Her New Frontier Interview: Nadia

Nadia Hartenstein

Q: What were some low points of 2020?

A: “I mean how much time do you have? I started dating one of my childhood best friends the same day that the first Covid case was announced in Butler County, Ohio. Then we couldn’t see each other face to face for a month. Then we couldn’t actually hangout normally for another two and it was all super disappointing. I had a trip planned to Nicaragua that got canceled. I wasn't able to finish out my time at HS, my church highschool group. I was kinda ready to be done but it was also disappointing. I had been going for four years and I didn’t know the last time I was there was going to be the last time. I didn’t get to finish going to camps with them, and it all felt unfinished.

Even in small things like not getting to see my friends for a long time and life just being weird. Normal life kinda being gone and the genesis of everyone just Facetiming and Zooming and all the things. It’s exhausting. I’m saying all of that on a facetime call but, I’d much rather be in person but, yeah. I think easy friendships kind of died a little bit this past year and there is a lot more to think about. Like, Am I allowed to hug you? Are you okay with meeting inside? Friendships just became more complicated. It’s still a bummer and that was disappointing and sad.”

Q: What were some highs of 2020?

A: “I got married! I got to go on awesome vacations multiple times. Getting to go out west was awesome. I got to spend a lot of time just being creative over quarantine. I picked up embroidery. I baked a lot. In this past round of quarantine, I was singing and playing guitar poorly, but it was fun. Writing has been fun too. Just getting to do more creative things because, what else do you have to do? It’s either that or watch a bunch of tv (which I have done.)

I’m super thankful for my husband, Jared. That has been an unexpected redemption arch that I never saw coming. It completely blindsided me. I had a mini freak out regularly junior year because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Like I had to have it all figured out right then. I felt super overwhelmed by trying to figure out my life and the Lord was just kind of like, “HEY, just so you know, your dreams for your life pale in comparison to my plans.” Something that I have written over and over again is “Your plans are better than my dreams.” I mean, my dreams seemed great but, I think getting married is one of the most tangible ways this has happened so far. I never would have dreamed that up ever. Jared and I didn’t even really talk to each other for three years and then all of a sudden we are married. Just today would have been our nine month anniversary of dating. I’m super thankful for that tangible, in my face reminder of His faithfulness. He actually knows better than I do, so I can stop freaking out. It’s been great.”

Q: What are you leaving behind from 2020?

A: “I'm trying more and more to leave behind doubt. Which is hard, and I think it’s something I’m always going to be plagued by. But I a prayer that I have been praying recently is “Lord, don’t let me be an Isrealite.” I feel like we always judge the Israelites because they saw things like the Red Sea parting and then forgot about it completely. When I actually do the same thing just in less dramatic ways. My prayer has been “Don’t let me have the memory of an Israelite. "Don’t let me doubt Your faithfulness.” Which is so hard because I’m a person- as much as I pretend I’m not. I’m not perfect.

Learning more and more about the enneagram has been good. Trying to not operate under transactional love. Like “If I do this thing, you’ll pretend to love me enough.” That I’ll feel good about myself when, no. That's actually not healthy. I’m trying to leave behind earning love. This lie of “if I do enough you will love me.” Which is hard because I think I've operated under that for a while I just didn't know. So I want to explore more about that pattern and then try to break out of it.

Q: What are you taking with you into 2021?

A: I think, irrational joy even when it doesn’t make sense. I've been up in my house for so long. It’s been kinda frustrating because we live in a very small home without an oven or a stove. It doesn’t always make sense to have joy. It’s a scary thing to want because If I say that what's gonna happen next? Like I’m going to have to prove that, but I think irrational joy and faith is that it’s going to be okay in the end, even if it sucks.

Eternal Hope is another one. The world just feels super crazy right now. Things could go really wrong but, resting in the fact that it’s all going to be okay in the end. It’s hard to see in the moment, but a few months after it’ll be okay. But having that hope in the moment instead of a month after the fact is the goal.

I definitely want to start doing more creative things. When the world shut down, it was like “I can either be creative, fill my time with things that are fun and restful and actually fill me up or I can just numb all of my feelings with TV. I think specifically choosing expectation-less creativity will be important this year. At the beginning of quarantine, I felt like “I have to do things all of the time or I’m a failure.” When I need to give myself more grace, while also knowing when I’m numbing. Because neither of those extremes are helpful, so I want to find something in the middle. I want to be doing things with my life, but not expect to be doing things all of the time every single day and “Therefore, I have value.” I want to be somewhere in the middle this year. So whether that means making time to bake more and carving that time out even though I don’t have an oven in my apartment. Or writing/creating more instead of watching TV (but, also watching tv because it’s fun.)

Q: What would you say your “2021 mantra is?”

A: I think just, “Show Up and Press In.” Show up when people are hurting and press into the pain. Even when it's uncomfy emotions. Personally, I want to press in to myself and my baggage.

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