in our side businesses. Luke way more than me ;). We had a lot of conversations that ended with, “Why don’t people understand what our lives look like right now? “. Not in a selfish, why doesn’t everyone bow at our feet sort of way but more of a why don’t they understand and cut us some slack sort of way. I’ll speak for both of us when I say people won’t understand and that’s okay. They aren’t us and they don’t live with us so they don’t see all the behind the scenes. We both found ourselves talking about our businesses a lot in desperate attempt to make people understand. The whole time we were missing what other people might have been going through. A simple sinful thought can consume you so fast you may not even realize it’s happening. We both asked ourselves what the heck we were doing and came to the conclusion that everyone has their stuff and we can’t fully understand each others stuff because we aren’t there. Find your people that are walking through similar seasons and talk to them about instead of trying to make the whole world listen.

  5. I’ll end with this lesson, God is in control, God is in control and God is in control. Life threw some stuff at me this year that I may never understand this side of heaven. We decided to go see a new doctor with all our issues trying to get pregnant. We both got tested for different things and everything is fine. Which is great but also means there is literally nothing preventing it which is the most frustrating thing that has ever happened to me. Month after month it just gets harder and harder and I’m not sure it will ever get easier. Along with those feelings there are also decisions to make life fertility medication, more tests that may uncover new things and may not and just blah. Time and time again all I know is that God is in control, God is in control and oh yeah, God is in freaking control. Even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, always. I feel it in my bones that it’s going to happen for us and it’s going to be such a picture of God’s goodness.

2018, overall you were a year that I don’t think i’ll look back on much. You weren’t bad and you weren’t great you just happened. I’m anxious and ready for all that God has planned for 2019!

Happy New Year’s