A year ago today.

on December 31, 2008 in Dreams Coming True, Nash-livin', Ze Bloggy Goodness with 14 comments by

One of my favorite parts of living in Nashville is the musicians that become friends. I have always had a deep love for all things singer/songwriter, and now these are my people.  I heart it.  Mucho.  And a few weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me a demo of a song he had written.  I can’t help but confess that I cry every time I listen to it.  [Someday when he gets famous for it, I’ll tell you.  I promise.]

The title is “A Year Ago Today”.

First he sings about a break-up…..

Where was I a year ago today?

I was sitting on Haley’s couch, my stomach in knots, while Haley, Molly, and I watched a movie.  I knew I had to tell them.  I wanted them to know about Nashville.  No one else but my parents and a mentor even knew whispers of what God was doing, but my best friends deserved to know.

I started the conversation lamely, something stupid I’m sure.  But they both knew in minutes that this was serious.  And as the tears poured from all of our faces…. I thought for certain I wasn’t strong enough to leave them. Or my family.  Or my life.

Then he sings….

A year ago to the day I thought my life was over….

my world stopped….

there wasn’t much of my heart left to break.

Oh gracious that was and is so true.  I literally thought my life was over.  I remember sitting there, on December 31, 2007, screaming at God in my head, “PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS!!”

After many tears, I gave up and gave God my life, in a for realz kind of way; I told Him that He means more to me than anyone else.  And that if Nashville was where He was wanting me to go, I wanted to be there.

There were days when I literally didn’t know I was capable of being so brokenhearted.

And yet here I am.  Sitting on my bed in Nashville.  Crying as that song plays in the background.  Because looking back on 2008, I don’t feel like my life ended in August.  In fact, quite the opposite- I’m the best Annie I’ve ever been.  I keep on my computer a list of the friends I’ve made here, because I know that they are gifts from God.  Every writing opportunity has been a gift.  Every good time or funny joke or moment of “I Love Nashville” has been a part of Him giving me more than I could ever deserve.

And the chorus continues…..

By the grace of God, and the strength in me…

I’m stronger than I ever thought that I could be…

You’d hardly recognize my face…

From a year ago today.

I didn’t know I could do this. A year ago today, if you would have told me that I would be here, happy in Nashville, I would not have believed you.  I didn’t know that allowing God to have it ALL actually means allowing Him to give you ALL the good things He has planned.  I thought I was sacrificing. In reality, I was merely setting myself up for a tidal wave of blessing.  I gave Him a dollar; He gave me the world.

And then he sings…

I’m finding out that life’s all about living and learning…

Finding the joy in all the hurting…

Now I’ve got a smile as big as the ocean…

and everyday my arms are wide open...

By the grace of God, y’all.  That is me.  I’m stronger, calmer, and braver because of God and the new ways I know Him; I can honestly say that would have never happened if I wouldn’t have moved with Him to Nashville.

So would I do it again?  I hope so.  Do I know all the reasons why I’m in Nashville?  Not at all.  But if I’ve learned anything in 08, I’ve learned that obeying God doesn’t require that I understand His ways.

I only have to understand His heart for me.

2009 has some great promise.  God has some better ones. Hang on, friend.  It’s about to get awesome up in here.  (And I’m praying the same for you!!)

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future.”

14 comments

  1. posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 9:41 AM  |  reply

    See, now I’m going to have to spend all day going back and reading your posts from the last year so I can really understand this AMAZING journey God has brought you into…And I really do have Christmas decorations to take down. Oh well, a sacrifice I will gladly make 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this part of your heart. This post has given me a new template, a new lens at which to look at this last year and some of the struggles I’ve gone through.

    “But if I’ve learned anything in 08, I’ve learned that obeying God doesn’t require that I understand His ways.

    I only have to understand His heart for me.”

    That’s my prayer for 2009, thanks for leading the way…

  2. posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 11:04 AM  |  reply

    Annie,

    I’m so glad God brought you through this journey. He is speaking to my heart through you.

    I know God has amazing plans for you. Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse. It’s so full of hope, yet so full of unknown. God can do awesome things in the unknown.

    I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you in 2009. Praying for you sister.

    Love and hugs,
    Kelly

  3. posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 11:47 AM  |  reply

    This is beautiful. I can feel it and relate to it. Truth born of experience.

  4. Brooke
    posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 12:02 PM  |  reply

    I’ve been reading for awhile but never commented until now…just wanted to say thank you for giving us a glimpse into your journey. You’re awesome.

  5. posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 1:54 PM  |  reply

    Hi Annie, I am so glad that I ‘stumbled’ across your blog. I love your funny and I love your poignant. I love your writing style. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us.

  6. posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 1:54 PM  |  reply

    Annie, I have been reading your blog for some time but I have not prevoiusly commented. I love the way that God has led you to Nashville. He is speaking to my heart and leading me to new experiences as well (you can read the beginning of my journey at http://www.anointedwithgrace.blogspot.com)That said, I live in Nashville too, and would love to meet you for coffee or lunch and get your input on some things. I think you can email me through this comment. Happy New Year – I can’t wait to see all of God’s blessings in your life during 2009!

  7. posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 4:08 PM  |  reply

    Happy New Year, Annie. You know I love you.

  8. ginger
    posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 11:21 PM  |  reply

    Happy New Year, Annie. Continued prayers…

  9. posted on Jan 01, 2009 at 2:45 AM  |  reply

    Oh Annie….

    Thank you for this. 2008 has been a nightmare year in so many ways…four deaths in the family including my only brother who died on my birthday. My brother-in-law has stage four lung cancer, and, today, the catscan results showed the cancer is growing, not shrinking.

    My heart has been shattered, yet somehow I sit here typing with such joy and hope for 2009.

    My brother-in-law said to me today, “Lee, I think Satan wants me to be confused, and I am confused about my test results, but I am in no way confused about God being in charge.” Ditto, bro.

    Looking forward to an incredible 2009! Can’t wait to read your book!

    Lee

  10. mandy mann
    posted on Jan 01, 2009 at 10:20 AM  |  reply

    Happy New Year…..its gonna be awesome for you…i just know it. I am thankful GOD gives new beginnings like this song testifies….im ready for new too. Love ya.

  11. posted on Jan 02, 2009 at 2:16 AM  |  reply

    Happy New Year, Annie! I’m glad 2008 brought you into my life!

  12. posted on Jan 02, 2009 at 2:25 PM  |  reply

    love this post!
    want to hear that song!!

    i recall a couple of times in my life where i cried and screamed “God please don’t make me do this.” but He did, and my life was forever changed and blessed.

  13. posted on Jan 02, 2009 at 2:34 PM  |  reply

    Wow. That is some good stuff. I needed that today. Boo-yow.

  14. posted on Jan 03, 2009 at 12:35 AM  |  reply

    I am SO thankful God led me to your blog. This post blessed me tremendously.

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