2015 Was a Hard Year

CanHappenIt’s been a hard year.

2015 has been a hard year.

I’ve hesitated to write about it in-depth up til this point because I don’t think I was ready to see it all in words, on a piece of paper. I didn’t want to seem negative or whiny or discouraging. I didn’t want to be that vulnerable. 2015 was the year I became less vulnerable, and I hate it. I’m more guarded now…less open, less trusting. And it doesn’t so much have anything to do with the whole single thing as it does the whole LIFE thing. Sometimes life is just hard, for no particular reason at all. And while I’ve had some pretty traumatic things happen this year, I also know that I am blessed beyond measure to be ALIVE, to be healthy, to have my family around me, to be able to live life, albeit a modest one, as a full-time writer. You look at the big picture of my life and everything seems to come up roses. But focus the lens just a little…look a little closer…get into the details and you start to see the cracks and tatters and scars of a person who feels more than a little broken.

2014 was a banner year. A year of great professional and personal success. A year of clarity and faith and answers and boldness and risk and dreams coming true and old chapters closing and new ones beginning. There’s a quote that says “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” 2014 was a year of answers. A year for the books. Quite literally, in fact…because it’s a year you will soon read about in my new book Beautiful Uncertainty.

But at the end of it came 2015. A year of silence, on my part, and on God’s. I can’t seem to hear His voice as clearly anymore. A year of questions. Why am I still single? Is my purpose in life really to be a writer? What’s next for me? Where do I go from here? Why don’t I date like normal people? Will I ever get to be a mom? Is this skin cancer going to take my life? Is my grandmother going to live? Am I a good enough daughter, sister, aunt, friend, person? Why do I feel so closed off? Why didn’t he love me like I loved him? Why don’t I feel inspired to write like I used to? God…where are You?

As a result of all these questions, perhaps…2015 was the year my anxiety came back in full force. That old familiar foe dusted himself off and unfurled his long dark arms of panic and fear and worry and wrapped them around me again so tightly at times I could scarcely breathe. I thought I had beat him. Turns out he was just lying dormant, waiting for the perfect storm of events to descend on my life and open the door for his great comeback.

And as a result of the anxiety…2015 was a year of counseling. I even went to group therapy for awhile, something I haven’t felt ready to speak about til now. (And in all honestly, I still don’t feel quite ready to speak of it, but here we are.) I spent three nights a week for 3-4 months in a room with people who felt just as broken as I did. All different kinds of people from all walks of life. Different races. Different religions. Different sexual orientations. Different belief systems, with one big thing in common: We were struggling. Life was hard. And we needed each other. There was no pretense in that room. No fake sugary need to pretend like life was perfect. No masks. Nowhere to hide, from yourself, or from other people. Just real, raw, pure honesty. I think the most healing part of the process was not the therapy itself but the camaraderie. The “me too” moments. The reminder that we weren’t alone in our struggles, and admitting to them didn’t make us weak, it made us BRAVE. Everyone struggles, but so many people aren’t willing to admit it. Let alone go get help for it. So if you’re reading this now and you’ve been running from therapy or counseling out of fear or pride…stop running. Stop hiding. Go get the help you need. There is no shame in being broken. There is no healing where there is no honesty.

I’m a big believer in “always looking for the lesson” in everything. And so I’ve spent long hours and even days pondering the great lesson of 2015 and the truth is, I have no brilliant takeaways or “big picture” lightbulb realizations to share with you. I had struggles and letdowns and disappointments and heartbreak and health scares and panic attacks and creative paralysis and self-doubt and crises of faith in 2015. But I also had healing and breakthroughs and closure and answered prayers and made new friends and even wrote a new book in 2015. So I think maybe the lesson to it all is just that I’m still here. I’m not the same person I was at the beginning of the year, but I’m still here. And maybe sometimes that’s enough. Just getting through the day and the week and the month and the year is ENOUGH. Maybe that’s all we can ask of ourselves.

And maybe…just maybe…those kinds of years are the best kinds of years because they show us how strong we really are. How much we can overcome. And how life can be messy and imperfect and difficult and heartbreaking and still be a very beautiful thing, indeed.

To 2015…thank you for everything you taught me about myself, about God, about LIFE.

To 2016…whatever you may hold, whatever questions you ask or answers you give, whatever battles and victories are hidden in your unfolding…I’m ready.

Click here to pre-order my book Beautiful Uncertainty (on shelves on February 2, 2016.)

And feel free to comment below with your 2015 experiences & 2016 goals. Was 2015 a year of questions or a year of answers for you? What do you wish for in 2016?

104 Responses to “ 2015 Was a Hard Year ”

  1. Erik
    November 30, 2015

    Lifting you up to the Father in prayer now…

    • Tracy
      December 1, 2015

      Your story is my story too. Thank you for writing this. Just beginning to get support thru therapy and wake up from the state of hurt. T

    • Jess
      December 3, 2015

      I simply can’t thank you enough for your transparency. 2016 has certainly been a hard year for me as well…one of my hardest. Thank you for the reminder that sometimes just getting up and making it to the next day is ok…and that I’m not the only one struggling even though it often feels that way. Praying for you

    • Monea
      December 10, 2015

      This is my story, too. Mine was even worse. At least, you still have your family and your job and people you can trust and lean into. For me, I lost everything in 2015. Family, education, support, health and evem lost myself. But thank you for sharing this. Just like you said, losing everything also means a new beginning with a new clean slate. That’s where Im directing my thoughts now and after all, I know I still got God. I may not fully understand His plan for me but I’ll trust Him. After all, I’ve got nothing to lose now. 🙂

    • Shay Reed
      December 31, 2015

      Wow, I join you as well in this was pretty much the worst year I’ve ever had. May 2016 be the year of answers for us all. I really like what you said about the counseling, that I should probably not have run from that myself. However just reading your blog really helps a lot. Thank you. I really believe when we experience extreme lows ,challenges and crisis in our lives we really experience and feel the joy in our lives all the more, when that comes, and it will! In a weird way I am actually grateful for 2015 and to 2016, BRING IT ON! I am ready too

    • Minerva
      December 31, 2015

      I still feel the same way you do. I understand 2015 was very difficult for me as a single female. I sympathize with you and the struggle you have as a single person. I don’t know what 2016 holds and I don’t believe in making resolutions. Something I do knowis that I will confront 2016 with the same smart, intelligent sassiness that I do everyday. I might struggle, might fail, might fall , might cry, might get angry ,fuss,cry,pout,or whine or all of the above regardless of what may happens to me. I know God holds me even when I can’t hold on. If we’re single its for a reason and it’s only a season not a lifetime. Take it from me,it is better to be alone then in bad company.

    • Heather
      January 1, 2016

      Thank you for writing this! It helps to know you’re not alone in your struggles and your search for answers and stronger faith. I feel like I have a strong faith and a lot of answers that make sense and its STILL hard. I lost my dad in March, he was only 66 and he was everything to me. Then my brother took off and left us and his wife. I too am still single at 32 and wondering why. I can’t seem to find the kind of guy I’m looking for and nothing seems to be happening for me or working out but I just have to have faith that whatever it is, it’s for my protection. Hope things get better for you and thank you again for the inspiration and your bravery!

    • Elizabeth
      January 1, 2016

      I love your posts! 2015 was unanswered for me too! I’m pressing on and hoping for more clarity this year!

  2. Natalia
    November 30, 2015

    You are not alone Mandy you just put in words how I exactly feel. We are gone get thru this, God will never leave us or forsake us.

  3. Ronel
    November 30, 2015

    I really feel that I want to hug you. Sometimes we just can’t seem to get out of all the bad/unexpected things that happen in our lives, but I do hope and pray that a good & life-giving year of answers will be waiting for us both 🙂 xoxox

  4. Sandra
    November 30, 2015

    2015 we found out in March my dad had at 73 stage 4 incurable cancer and in July we found out that my mom at 70,(now 71) also has cancer, my dad died the end of August and my mom has been through radiation and on her second round of chemo with good progress, the end of October I lost my job and now I’m being sued for over 3,000 in medical bills, so yeah it’s been a very bad year! I’ve also been single for 6 yrs and often wonder if I will be forever and especially since I’m 50. I sure hope and pray 2016 is much better.

    • Alexis B.
      December 2, 2015

      Thank you and everyone for their transparency . I don’t share your story Sandra, but I have one too and it’s hard what Mandy and all of us run into —sometimes unexpectedly –I think that’s the hardest. Yet, there is hope that indeed as Mandy said beautifully in this blog–we’re still here. maybe a bit frazzled or messy or hanging by seemingly, but we’re still here and I’m hoping we too discover the lessons of this beautiful journey and truly LIVE as God intended us too. One thing I’ve learned this year is that suffering will happen. God let us know this from the beginning, but we don’t have to be afraid to go through it and beautiful blessings will ascend from it. I will be praying for you sister and all the others present.

  5. November 30, 2015

    I had a lousy year, too, as did a few people in my family and many acquaintances.

    I am getting back into utilizing the law of attraction and thinking positively on a daily basis again and have started blogging about it. I highly recommend the abidance prayer I posted on my blog recently. I am experiencing some small positive changes after making it a daily habit for a month now.

  6. November 30, 2015

    At the beginning of 2015, I chose one word to focus on for the year….CHANGE. So far, I have sold my house, quit my job and become a full-time entrepreneur. While this has been a long-time dream for me, it is terrifying and took a tremendous leap of faith. In order to change my life, I had to change my attitude, the choices I made, how I spent my time and I have had to risk everything I have to pursue my dream. I am scared to death but am going to keep going and pray that God is leading me down the path He has paved for me. After opening myself up to a relationship for the first time in a few years, I experienced more heartache and find myself putting up more walls. Thank you for sharing your struggles…your words help so many of us that are experiencing the same feelings in different worlds. You have brought a smile to my face and gentle reminders that we all deserved to be loved throughout this year. Even through your own struggles, you have helped others!

  7. T White
    November 30, 2015

    Mandy, I can so relate. I usually write a reflection of the year gone by. And honestly, I don’t know what I’ll write about 2015. The year started out on a bright note, but by mid-year that all changed. Like you, I had a lot of questions for God. such as why I still don’t have a permanent job and why the guy I thought was “the One” turned out to be anything but. However, with all of this uncertainty, I did learn that God does answer prayers and that I have amazing friends I’m hoping 2016 will be my “banner” year.

  8. ait
    November 30, 2015

    txs for sharing Mandy.. I always appreciate your heartfelt thoughts.. not sure what happen but you have insight to meditate think on it and do penmanship.. so revisit again.. please.. post bk.. txs.. have a swell day and know that you are loved and appreciated by some one….Me.. and I learn , cause u also ignite and incite me…

  9. Dawn
    November 30, 2015

    I am so inspired by you, when I read what you have written I feel like you are writing my story so many times. I too have had a year of let downs, physical pain, mental and emotional pain. I lost my best girlfriend of 25 years due to her life choice of a horrible addiction to prescription meds, she has not died, but is on a bad road to disaster and is not someone I can have around my family. I have been divorced for 8 years and for the past 7 I have been in the same kinda on again off again relationship with a man my heart cannot let go of even though my mind knows better. So similar to your Mr X, and I was going on 2 months of no contact and he got into a motorcycle accident and I dropped everything to nurse him back to health, quit my job, didn’t go to my nursing classes, and neglected my own pain that I am dealing worth, and guess what? I thought his accident was some sort of epiphany that God was saying sh#t or get off the pot, he said everything I have wanted to hear and as soon as he could go back to work, I became the background noise again, and now on 2 months again and guess what he emailed me, I ignored and have yet to respond. What do you do when your heart won’t let you move on? I tried to go on a couple dates with others but I don’t want any other man touching me, looking at me, laughing with me. How can love be so hard? At least you have your career and have yet to have children because at 42 with children and grandchildren and trying to get by financially and go to school…then adding a relationship that is an emotional roller coaster is exhausting. I wish you the best and pleaee continue to write and blog. As I have said you inspire me. Bring on 2016

    • Gloria
      November 30, 2015

      I so relate although you have been invested way longer. I have tried to look for other men while on thos stupid roller coaster hoping that if i found one, i could let go. Nothing panned out. My friends told me months ago to walk away, that I would feel more powerful. At least for the first many months, we had communication. Now it’s basically me
      texting and getting little or no response. Driving me insane. I guess I
      wish he would just say leave me alone. Trying real hard not to text him and have been successful so far today

  10. November 30, 2015

    Thank you for your honesty and transparency. It’s like you took a page from my heart. This so accurately sums up 2015 in my life. I’m so appreciative of this.

  11. Kendra
    November 30, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing this personal and intimate struggle. 2015 has been one of my best years as far as accomplishment, I graduated, got my dream car and went to Europe for the first time!
    Although it has brought me such great joy, it has also brought me uncertainty and sorrow. I lost my job of 5 years, which led me to doubt and question everything, because I always took pride in my hard work and with it came the badge of a strong independent woman. I had not been in love for almost two years and finally I met someone, put down my walls, and it still did not work out.
    Last month and this month, I literally crumbled. I never like to “cry out” for help, but the truth is no matter how “strong” people think they are, I think sometimes everyone needs a little “it’s going to be ok”
    I’m still sorting out problems but it’s nice to obtain guidance from
    Family and friends, and God. I think this is a question year Mandy, and next year will be answer!!! I have your books, and look forward to your new one. Thanks for the advice and kind words!
    To be honest, as selfish as it sounds, I feel like you are single because God wants you to keep encouraging other single women out there like me. You’ve helped me a lot these last 3 years I’ve been single. I don’t settle, and I know NOW how a woman should be treated because of you! Thank you!

  12. Crystal
    November 30, 2015

    2015 was hard for me. It was a year of transition and a year of answers in the beginning, and then the last half was more of, “you THINK you have the answers, but you have no idea. Life is just getting started with you”. This coming month I want to try to at least guide myself to where I want 2016 to go/look like. But one thing I’ve learned is that I can’t fully control that, and at a certain point I can only prepare for the unknown.

  13. Suzanne
    November 30, 2015

    Like you, my 2015 has been incredibly challenging and full of questions… And lacking in answers or clear direction… I’m looking forward to the year being over and hopefully a fresh start in 2016 with a lot of answers to still as of yet unanswered questions… I want to find love… the long-lasting, build a life and have a family together kind of love… I want my business to become profitable and sustaining as a sole source of income… I want to get healthy and STAY HEALTHY … I want to let go of and move on from people and behaviors that have been holding me back from achieving these things in my life so far…. I want to feel real JOY again…
    Thank you for sharing your struggles and being vulnerable with all of us readers… It does help to know I’m not alone… And your tweets and blog entries continue to provide much needed support and encouragement! Thank you!

  14. Vickie Malbrue
    November 30, 2015

    Mandy…you’ve written my current story! Every word! It’s as if…if I write it down, it becomes my reality. And I was not certain if I had the strength to deal with the weaknesses that are obviously invisible to everyone around me. Thank you sista’ for sharing your current story. I reinerate, ‘current’ story. Because it will change…for both of us. We will live in the desires of our hearts. I’m as sooooooo thankful for you. Just know that God is speaking, your are hearing and doing. Proof is I read your post…just what I needed today. FYI…I am a 56 year old African American. Girl…look how the Lord is using you!

  15. Kritika
    November 30, 2015

    Hello Mandy dear….. I was reading your book today I never been in Vegas…and I realised that I also going through same ups and downs in my life .. This year I faced everything.. First death of my brother than depression and letting go my Mr E and carrier problem…. But ..I think god have another plan for me like he had for you…don’t lose hope … You will get everything on right time..i will pray for you … 😉 Even god is here with you because when you are writing your blog, i was also thinking same way …that 2015 is hard but this year for questions and we will surely get our answer later… And it can’t be coincidence… :),so be happy and trust God , he is here with you… Thanks for giving me a reason to love myself again… Love you dear take care….

  16. Annisha
    November 30, 2015

    2015 may have been a year of questions for you, but in your vulnerability you have given so many of of answers too so many people. If you truly believe in the ‘lessons ‘ (I certainly do) then let’s say that one of them could be that this year you were the teacher. Grab up your role girl. I love your work, trust me I’m mean and skeptical as they come and every word your write sounds like someone who is a child of destiny, on her road to destined places. You know your God and deep down you know this will all turn out, wonderfully well. Looking forward to a glass of wine and a good read in February 2016, adding beautiful uncertainty to my birthday ‘gotta get’ list 😉

  17. Vickie
    November 30, 2015

    Thank you Mandy…for being brave enough to tell our truth. Here’s proof God is speaking to you, you are hearing Him and doing…a 56 year old single African American woman believing in love read your post today! I devoured every personal word…as if I’d mustered the courage to be transparent and visible and write it myself. This is only our current story. We will live in the desires of our hearts!!! -#pbnjsandwich @pbnj_1

  18. Hazel
    November 30, 2015

    Thank you for your inspiration and your care to write a few words, you may never realise how many people lives you touch or the absolute impact that you have but you do. In a world where we are more isolated by technology that frees us, your words give a pleasant and refreshing reminder that life is to be lived whether you are single or not. May 2016 be a year of blessings for you, your family and all those who come across your path in both the physical and written world.

  19. Sandra
    November 30, 2015

    Thanks for your bravery in sharing your vulnerability with us, Mandy! This year has been unlike any other for me too. I’m praying with and for you that the best is yet to come for us all and that we all finish 2015 strong! 🙂

  20. Gloria
    November 30, 2015

    For me. 2015 was the year I became too vulnerable and got hurt in the process. I went from not having dated in like 8 years (gave up on it and decided to raise my kids) to becoming a friend with benefits. I, of course, was thinking it would turn into more eventually. Instead I am ending 2015 feeling like I am never good enough for anyone to commit to. Have been trying to walk away from the situation for over a month to no avail. Trying to start brand new today by not texting this person because everytime he doesn’t answer, my self esteem depletes a little more.

  21. Phylicia
    November 30, 2015

    I can so relate Mandy! And 2015 has been a good year of accomplished goals and milestones but it including trying to run back to my Mr. “E” only to be let down again! Since graduating and realizing my dream of becoming a nurse, I accepted a job and moved (in the same state) but 3.5 hours away from all I know and love and now being alone, all by myself, no roommate, no distraction, I feel like a brick hit me in the face. I’m questioning if this is what God wanted me to do or if I rushed ahead of him in desparation. I feel like wanting to run back to everything I knew and felt comfortable with, even though I know God is probably trying to grow me and stretch me and separate me from all that wasn’t like Him. I just wish it didn’t feel like this, like a crippling fear and anxiety of will I ever NOT feel like this?! It’s alone and I know no one here, my job is a blessing, this whole transition God has just been opening doors, but I can’t seem to enjoy it because it’s just so scary. I prayed to be uncomfortable so I can fully rely on and trust God and I got it. In 2016 I pray that I learn to accept change and grow and get Joy and peace back and to grow my faith exponentially, so that when difficult times come I won’t lose my peace or my sleep. I want faith like Daniel, Job and Elisha had!! I pray for you and I ask that you pray for me. Thank you for being transparent. Love you

  22. Brittany
    November 30, 2015

    2015 has definitely been a year of questions for me! I moved 5 hours away from my friends and family at the end of 2014 for “grand opportunities.” Within months, I was miserable with my job, crying from loneliness, and STILL nursing a year-old heartache. All summer, I fought the feelings of doubt. My 30th birthday is at the end of 2015 and I continuously questioned where I was at in life. I truly hit rock bottom. With the encouragement of friends and stability of an antidepressant, I decided to move closer to home. Within 3 weeks, I had an apartment and amazing job lined up in Nashville. Was my year of pain and confusion pointless? No! The amazing job is with a company that I never would have known of of I’d never moved. Plus, I have been able to continue freelancing for the company I went to work for after quitting the miserable job. The night that I moved into my new place, I went to dinner with a man that “fits” perfectly. I have never been as content as I am now. I firmly believe that 2015 was a year of trials and painful growth planned out to make my future even better! There were many times during this dark time that I thought of quotes from your writing to try to find the positive. On the selfish side, I can’t wait to read what you write when you have time to sort everything out. You have been a blessing to many, especially myself!

  23. Cristina
    November 30, 2015

    Wow! I honour you for stepping out and being so vulnerable. I know so many of us can relate and it’s said so beautifully. Thank you for always saying what I’m thinking but never knowing how to express it.

  24. Camille
    November 30, 2015

    As I read your story and the comments below, I am heartened to realise that I wasn’t the only one that had a very tough year. My husband and I separated around April and though I prayed for our marriage to be restored that wasn’t the case. He served me divorce papers the week after my birthday…there was no warning of his intentions. In fact, he still hasn’t told me why we are getting divorced. It’s interesting the difference a year makes….because last year we celebrated our 4th anniversary at the Hilton. We even talked about starting a family in 2015. It is still hard coming to terms with this devastating loss and I am not sure what the lesson is. We were friends for many years and now we no longer speak…he appeared cold the last time we were in court. So now all I can do is rebuild my life and continue praying for God’s strength and guidance. Thanks so much for sharing. …I take comfort knowing I am not alone in my struggles.

  25. November 30, 2015

    Oh man….Thank you, thank you, thank you for your openness and transparency. 2015 has been a brutal year for me too, and maybe I need to take a lesson from you and actually let myself be vulnerable enough to write it down. I had to end my first relationship after two months because I knew it wasn’t right. God made that pretty clear. The part I didn’t count on was the soul tie that had already been made, and the searing pain of something precious being torn away that I still feel six months later. Then there’s always the anxiety that comes with that, of “what if I never get another chance? Will I be single forever?” Just over a month later, my grandmother passed away. A couple weeks after that, I faced a career/life crisis, mostly of my own making, which resulted in me falling flat on my face and wondering if anything would ever be okay again. If I look back to my life a year ago, I couldn’t have imagined everything that I would go through and face this year. I’m glad I didn’t know. I am such a different person now, and I’m not sure the change has been entirely for the better. But. God is still God, and He hasn’t lost control, even though I may have. I know He’ll be there in 2016 too, even though I don’t know what I’m going to be going up against. Thanks for giving me the courage to express this. God bless you.

  26. Pamela
    November 30, 2015

    It´s impossible for me not to relate to your post, I have been feeling like that…like my greatest achivement this year was getting through it, like this year mesure my capacity to stay on track, of keep working although you dont see the results or have the answers yet. I think this was a year of hard preparation for the years to come by…talking about myself I was able to understand self-love, value this precious freedom and paying the high fees for it.
    But in the end as you said I´m still here, standing on my feet, feeling the wind in my face, wether victory or defeat wind, at the end of the path its the wind that keeps you moving in a boat. It feels like I didn´t got to much done, but in the big picture I think I did, I became stronger, smarter and more aware of my life and of course this lead me to a lot of questions still with no answer, but I cannot describe the excitment in my heart for 2016, I love not knowing anything and I learn to appreaciatte this feeling of being abosuletly lost, this means evertyhing can happen, evrything can unfold and surprise us!
    lots af love and blessings now and for all the years to come by! and thank you for all your posts in facebook, on my darker days you were a light for my heart ♥

  27. Mirjam
    November 30, 2015

    2014 was my a terrible year and 2015 was my year to overcome this. Like you I spent a lot of time in counceling this year. 2015 was the year of change. I quit my job December 31st and started a new one. Finally decided yes even when you are single you can travel far away and on your own. In this respect i discovered i am tough, but still have a long way to go while working on my anxities, though still scared and worrying about what will come I am actually so much more happy and pisitive than last year. I will continue to work on that in 2016 in which I hope to figure out what kind of job I want to do and would love. And will continue to work on my anxiety. Good luck for 2016!!

  28. Dee
    November 30, 2015

    First half of 2015 was a struggle for me especially financially. Things slowly improve in the second half of the year and i am in a much better place now (financially). Now that things have died down i find myself focusing more on my s

  29. Dee
    November 30, 2015

    First half of 2015 was a struggle for me financially. Things slowly improve in the second half of the year and i am now in a much better place. Now that things have died down i find myself focusing more on myself internally. At times i struggle to understand why are things the way they are, my purpose in life and things like that. Faith and prayers have gotten me through and i still am here and i trust that with HIS grace you can get through anything. So have faith and lots of prayers. x

  30. Cathi
    November 30, 2015

    WOW you just put into words what I have been feeling. I finally let go of a relationship that wasn’t working for me. It has been really but I have made a commitment to myself to focus in me. 2015 was a very difficult year but I have to remind myself daily that God has a better plan I just don’t know what it is. So I welcome 2016

  31. Michelle
    November 30, 2015

    Thank you for this.

  32. Maryjo
    November 30, 2015

    Wow, you telling me about the year 2015! Yes, all I can say is it can only get better. First off, my husband left for Las Vegas in March – 3 months after my mom died; leaving me with his and my 15 year old sons. His son has ODD. Needless to say – he left me in quite a mess: sell our family house alone, deal with his child with ODD and issues he had at school, cook, clean (everyday so realtors could show house), and dealt with a new medical condition and panic attacks for the first time. My husband is now my ex husband and he lives in Las Vegas with his 15 year old son and I am here in Iowa trying to pick up the pieces…more and more, I am so grateful I did NOT move. My son has not had a seizure or been on his seizure meds since they left…coincidence? You be the judge. All I can say is thank the lord he showed me my medical condition to keep me here another 6 months and not having any support from my husband during that time…I can only go up from here…:)

  33. Jennifer
    November 30, 2015

    2015 was a year of highest highs, and some of the darkest lows on a personal level. Last year at this time I was planning for Christmas with the guy I knew I’d be with forever. Finally a Christmas where I was no longer alone. That led to New Year’s Eve with a date and dreams of happily ever after. 2015 started so bright and with such promise. It is ending with tear stained pillows and a broken heart. The happily ever after life seems further away than before. Defeat and despair have becomes companions. Doubt creeps in. Three months after the headrest break up of my life seems to have me asking more questions than I have answers. And God…it feels as though He has forgotten me as well. Even though I know He is my El Roi–the God who sees me–I feel very alone and forgotten. Now everyone around me is singing of holiday Cher and looking forward to celebrations and a new year of possibilities, and I think it is a victory that I wake up every day and go to work in the disguise of a normal person and not what I am–someone desperately seeking hope and wondering why they are ever enough and if someone willow them with the same passion they long to love another. As for therapy, your posts–this community-has been my therapy. I’m learning to be strong again. I’m reminded not to give up on love cometely. I see that maybe I have for strength than I give myself credit for. 2015…what a year you were. I experienced deep love and I saw what happens when it disappears. Now I prepare to enter 2016 trying to figure out who I am on the midst of it all, and trying to be okay with being alone with my dog…and being thankful that I have my parents and brother and nieces to live, and desperately trying not to completely give up on love and trust that God has a plan to prosper me even though I can’t see it. Ready did not, here comes 2016.

  34. Michelle
    November 30, 2015

    Like so many others on here, Mandy, I too can relate. 2015 just sucked!! I too feel “more than a little broken,” and wonder if I can just meet some “normal” men to date. I’m going go out on a limb tho and say for me just “being here” is not enough for me :(. Being broken and lonely can be so incredibly painful and tiresome. It’s painful that many just don’t understand and tell me that being single is better. I have been alone too long and quite over it myself. I keep praying and try to keep the faith that hopefully God has someone wonderful in store for me.

  35. Linda
    November 30, 2015

    Thanks, Mandy, for sharing! I needed to hear this now since, for the seemingly millionth time I hit that same wall again tonight. I already dislike living alone, but getting a migraine doesn’t help. Then I can’t work out or get out and get things done. There is no one here to talk to or help me. So for these and many other reasons I definitely feel your pain.
    I think your 2015 was much more like my 2014. I started counseling then and never, ever thought I would. Thank the Lord I had an amazing counselor, but still life was hard. She can’t fix that I live alone, but she helped me face reality that all I can do is keep lifting it to the Lord.
    Thankfully I have seen many more glimmers of hope in 2015, but overall it is a constant process of going back to a lot of the same questions you had.
    Sometimes I just think that even though it seems way harder being single, it is actually a gift because it forces us to answer these questions sooner, whereas people that are married are still going to have to answer those questions at some point during the low points of their marriage or when their spouse dies.
    It is so very encouraging, at the very least, for you to share how you feel since it is so taboo in our society to talk about being single. Or is it just that married people have no idea what to say to us? So it’s very easy to feel we are “the only ones’ with out struggle, but it’s not true at all. Thank you again for your courage in sharing!

  36. Stephanie
    November 30, 2015

    Thank you Mandy, for writing this post. I’m a big fan of your book too. I have to agree that this year I have become more guarded and less trusting than I have in years. Not just because I’ve been single for a long time now, but because of life being hard. And to add to it all, it hurt that some of my friends turned their backs on me in my time of need. I don’t know if you will ever see this post but ever since I have read your Single Women book, I have always wondered, how do you cope? How do you keep your head up high when it seems like everyone around you has had that special someone to love but you never have? How do you cope with walking down the street seeing people holding hands and being so happy but feeling like you will never get that kind of happiness? I know there is more to life than a boyfriend, husband, or marriage, but how can you cope with the feeling that you have to throw your dreams of starting a family away because you can’t find that special someone in time? I really want to believe I will find someone who will truly love me someday, but I’m so tired of waiting and I just want some proof that it will happen.

  37. Terri
    November 30, 2015

    I’m 54 and single for 16 years. For the longest time I chased love. Then I had my heart crushed. It wasn’t just broken, it was torn beating from my chest and the life squeezed out right in front of me. I was on my motorcycle in Fox Creek, Alberta. I said goodbye and do not follow me and took off for Minnesota. I rode 1400 miles in 24 hours, alone. All I thought about was ‘what am I here for?’ I thought about my friendships and relationships and realized I don’t have any enemies that I know of. Exes are still friendss. I decided I was here to make people’s lives brighter if not better. To make them smile especially when they don’t think they can. That makes me happy and I feel more fulfilled than I ever have. I catch myself smiling walking through the parking lot! My daughters want me to date but I see it as a waste of time. If God has someone for me, he’ll put him in my path 🙂

  38. November 30, 2015

    I understand all of your questions. This year has been a year of questions for me as well. I was married for 25 years and divorced for 13. I have been with a man for 3 years and realize staying with him. no matter how much I love him, has not future. I wonder if I will ever get married again. I am 55 years old, working on a master’s degree and very frustrated with my work. I put my house on the market this year with no luck to date. Is God telling me to stay where I am? Why can’t I advance professionally? I feel very stuck and wonder where God wants me. I have not thought of it as a year of questions until I read your blog. I am praying 2016 will have answers. I continue to pray for God’s guidance and sometimes, actually often, I feel God is nowhere to be found. I pray and I cry. I try to stay focused on the wonderful blessings in my life such as my 2 adult children
    and 4 grandchildren, my health, etc. but I truly want a relationship where I am loved, respected and feel like a true partnership. Thank you for sharing! I sometimes wonder if I am crazy and your sharing helps me to realize there are others out there also wondering about the future. Thank you and God Bless!

  39. Rachel B
    November 30, 2015

    I’m around the same age as you and also single without kids. It’s hard to see younger relatives get to have children. My family is super competitive and my role seems to be to sit in the corner and smile and everyone becomes enraged if the conversation is about me for 5 seconds per year. Kind of like the episode of SATC where Carrie realizes she’s Santa Claus (the shoe episode). It’s been a hard year but I feel it turning around. I’ve had to distance myself from my family, but it’s for the best and I’m moving on in my life. So I think 2016 will be much better! I think I’ll get some answers and I hope you do too.

  40. Mandy B
    November 30, 2015

    Wow! Maybe it’s a Mandy thing because I have felt almost the exact same way as you. 2015 has been a very difficult year.

  41. Nelly
    November 30, 2015

    Wow! I guess this is just the human story!! It felt like l was reading the story of my life.l said,who told her about me? All l can say is l don’t know what the future holds…BUT l know who holds the future. Like my friend kemi often says,a woman is like a tea bag, she does not know how strong she can be until she’s dipped in boiling water! The old is gone the new has come!

  42. fleurdt
    November 30, 2015

    I read this on the way to work and I’m close to tears. Just last week I decided to resign from my current job which to my realisation does not enable me to be a better person. In fact, there are more times in this yr that I hate myself. I wrote in my journal that I want to find that good in me again and I will not find it while I am here. I am transferring to a new job in March next year. Indeed, 2015 was a terrible year of pain and brokenness but it is also a year of personal discovery for me.

  43. Jennifer
    November 30, 2015

    Very well said! I have felt the same way and could never express it or explain it the way that you just did! What I have to keep telling myself during the good when I don’t think that I deserve the goodness, and during the bad…that I MATTER! That My Life Matters, My Feelings Matter, This Moment Matters…That if I keep my eyes on God and hold His Hand…He will walk with me…There is such Hope in Him! Thank you for sharing your story! You Matter and Your Story Matters!

  44. November 30, 2015

    I’ve been there. 2014 was by far the most difficult year of my life. I’ve also battled anxiety (as well as depression). I look back at 2014 and all of the pain and uncertainty it brought and it still makes my heart ache. But 2015 has been better. it’s amazing how much things can change, how much we can change in a year. one thing I’ve learned is that if we hang on and keep pushing forward, one day we’ll have the answers. We’ll look back and understand why that path was a part of our journey. I’ll be praying for you Mandy.

  45. Cindy
    November 30, 2015

    Thanks so much for letting me know I’m not the only one struggling. I went through a divorce, lost my job, my Dad just found out he has cancer and I have a 15 year old daughter always with drama. I’m truly struggling. 2015 has definitely not been a good year. And now Christmas with no money for presents for my child. I keep telling myself it will get better. God is by my side. And I know this, just get really down sometimes. Life is hard. You just have to keep on keeping on. God Bless everyone.

  46. Sam
    November 30, 2015

    Mandy, I have felt these very deep, shaking, uncertain feelings. This year has been a roller coaster of emotions, personally. I enjoy reading both of your books, and following you on FB. I pray you find answers and keep your faith. Thank you for your amazing insights and your inspiring strength!

  47. Karrie
    November 30, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your story. 2014 started out great for me. I purchased a home for me and my boys and I was in a great relationship. The end of 2014 revealed my boyfriend was actually married. When a ended the relationship, he attacked me. 2015 was full of nightmares, restless nights and court dates. I sought counseling and I’m slowly returning to a state of normalcy. Please keep me in your prayers.

  48. Elizabeth
    November 30, 2015

    Thank you putting into words my 2015.

  49. November 30, 2015

    A friend posted this link on fb. I’m so glad I stopped to read it. It sums up everything I have felt, this past year. Can’t wait to read your book!!!

  50. Dee
    November 30, 2015

    Mmmm… this sounds like my year also. Almost 3 years divorced, one child. For some stupid reason I thought things would be better and less complicated. Absolutely not. Ex husband has been dragging me through court for the last 7 months. Not paying support, looking like another hearing about Christmas time. Struggling with finances, yet making it thru the muck per say. I feel terrible to complain to anyone, I have food, clothes and a roof over my head, I am blessed. Yet that doesn’t get rid of the insomnia, panic attacks and genrally waking up every blasted morning with the raging thought of “I can’t do this anymore”. Yet I have my coffee while the dogs go out, take a quick shower and in that moment (do not know why the shower is my church), I realize that… I have made it on my own for 3 years and I can do this for as long as I have to. If I could just shut the worry voices in my head off, I would realize that quite actually I am quite a happy, relaxed and content person. I don’t know where this trail goes, but I will keep walking.

  51. Reen
    November 30, 2015

    Reading this, tears poured…same scare of skin cancer 4 times this year, all successfully, yet painfully removed and biggest heartbreak I have felt still trying to heal from. Thank you

  52. Thandeka
    December 1, 2015

    Wow I can really relate to your 2015 experiences. I pray that God will guide and keep you. I pray that you get answers.

  53. Lucy
    December 1, 2015

    2015 has been a year of questions for me, to the point that I had to face depression and anxiety again. Yeah..like you..i thought I was done with this struggle..but it was just lurking around. Waiting for your breaking point. And here I am, still here..still looking forward to 2016. Praying that 2016 will be better. That the impossible things I am praying for will come to pass.

  54. annah
    December 1, 2015

    this year was a year of questions for me too. exactly as you describe it including loosing connection with God as well. i felt like i was reading my heart. you just got me ready and excited for 2016. God will give answers in 2016 <3

  55. Mathy
    December 1, 2015

    Just found your website Mandy . I was looking for other women who were learning more about singleness. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve felt completely the same way. It’s been a real struggle I must say. I don’t want to firght it anymore, so now I’m just accepting it maybe this is all I can have for now. I’m just hopping my next move is the right one and I can start over without blaming myself.

    I’m sorry you’re at a tough place but I appreciate you for sharing

  56. Palesa
    December 1, 2015

    It’s amazing how I relate on almost every level with you where 2915 is concerned. From a break up after years and years of trying, hoping and praying, to struggling with migraines and sharp pains in my heart and other parts of my body that have no explanation, financial difficulties that I don’t even where they came from or how I’m gonna get out of it, being a single mom trying to work and study and educate my child as well, regrets about some career choices, recovering from a car accident financially and emotionally… It’s been a hard year year, 2014 was also quite hard. All I pray for is a little bit of sunshine in 2016…

  57. Dotty Meltesen
    December 1, 2015

    Mandy. I’ve been following you since you released your books. I divorced in 2013 I was a stage 3 cancer survivor on top of it. That year I never ran a step and trained for a marathon and decided to leave my happiness behind of a man that clearly wasn’t my cheerleader. I did that 3 days after I crossed the finish line of a running marathon that I thought I couldn’t do but did!. I raised 21k for charity that year. Ran two 1/2 marathons. 1 full marathon. Divorced my husband. Not long thereafter I began following your reads which I find inspirational. It’s about being “you” and I love you as the beautiful broken perfection you are!

    I understand broken and year of questions. This year has been hell for me dating wise. But it’s not how many times I’ve fallen. It’s about how many times I got back up!! Adversity builds compassion.

    “There are always rainbows when it rains and the sun will shine again, you just have to have faith”. Dotty M aka “me”.

    “Even the rarest of diamonds have no beauty if the eye of the beholder doesn’t see it. It’s about looking at them from a the angle that makes sparkle”. DottyM. And you are beautiful!

    https://m.facebook.com/dotty.dotz2

  58. Justine
    December 1, 2015

    This has also been my year…this year,I remember crying and wishing numerous times that God himself would come down and just give me a hug,just to hold me and never let go..but its also the year ive slept in peace despite all the negativity and anxiety I have felt and gone through. Thank you…

  59. Tamara
    December 1, 2015

    I’m glad to know that I was not the only one. I’ve felt so alone and abandoned by God in 2015. My closest and dearest friends all experienced wonderful life changes (marriages, babies, new homes…) while I’m still single, childless, and staring down the barrel of turning 40 in 2016, wondering if I will ever be where I want to be. Thank you for being open about your feelings and I will use this as a reminder that I’m not alone.

  60. December 1, 2015

    Thank you for your honesty. I sympathize… it’s been a hard year for me too in many of the same areas.

  61. Valerie G. Boyd
    December 1, 2015

    Dear Sister Mandy ~
    I can’t thank you enough, for the beautiful, raw honesty which comes across every time you share. An honesty that touches deep into the hearts of those who truly need to know their not alone in the struggles of singleness, and in the fulfillment of their dreams and goals. Me in particular. Thank you for writing about me. Thank you for expressing what my own words could not at times. Today, there in front of me, I read my life for 2015, and thought, “Who told this woman, Holy Spirit?” So, “THANK YOU WOMAN OF GOD”, for your obedience in allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your hand, heart, and spirit as you write. Please pray for me as I commit to sharing my own heart more openly, for support and help. To know that my struggles with singleness has purpose. To know that delayed dreams, regardless of the years, are not denials, and that God’s purposes for my life, will be fulfilled. Blessings to you this holiday season!!

  62. Liza
    December 1, 2015

    WOW! This is my story except for a few minor things it sound like some the same exact feelings and thoughts. I’m glad I came across this because it gives me hope about getting counseling and or group therapy and continued healing. Life can be really hard and thanks for the reminder that I’m not alone and that years or seasons like this really show us how strong we are and how much we can overcome.

  63. Jasmine Q.
    December 1, 2015

    Wow! Thanks Mandy for your transparency! I believe some of the things we go through aren’t always for us but to help other people. That’s what I believe God is doing through you, Through your words, books post etc. many women will be healed, set free or simply find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone with their struggles. Thank you again for not being afraid to share pieces of your life with us! Virtual hug !!!!!!
    For me I thought I had 2015 all figured out. I had goals and steps to achieve them only to realize my goals and dreams were becoming an idol to me and I was putting too much energy and time into them. I’m going into 2016 with a surrendered heart to be spirit led by what God wants me to do!

  64. Zipho
    December 1, 2015

    Thank you so much for this post. I thought I was alone in this. It takes sooo much to keep strong, I often Wonder if I am forgotten or invisible.

  65. kik
    December 1, 2015

    Mandy thank you for sharing, we missed you!! I think being open and honest with us can help you too – like we are with you and how your words has helped us always. Therapy and counselling is amazing and needed and there is no shame at all. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks too and yes sometimes they are stronger than other times and its hard it really is. I congratulate you on getting help, on opening up to us and on being honest. We won’t ever judge you for showing “weakness” – because not only do we all feel weak at times, but weakness is also strength. Let us be here for you have been with us!! For me this year i fell in love…but with someone who doesn’t love me back and is emotionally unavailable – but still a wonderful person. Hopefully 2016 will be better!! Sending you all hugs x

  66. Anna
    December 1, 2015

    I love you Mandy, for writing your truth!

  67. Tammy L.
    December 1, 2015

    You are an inspiration to many and can’t wait for your next book.

    Life is hard…it’s rough. I’m not an alcoholic, but I find myself sitting in meetings, looking for answers, praying to God and looking for support. But I continue to make bad decisions. Why? Not sure if there is a true answer. Facebook says I have friends. I do have people that love me, but where do we go from here. Are we unhappy? Or does the big ugly world tells us unrealistic guidelines for who we should be. My best guess…we are perfect. I love the feeling of being my best friend…because I think it takes us many failures to see what and who we are. Isn’t that what failed marriages allow us to do..or failed anything? Although, I’ve never been married…I still believe this is what God wants for me. He knows we fail…he knows our choices are less than impressive, but really? He’s the only one that stands by us all the way. I’m not really religious, but I know I’m am here for a purpose and only God can do that.

    Each day is a step forward…and…it will be perfect. We just have to see and believe.

    I would love to write a book with you Mandy, as I am sure you get that a lot, but would be willing to share my stories as well.

  68. Kerri
    December 1, 2015

    2015 has been a year for questions for me as well. It’s been so frustrating to talk to God, cry out to God, pray, cry, give up, not give up and hear nothing. No matter how hard I’ve tried, prayed, read and casted my cares. My heart is confused, angry, broken and sad. I pray that God will show Himself and allow me the ability to finally hear from Him. This year has been rough to say the least. Thank God I’ve made it through!

  69. Tamika Barnette
    December 1, 2015

    Mandy,
    Thank you so much for your willingness to be open and share your 2015. I read this the day after I went to therapy for the first time in a year. I felt defeated somehow for needing to go back. Reading your post encouraged me to continue the healing process. Because of you I feel I can get through this. Thank you for being your wonderful self.

    Peace and Blessings

  70. Kay
    December 2, 2015

    Thank you for writing this Mandy. 2014 and 2015 have been two of the toughest years of my life. In early 2014 I made several huge changes to my life that did not work out as planned. I went in optimistic and full of belief of “leap and the net will appear” or that for every step I took in faith God would take 2 and all that. Well that wasn’t what happened at all and it left me in a horrible financial, emotional, and spiritual place that I’ve spent 2015 trying to dig my way back up from. I’m still digging and still searching where some days it just doesn’t seem like the light with appear again. On top of that dealt with my own health issues and fear and sadness over loved ones illnesses. I am prone to anxiety as well and had the same thing happen where after keeping it under pretty good control for several years the panic attacks came back full force, the fear of worst case scenarios, etc. I think what you said about just making it through the day being enough is so true. Sometimes it’s the only positive I can think of, that I made it through another day and so did the people closest to me and just be grateful for that. My hopes for 2016 would be to be kinder to myself, forgive myself, let go of the FOMO (fear of missing out) and just focus on my journey and try not to get to caught into the dark hole of why isn’t my life together like most of my friends with their marriages, kids, careers, and homes. Just to be me and find ways to be happy without that knowing those things might never come, while still trying to hold onto the hope that they will. It’s a very very difficult balance.

  71. December 2, 2015

    Mandy, I can totally relate to your story. 2015 was supposed to be different. My boyfriend (at the strike of midnight on New Years Day) said that 2015 was going to be a “year of firsts” for us. And in March, our relationship ended and he never came back. The upcoming holidays have gotten me so down because 2015 was supposed to be different! I knew in my heart, we would be married this year. And now I’m more alone than I ever have been. My faith in God has kept me going, but it ebbs and flows as I try desperately hard to answer all the questions. I will keep you in my prayers because I, too, know how it feels to have so much hope in a new year only to be disappointed. But something beautiful can happen in the midst of it, and it’s not 11:59 on December 31 yet. 😉

  72. Michie
    December 2, 2015

    Sending hugs your way and prayers on your behalf. 2015 has been soooo hard for me, haven’t been able to find work and like you I’m tired of being single and alone at 36 and have asked God so many questions. I broke up with my ex in 2013 and I have not been even on one single date so again like you I ask myself why I don’t date like normal people, is there something wrong with me. I oscillate between being very hopeful about the future and being anxious and depressed about my current siutation and wondering if it is ever going to change or I’m doomed to misery, loneliness and being in constant debt due to lack of a job. That said, I’m so grateful for my family who have been so supportive, for good health that I have enjoyed all year (just as well as I have no insurance) and friends who have even lent me money not knowing when and how it will be paid back.
    Thank you for this group therapy session that you just provided us with right here……can 2016 get here already and God please bring much needed answers our way. AMEN

  73. S Moore
    December 2, 2015

    Thank you for the transparency. You have no idea how much I needed that! In 2015, I found myself broken & in the last month of the year, I’m finding myself on the path to being whole. I did everything except physically threw in the towel. I found myself going thru the motions at church, work & home because it was expected of me. There were times that I felt unloved & unloveable. I didn’t love myself & wasn’t convinced that God loved me either. I experienced hurt from the very ppl that make sacrifices for. I felt abandoned & like nothing I do is ever enough. But it was all irrelevant because I’m in ministry & had obligations. I’ve prayed & cried myself to sleep many nights even tho I was convinced that God didn’t hear my prayers. But I thank God that I can say I made it thru that season & God is now restoring me, my faith & my passion. I’m not quite sure of the purpose behind this storm but I learned some valuable lessons while in it! So I claiming 2016 to be a better & greater year for HIS glory! With a spirit of expectancy, I’m believing that my dreams are about to manifest ANY DAY NOW!!!

  74. Sonya
    December 2, 2015

    Wow…I usually don’t feel compelled to post comments but this one really hit home. Thank you so much for being brave enough to tell your story. You are not alone. 2015 has probably been the worst year of my adult life. It started off very promising…the beginning of what I thought was a new relationship, a new vehicle, a new career opportunity, a renewed relationship with God…but it is ending in a very traumatic fashion. It all began to spiral out of control around the end of June. My father experienced a medical situation that he is still recovering from, I’ve lost family members, and experienced the betrayal of someone I thought I loved. This person turned out to be a narcissistic sociopath that did nothing but lie constantly and take from me. It has affected my physical and emotional health, my finances, and totally shattered my trust in people. I feel like my relationship with God is not as strong as it was and I sometimes don’t even know what to say in my quiet time with God. I still haven’t been able to forgive myself for even allowing this situation to happen but I know that God will heal the pain I feel in time. I too usually believe there’s always a lesson to learn in every situation but I haven’t been able to figure out what the lesson is in all of this. I am still recovering from it all but after reading your post, I am encouraged and maybe the take away for me this year is that I’m still here in spite of it all. Thank you.

  75. Alison
    December 3, 2015

    It is amazing how you put into words exactly what I am feeling. God has definitely been silent this year and kept majority of my questions unanswered. I have learned more than ever how to be patient and wait on God’s timing and as hard as that truly is, I know me and you both will be blessed beyond belief. I have complete faith that one day, all of our questions will be answered and they will be nothing short of amazing!

  76. JoAnne L
    December 3, 2015

    Mandy I can’t tell you how much your words meant to me. To know that I wasn’t alone this year, that I am not alone and that someone else out there was asking the same questions I have been asking all year long. I too, have had health scares, financial issues, questioning where God has been this year – has he been just listening and putting things in my path so that I know I’m not alone. I have also been in counseling, have joined a group sessions, and am working hard on realizing that I am worth it! I look towards 2016 with trepidation and hope and trembling faith that it will be a year of happiness, joy and hopefully dating a real person, not the fake people I keep encountering. Why can’t I meet that normal person that is out there? Why do I have to be different?? Because of surgery, I’ll never be a mom (at least know the physical joy of carrying and giving birth – maybe some day I will be a step mom), it’s been very hard to wrap my head around that. Why me? When I looked at my life I expected to have a family, a messy house with a lot of love, crazy times, holidays; now it’s me and the dog and my Mom who I am blessed to take care of. Here is to a blessed and joyful and faith filled 2016! May God continue to bless you Mandy. Thank you for all that you do and share. It is helpful beyond measure.

  77. Nicole
    December 3, 2015

    Hi Mandy,

    I cannot thank you enough for sharing so much with us. I had to comment here. You have encouraged and inspired me so much over the last couple of years. I have been feeling like 2015 has been a year of so many questions and uncertainty for me. For the first time, I tried counseling and a self-esteem support group. I was embarrassed to share it at first. I have always been the “strong” one, or the person that everyone comes to, not needing anyone myself, or taking time for myself…not asking anyone to really listen me. I have developed fears and anxieties that I once did not have. My confidence has been pretty low…It is a blessing to see that I am not all alone and that there is hope in tomorrow. Things will become exciting again. Delay is not denial. It reminds me of my bible study from last night and Psalm 25 . Keep hope alive and continue to trust God. A lot of times what we want is not ready for us even though we might be ready. Sometimes we have to be patient in the meantime so that when that door opens, it will be better than what we could have asked for. I’m trying to remember that now. In the midst of not being able to understand why certain things haven’t happened for me yet and why I can’t seem to figure things out even though I am 31 years old. Everything is going to be ok. This is only a chapter. I do believe that 2016 is going to be amazing, wonderful, full of so many blessings that we won’t have room enough to receive it! I declare it! I can’t wait for your new book. Thank you again. Praying for you and all of the people touched by your post.

  78. Cindy
    December 4, 2015

    My 2015 is identical. Everyday I’m going thru panic to the point of not breathing. I just moved to Nashville, and I’m trying to find affordable counseling. What kind of group did you go to? Was it Celebrate Recovery? Please let me know where I can find help.

  79. December 4, 2015

    2015 was indeed a year of questions, fear, disbelief, and lonliness. This divorce has been so hard, especially this year. In 2016 I’m praying for the ability to just be able to accept each day as it comes. Working on my Bachelors in Psychology. Looking forward to seeing that through. God Bless. Will be buying your book. Thanks for all the help in 2015. As your posts has helped me tremendously.

  80. Wondering
    December 4, 2015

    Mandy, you give folks a place to share our hearts…and THAT is a gift. I pray you are blessed beautifully in 2016. ( : Terri

  81. Lily
    December 15, 2015

    Hi Mandy and all,
    As some of us are experiencing 2015 is a hard year, it also happens to me… At the end of 2014, my relationship ended in a painful way….that left me alone. I wanted to scream out and cried, hoped there’s someone who could hug me, but there’s no one. I couldn’t even have a bravery to tell my closest friend of how I felt inside. It took nights and months of tears and hopeless that I cried to God to make me heartless or amnesia to forget these painful memories. When this pain is slowly faded as time went by, I met another man and start to build relationship though it’s not too deep yet. It’s been 4 months and I found that this relationship wasn’t even better than previous one. I just wanted to explode….and I looked to myself if there’s anything wrong with me. And there it goes, there are some moral values that can’t be accepted my partner. He thinks I’m too old fashioned for not doing this and that. I just said to him that women like us are still exist.
    Next year I’m gonna be 36 and in my place, 36 is late enough for a woman to be single. They will be viewed as choosy and high demand woman. That would be helpful if there’s a therapy or community like you have here….but there is none so it makes even harder to face it alone. All I can say in 2016 is that I’m not alone and I’m strong enough to get through it to end of 2015. There are invisible ears and eyes that heard every cry and tear…..And I’m not the only one who experience this. We support each other in prayers though we can’t meet in person. Keep going Mandy and all….keep inspiring and encouraging through your writings. Thanks so much… God bless us (Lily – Indonesia)

  82. Samantha
    December 18, 2015

    This was also the hardest years of my life. I lost my mom and watched her suffer horribly with stage 4 breast cancer at the age of 51. I changed careers completely starting a new job, in a new state in a rural small town. It has been a painful year and I’ve felt really isolated and alone but I know better things are coming in 2016. They have to be!! Thanks for posting this. I have been seeing a lot of stories and comments over the internet/social media about 2015 being particularly hard for many. I found this on buzzfeed which brought me a smile:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/2015-was-okay?utm_term=.sn2AGrAr2#.tg5okXoXJ

  83. sylvia
    December 23, 2015

    2015 was a very very bad year I m from south africa I lost my job and I lost my boss he was a very good person he use to help me with everything food kids bills. You name it now his gone. Everything is so blank I m just hoping that 2016 will be a better year because this there were no job no food no salary bills keep on piling up foun rang non stop please God help me even if I get job. Its so much to pay won’t even know where to start and how long it ll take to finish

  84. Danielle
    December 27, 2015

    I cannot believe how much I can relate to this blog. I’m 24 and I’m single as well, and I’ve been reflecting over the past year too. I came to
    The realization that 2013-2015 were years of me walking around aimlessly without direction, without purpose, and without direction. I f el like the life was sucked out of me. I was going through the motions. I did that it’s that temporarily satisfied me but left me feeling alone and broken in the end. I started rebuilding myself at the end of 2015. I’ve seen mys f get stronger and tougher, but with that strength, I’ve seen myself get lower as well. So it’s true, higher levels means their will be more Devils. Yes. 2015 was a year of questions. And I still don’t have the answers. So, I’m also having a career crisis… Trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do. When it comes to boys, I shut people out and I always fear that I’ll turn the right one away. My life is a CRAZY roller coaster right. But what 2015 has taught me is to TAKE CHANCES. And a lot of chances. It taught me to go somewhere that I feel uncomfortable because that’s where we grow. Taking chances and being uncomfortable are both VERY hard ! But isn’t life about becoming the right person before finding the right person ? So, in 2016, I’m making New Years resolutions for ME. And I’m making a 2016 memory that. I’ll put all kinds of memorable things and notes in it that happened to me in 2016. So in 2017, I’ll be able to truly reflect and see how far I have come and see the New Years resolutions that I’ve lived up to. Let’s make this year OUR year. Let’s focus on bettering ourselves in every way possible. I’ve had times where I didn’t feel or hear God either, and I thought I never would again. But God TESTS us. So stay faithful and push through. You WILL get through this… I’m finally starting to see, hear, and feel God again and I feel him placing on my heart to get to know him on a deeper level and become that woman that my future spouse desires. Now is the time. And never stop believing that there isn’t someone out there for you if that’s truly a desire of your heart, because God gives us our desires, he created us. I’ll leave with saying that I’ve decided to follow a 14 day prayer plan. There’s a prayer a day for your future spouse. You read it and write about it, then you save it for him. When my 14 days are up, I’m going to write letters to him. Especially when I am lacking faith, I encourage you to do the same. Please don’t give up, you think 2015 was just a year full of questions, but you don’t know how many lives you have touched, including mine. You’ve gotten me through some pretty lonely nights with your advice and stories. God is using you in more ways that you can see. Stay strong
    If anyone likes this blog, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter at danielle0831. I really want to start posting advice from my crazy journey of a life. Thank tou for reading !

  85. Koekoete
    December 27, 2015

    I would have to say 2015 was hard it was nothing that I expected it to be and yet God was with me. Still struggling but now I am faithed up yall

  86. Chandler
    December 29, 2015

    2015 has been an extremely difficult year for me as well. I feel I have lost everything; my business has been in turmoil, I moved out of the beautiful downtown condo I loved, my boyfriend and I broke up due to circumstances of life, and then my brother died unexpectedly, which has put our family into deep and heart wrenching turmoil. I have cried more in the past 3 months than in the past 3 years. Somedays I feel my heart will break in two. However, I also have so many things to be thankful for; my health, I still have an awesome dad that loves me with his heart and soul, getting my business back together, so many friends that have supported me throughout this tragic year. I pray that God watches over each of us and helps guide us to a healthy, happy, prosperous 2016. While I hate reading of each of these heartbreaking posts, it does make me realize I am not along. God Bless each of us!

  87. Lexi
    December 30, 2015

    I have been following your Twitter for some time now, as have many of my friends. We’re all in college, trying to navigate life and love as 20-something’s. The beginning of this year wasn’t monumental, but started going downhill in March. I had been “seeing” a slightly older guy who had moved far away far for school. I cam home to see him, I thought things were fine till he told me had a girlfriend. I didn’t understand because we had still been in constant contact and I didn’t think much had changed. So I went a little crazy at school and lost myself in partying and wasn’t surrounded with the best people. During the summer I knew he would be back in town for awhile and he had told me he was no longer seeing someone. Of course I fell right back into him, thought things were great, and bam wouldn’t talk to me or anything except “Yea I dont think things are going to workout.” My world shattered, this guy was my first love, I had held him on such a pedestal for so long. Thought I was never going to love someone like him again. The 4th of July was the worst weekend of my life, after being the best in 2014 because of the same guy. Later in the summer I get an apology text, which I accepted, but the hurt was still there. I actually met someone new shortly after that, who swept me off my feet but went to school 8 hours away. I got really sick going back to school, so that was awful. I was so enamored with this guy, unlike anyone I’d met, who drove 8 hours to see me for Labor Day. This guy made me false promises and told me he loved me after a month, which basically slapped a band-aid on my broken heart. Long story short, this guy left without a word and was into some very bad things. I cried and prayed to God on why he had forgotten me and let this happen to me twice. Many days I had to force myself out of bed to go to class. I felt so empty and abandoned even with close friends and my mom supporting me. Things got better as the semester went on, and I even got a long apology phone call one random November night. To me, it wasn’t enough but I had to accept it. I am so so glad I found your blog post because I’m hoping 2016 will be a better and more gracious year and that God will continue to walk with me. I’m excited to see what 2016 brings for my friends and I, because I hate seeing us struggle through figuring out relationships and love, but I know God has a plan for us. Thank you Mandy for the reminder! Xoxo

    • Mandy Hale
      December 30, 2015

      He does have a plan! And you have plenty of time for it to come to pass 🙂 Love to you and your friends!!! xo, Mandy

  88. Amanda
    December 31, 2015

    Mandy, I don’t normally comment on these blogs but I know how you have felt. This has been a tough year for me and my family too, my oldest brother passed away earlier this year. And I just wanted to tell you after reading this you are an inspiration, wanted to tell you God is with you and is here. He has used you to reach even to Natchez, MS thank you for your stories. May God bless you in the coming New Year!

  89. Melissa
    December 31, 2015

    You’re my spirit animal Mandy!! We have so many similarities…and it sometimes feels like I’m reading my very own journal entries. So thankful for your honesty…and for discovering your blog!! God bless!!

  90. Laura
    December 31, 2015

    Thank you for your honesty. I can’t tell you how reassuring it feels to know I’m not the only one who got my dreams dashed and my butt kicked in 2015. It’s definitely been a year of questions for me, and I’m going to continue to look for the answers and try to learn from the lessons in 2016. Everything changes eventually I guess. Let’s hope our changes this year are for there better x

  91. January 1, 2016

    Just what I needed to read today. Thank you so much for opening up and letting those of us in the same boat know we’re not alone!

  92. Mary
    January 1, 2016

    Thanks Mandy. Not sure how I missed this post last month, but I had just finished a post on my page talking about how yesterday was just a day of overwhelm and fear for me, and I found myself not able to stop crying. I found myself not being accepting of “you’re right where you’re supposed to be” “he has a plan for you”, all those things. I found myself in a place of instead of focusing on positive affirmations and gratitude, of just saying….THIS ALL SUCKS. It felt good to release it and let it out. My issues are many, and my life has changed dramatically and that has all been related around health and an MS diagnosis in 2013, and the pain of Neuropathy that I deal with day and night. I’ve lost friendships due to changing my life to try to heal my body, I’ve gained stress, much financial stress and pressure of being completely buried in medical expenses and debt from the last few years, with no retirement savings to count on and wondering how I am ever going to turn this around with limited ability to do my job now. I turned 46, still single and not dating anyone because how can I date anyone like this? Dating takes so much effort and either I online date, or I don’t date at all because no one ever asks me out on their own. And the acceptance that at this point, I guess I am not going to get the one thing I wanted more than anything, and that was a family of my own. At 46 years old, no man in my life and no prospects of any, it becomes clearer and clearer that no matter how much I have cried and asked for this, believed in this, left other good men that I had dated in the past because they didn’t want to have kids so I pushed them away because I knew that I did want them…..none of that has been granted to me. And I guess that must be the plan. The one that I wish I could accept but the hurt and pain never goes away. I find myself feeling the exact same emotions as you. Life is hard and scary, BUT….that does not mean that I am not grateful for what I have. I am so, so, grateful for the little things. A roof over my head, water coming out of the faucet, my dog, the friends who love and care for me (I have no real family) if I can only get past the fear of losing all of it. The Uncertainty. I’ll look into your new book for sure, even though I have 15 other great books that I have yet to finish reading. I think that MUST be a resolution for me. Less time on FB, more time with my nose in a book. ANYWAY – Wow. I just rambled that off and I don’t think I will even go back and correct it. 🙂 I’m going to embrace my Brene Brown vulnerability and just go with it!!!!!!!! Thank you for embracing yours and opening up to all of us. Clearly you can see from how many comments above how it helps so many of us not feel as alone or like we are losing our minds, or that something is wrong with us. You give us a gift with your writing and I thank you for it.

  93. Rachel
    January 1, 2016

    2015 has been the hardest year of my life. I watched my mother’s health and mind deteriorate. The man I had been planning to marry became involved with someone else, hurting not only me, but my two daughters as well. My oldest daughter, 12yrs old, was hospitalized and treated for depression and in November, my mother passed away after a week in hospice. All of these things happened between October 5 and November 9. There were things throughout the year that were leading to these events, but I either ignored them or they were beyond my control. But with the bad came good. I’ve reconnected with two old friends and have made new ones. I’ve become more active in my church (I felt held back from doing this while in my relationship). My daughter is getting better and wants to become more active in church. As much as I’ve hated going through the bad, I know I needed it, that push to get me going in the right direction. I still feel hurt and betrayed, I still worry about my daughter, and I miss my mother so much but I know that it’s all part of life and the good days will help me through the bad days. I pray 2016 will have more good days for us all. Mandy, you have helped me, a complete stranger, so much. Thank you for your encouragement.

  94. […] A Lot Can Happen in a Year […]

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