Dear 2018, You Tried to Sting Me Like a Bee, but I’m Still Floating Like a Butterfly!

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

woman wearing purple boxing gloves
Photo by Ambar Simpang on

Dear 2018,

You old pest. You waved your gloved fists for 365 days, managing to body punch and intimidate me. I bruised, but you are KO. This fighter is standing tall and victorious! 

When we met, joy had me floating like a butterfly.  Maybe you hoped emotional blows would force me to take a dive. In round one you threw a jab to my face via a friend’s gossipy betrayal and my subsequent humiliation. I wobbled. Your next jab was a threat of loss of income.

Admittedly, your sucker punch of cancer in the second round was disorienting and weakened me for the rest of our fight. You were good at the old one-two, and a young cousin went missing for two weeks immediately prior to my surgery in round three. My oldest son moved two hours away in round four, putting an end to our weekly dinners.

I was still standing and countering your hooks and uppercuts, 2018,  with faith, friendships, healthier coping skills, and gratitude. These weakened your rapid-fire punches of weeks with a thrown back, news of my ex-husband’s remarriage, months with shingles, six weeks of a bedbug scare, and another year of anemia with its frequent hospitalizations.  

Discouragement had me on the ropes though, when you illegally tripped me by knocking back the scope of Always the Fight six years.  Despite even this, patience and faith scored.  Not once did you overpower me!   When I fell to my knees I rose inspired and defiant.  

Not only did you lose all twelve rounds, but it was JOY that knocked you out for good in your last wheezing weeks. You see, I know something you do not. God gave you to me! God turns everything out for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:26-28). Too bad for you, 2018. You stung like a bee, and God grounded this butterfly in his love. 

Check out the score!

  1. AWE √ Members of the neighborhood Bible study are coming to or returning to Christ 
  2. AWE √ Two neighbors were baptized
  3. JOY √ A neighbor’s grandchildren started coming over for their very own “God class.” 
  4. YIPPEE! √ I won my very first IRS tax-exemption status without using a lawyer! 
  5. IMPORTANT √ I hosted Thanksgiving which reunited long-lost relatives.   
  6. BLESSING √ Occasionally people who need a listening ear drop by or call. 
  7. WISDOM √ To combat isolation I have people over regularly 
  8. WISDOM √ God taught me a hard lesson and obedience improves my holy dependence on him!
  9. JOY √ The neighborhood Bible study continues.
  10. SATISFACTION √ My church’s new associate pastor is allowing me to teach short-term classes with regard to my low stamina.
  11. JOY √ I was able to speak to the women in recovery at Timberline Knolls in Chicago and watch as hope grew in their eyes.

           Today’s Helpful Word

     Romans 8:38-39 

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

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