What A Year

It’s been a whirlwind of a year. Good, bad, confusing, crazy, joyful, happy, sad, bitter, sweet, uplifting, frustrating, trying, and lots more adjectives.

My health began to decline at the end of 2015, but made a noticeable impact on my quality of life early 2016. I went hiking in the snow with my best friend on a day that I felt good. I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. I had my first ride in an ambulance. I spent a night at Children’s Hospital. I missed more school than I attended. I celebrated my 18th birthday in Seattle. I lost friends. I participated in my first awareness walk for Type 1 Diabetes. I spent spring break looking for houses in Georgia with my parents.I received an award for my extensive community service. I attended my senior prom.  I made a huge decision to defer from college. I graduated high school, with honors – a major accomplishment considering my many absences. I was surprised by my aunt, uncle and cousins from WA at my graduation party. I said goodbye to my friends. I moved to Georgia. I started treatment with a new doctor. I got a tattoo. I explored Georgia with my mom – in the mountains, antiquing, and random shopping excursions. I spent many days at the pool. I took tons of photos. I blogged a lot. I learned to be okay with being alone (not lonely, just alone). I got stronger. I got better. I sanded and painted 4 palettes and a dresser. I relaxed a lot. Went kayaking and tubing down the Chattahoochee (just a mile from my house). I visited Minnesota. I went to my cousins wedding – the first wedding in the family –  congrats Jadie! I went to Florida for 5 days with my mom. My friend Brooke came to stay with us for a week. I went back to Minnesota to hunt with my dad and brother. I drove back to GA with my dad. I had a major mental break through – meaning a major reality check, I’m no longer numb to emotions. I got back into my yoga routine. My brother came to GA for Thanksgiving. I took more photos. I did more yoga. My grandma came for Christmas. Lastly, I got my first dose of IV antibiotics – ever.

And that was that.

This past year hasn’t been too eventful. I didn’t have all of the college highs and lows. I didn’t talk to many people. I missed out on a lot, as an 18-year-old. Things didn’t go as planned. I missed people. I was sad.

This past year has been healing. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot of what I’m capable of. I got stronger. I got healthier. I worked hard. I loved myself more than I ever have. I became a better me. I learned the true meaning of self-love. I achieved more than I thought I would. I listened to God more than I ever have. I am more in tune with my body than I ever was. I traveled to more places than I anticipated I would this year. I was happy.

2016 was a roller coaster that I hope I never have to ride again. There were incredibly good and horribly bad times, and I’m forever grateful for all of it. The good taught me to embrace the love and light. The bad taught me to be patient and understanding. Everything in between was taken with as much grace and peace as I could handle.

I know that my battle with Lyme isn’t over, my fight to get back on my feet isn’t done, and my struggle to keep my head above it all isn’t finished.

However, I also know that I’m stronger than I was a year ago, I’m healthier than I was a year ago, and I’m wiser than I was a year ago.

I pray that 2017 brings more joy and hope, more health and smiles, and more strength and love.

Here’s to a new year. A new year of loving hard, learning lots, healing more, strengthening everything, growing strong, finding myself, exploring good things, adventuring God’s creation, listening closer, forgiving often, dreaming big and living loud.

Stay smiling, friends. Life isn’t always perfect, or even good for that matter. But God is. Have faith, have peace and lean on His word.

Happy New Year!

Elise Hendrickson

“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”

Links you may find helpful for insight: Lyme Disease Gap Year Thoughts


4 thoughts on “What A Year

  1. Dear Dear Elise…..My prayers for 2017 for you are exactly what you are praying for! You are such an amazing gal who has had to go through so much! As we celebrated your graduation and Jadie’s wedding no one would ever imagine what you have dealt with AND what you are dealing with. You are so beautiful…..full of smiles…confident….caring! Beautiful inside and out! Our prayers continue for YOU! We love you and are so proud of YOU!! Hugs and Love, Dee and Bob

    Liked by 1 person

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