i somehow let a year pass by without writing a single thing.
it wasn't because i didn't have anything to say.
it was mostly because i had a lot to say, but for the first time in my life i didn't have the words to say it. 

2016 was the hardest year i can remember. 
harder than postpartum depression.
harder than trying to get pregnant.
harder than our church falling apart.
harder than pregnancy.
harder than transitioning to 2 kids.
i mean it when i say it might just be the hardest year of my life.

Sure, there was lots of beauty.
lots of growth.
lots of provision.
lots of blessings.
lots of joyful moments.
although, mostly it was marked with a cruel darkness, a blanket of anxiety, depression, panic and obsessive thoughts. 
a darkness i never asked for, but that fell upon me like the heaviest fog you can imagine. fog so thick you can not see anything except maybe a little in front of you and a little right behind you. the kind of fog you have to just keep slowly walking through to try and find your way out, but everywhere you turn you just end up deeper into the mist. 

i have a lot to say about last year, a lot of words need to come out because i need to process what happened and what is ahead. im not the same Ally i was when i wrote here last. i am marked now by the scars of the last year, and my writing will reflect that. its going to reflect a woman who is trying to trade in being a worrier for a warrior, a woman who is trying to tend to the unruly weeds that have shot up from the broken earth beneath her, a woman who doesnt have complete sentences or thoughts, whose theology isnt as strong as it once was - a woman who is trying to stand up and make sense of what happened in the storm. 

i want to be real and write from my heart, and sometimes thats going to look messy. its sometimes going to be sad, and its sometimes going to seem like im oversharing, but its what i need to do to process the last year, and to make sense of where we are now. 

my fingers feel clunky on these keys. a place that used to feel so natural now feels a bit awkward, but i know i will be glad i came back to write here. i'll look back and not regret sharing this story. i longed for this so much during my hardest days, and i feel ready to pick it back up - not healed, but more sturdy than i was. 

a lot has changed, and im hoping to get this space fixed up to reflect that change. im picking up the pieces of who i was and it feels so good to do this again. 

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