This past year…

This time last year found me in a very different place than today. I was in the middle of a lifelong battle with panic disorder that had finally become too much for me to handle on my own. I had completely quit my blog – the one thing I had put all of my time and love into for nearly 4 years – and removed myself from all of the social platforms that I was a part of. I became extremely depressed and lost my love for a lot of my favorite things like photography and crafts. In short, I had hit rock bottom.

It was at this time that I reestablished my relationship with God. I had never stopped considering myself a Christian, but over the years I got further away from Him and more focused on my own selfish desires. For years, all I cared about was creating my dream business and running the perfect blog – becoming my own boss, essentially. It became such an intense obsession that I didn’t care how I got there, as long as I reached my dream. I became selfish and tunnel-visioned, worrying more about coming up with cute blog post ideas and how to gain more customers instead of taking care of the ones that I had and shipping orders out on time. Sometimes it got so bad that orders would get backed up for weeks and eventually many just never went out. Customers were getting angry at me (rightly so!), bad feedback was coming in, and I started freaking out. I was digging myself into a hole that I just could not get out of, and instead of dealing with the issues at hand, I tried to pretend they weren’t there and acted like nothing was wrong.

But things were wrong. People were being cheated by me, and as much as I tried to tell myself they were just being hateful and that I wasn’t doing anything wrong, it was a lie. Because I was always feeling like time was running out and that I had to make my dreams happen fast or they never would, I never put in any of the research and time in to learning how to do things properly. If I had, I probably would’ve realized that several items I had purchased for wholesale in my shop were actually stolen from other handmade artists, or would’ve had a chance to actually learn about website design instead of just jumping into it blindly.

I made horrible mistakes during those years. I broke people’s trust. I lied. People bought things from my shop and when they wanted refunds because some of their orders never shipped, I was unable to repay them. I’ve fought with people, been jealous, put my cares above everyone else’s. I’m ashamed and embarrassed to write all of this down, but I feel God has put it on my heart to share my secrets publicly as an act of atonement. I’m no longer trying to make excuses for what I’ve done. I’m not trying to hide anything. In the past I’ve done some really selfish things, and I’m sorry for them.

This past year has been a blessing. As soon as I turned my life back to God, He started working in all parts of my life. He began showing me things that I needed to let go of, and areas of my life that I needed to work on. He blessed me with an amazing doctor and medications that have transformed my panic disorder. He took away my depression and forgave me for all of the horrible things I had done. He’s relieved me of my envious heart and replaced it with a peaceful, loving one. All glory goes to Him and the blessings He’s bestowed upon me!

I want to say sorry to anyone that has ever been wronged by me in the past.
I’m so sorry to any of the people that never got refunds for their orders. I have no way of going back through my past orders on Etsy, so if any of you are reading this please email me.
I’m sorry to anyone that I’ve ever fought with in the comments on my blog/twitter/instagram. I let my temper get the best of me and acted like a child instead of an adult.
To the people over on GOMI, I’m sorry for the couple of times I came over to yell at y’all. You have a right to your opinion, no matter how harsh. 😉
And lastly, I’m sorry to Dottie. I’m hoping you’re reading this, and if you are, I’m sorry for all of the years of fighting and trying to one-up the other person. I was upset with you for an issue you had had with my mom in the past, but I never should have bought your pattern just to leave you negative feedback (and shouldn’t have sold it just to make you mad). Karma got me back big time, so maybe that can make up for some of what I put you through.

Thinking through the last 5 years and dragging up every bad thing I’ve ever done to share here was extremely painful and embarrassing, but something I think I needed to do in order to let it all go and truly start fresh. Over the last year God has really given me the strength to admit my failures and learn from them. These last 12 months I’ve felt more free than I ever have in my entire life. God has granted me peace in His grace and forgiveness.

This was the last thing I needed to do before putting that chapter of my life away forever. It will always be there as a reminder of how easily I can get wrapped up in my own selfishness. My own personal lesson on the value of putting others before ourselves and how my life goal should be to help those around me instead of worrying about helping myself. God has promised that He will take care of us if we take care of others, and I trust in Him 100%.

xo Mandy

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