Another year has passed and a world of fresh, new beginnings is on the horizon. It all seems so positive, doesn’t it? But a year is filled with more than just beginnings. A year brings change. A year brings happiness and heartbreak. A year brings opportunities.
This past year is wrapping up, and already I can pinpoint significant events that happened. And some moments that took my breath away.
A friend of mine passed away this fall. I had the opportunity to visit her a few months before she died, which was such a precious gift. When we visited together she told me I looked beautiful – and I told her the same. She wasn’t looking at my fat, deformed body and I wasn’t looking at her cancer riddled one. We saw each other’s souls. It’s heartbreaking to lose someone who sees your soul. But it’s a beautiful thing to have had that sort of friend.
Even though I had to say goodbye to my sweet friend, God blessed me with a few new friendships. New friends are fun, especially when you can laugh together. Or sing rousing renditions of boy band songs from the 90s (those are the best kind of friends). Friends who understand your physical limitations and who change plans to accommodate your needs are cherished. I’m so thankful for my friends.
I’m thankful for my family, too. For two weeks spent visiting people I love this summer. For hot, sunny days and lazy afternoons by the water. For beautiful nieces. One of the best memories of this year was when we were seated around a campfire and my three year old niece was telling spooky stories about giant bugs. I hate bugs so it got a bit real and I half jokingly shouted out that I was afraid. My beautiful little niece grabbed my hand and started singing about how when we are afraid we can trust in God. It made me cry and my heart explode all at the same time.
My own kids have grown so much this year. Conquered battles, valiantly fought as they face daily challenges just to survive in a world their brains aren’t programmed for. I see them shine and I feel blessed that God made me their mother. I see less toys littering the floor, and more things that fit into their future. Brain teasers for one whose mind is constantly moving towards math and science. A floor littered with paper and pencil crayons for a creative brain whose impulse to always hold a writing utensil is strong. I can see how they’ve changed, how they’re changing.
Change can be wonderful, but it can also be terrifying. Looking at how this year has brought so much change to my own health story – I waited over a decade for a diagnosis and now treatments will begin in this new year. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, because I’m afraid of the unknown. The unknown pain, the unknown expenses, the unknown everything. But like my niece sang to me that summer night, when I am afraid I can trust in God. The wonderful part of this change is that He already knows what is to come.
Sometimes we know what is to come in a new year too. This year will be the fourteenth year that I’ve been married to the love of my life. That’s a lot of days of serving each other. Many months of me washing his stinky socks and many days of him rubbing my legs to keep them healthy. Many hours of working towards the common goal of raising godly young men (we aren’t there yet). These seemingly menial tasks don’t go unappreciated or unnoticed just because they’re not romantic or lovely. If anything, they’re greater than flowers and date nights because they’re just part of the life we live. Together.
Together we have made many plans for the future. We’ve dreamed about what could be. We’ve cried when dreams have died. We’ve rejoiced and celebrated when our goals were reached. This year will be no different.
The only thing that is different about this year is that together we are seeking God. We don’t want to miss opportunities that He has for us. We want to reach the end of 2018 and know in our hearts that we both followed after Him wholeheartedly. And then we don’t have to fear for the future, a and what a year will bring.
A year brings 52 weeks, 365 days on the calender. How will you fill your days?