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 the one KO’d. This fighter is standing tall and victorious! 

On your first day, joy had me floating like a butterfly.  I admit, your sucker punch of cancer and surgery in the second round was disorienting. You were good at the old one-two. Round five – a thrown back.  Round seven – shingles. Round nine – a triple punch combo.  

Maybe you hoped emotional blows would force me to take a dive. Round one – a left hook of betrayal and humiliation. Round three – a jab at the heart as a family member went missing for two weeks. Round four’s uppercut was when my oldest son moved to another part of the state. Round six – a foul at the news of my ex-husband’s remarriage.

Counterpunches of hope, faith, and gratitude weakened you. Despite my almost home-bound existence, patience and positivity scored.  Not once did you overpower me, 2018!

If you stuck out your chest to boast, you underestimated how much fight boils in my blood! Upon recognizing my old mental nemeses, I rose inspired, powerful, and defiant.  

Not only did you lose twelve rounds, but it was also 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, but God grounded this butterfly in his love. 

Hello, 2019! You may yet turn out to be a ringer, but I know Who holds me and will never let me go.  

Check out the score!

  1. JOY √ A neighbor came to Christ
  2. JOY √ A second member of the neighborhood Bible study came to Christ
  3. JOY √ One neighbor started bringing her grandchildren over for their very own “God class.” 
  4. YIPPEE! √ I won my very first IRS tax-exemption status without using a lawyer! 
  5. FUN √ I hosted Thanksgiving, reuniting long-lost relatives.   
  6. JOY √ Anemia keeps me home most days, so offering support is more of an inside job. Occasionally, people drop by who need a listening ear. The neighborhood Bible study continues.
  7. JOY √ My church’s new associate pastor is allowing me to teach short-term classes with regard to my low stamina.
  8. JOY √ I was able to speak to the women in recovery at Timberline Knolls in Chicago

          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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