2016. It definitely had it’s ups and downs. Days where we felt like we’d been sucker punched and days where it felt like we were walking in the miraculous. This year, quite possibly more than any other, has taught me some serious lessons.
As a follower of Jesus.
As a wife.
A mom…a daughter…a friend.
As a follower of Jesus, I learned that we must not trust our emotions. We can’t let anything move us. We have to be unshakable in our purpose, our passion, and our faith. When our whole world seems to be spiraling out of control, we must remember at the depths of our core that He has not forgotten us, He has not left us, and He has a purpose for even the most painful parts of our lives.
I learned this year that joy is a choice. What I focus on is my decision. What I chose to see in my circumstances and what I make of them through a faith colored lens is more important than what the actual problem may be. I definitely didn’t get everything right this year…not even mostly everything…but I learned. I grew. I made sure my kids learned along with me. I cried in front of them plenty of times and I was real about what our challenges were. We prayed together through it all as a family and I am so looking forward to them experiencing the answers to those prayers with David and I.
As a wife, I tried my best. This year held more challenges than ever. When I was weak, David was strong. When he was weak, I tried to be strong for him too. I learned that my husband is a man of intense capability and if I didn’t know the kind of man he was before this year– I certainly do now. He spent more sleepless nights trying to sell property, working through non-profit paperwork, keeping track of our progress with BelieveWithMe and soldiered on through every one of our projects long after I fell asleep.
As a mom, 2016 was incredibly trying. So many changes in our family. Daly Kay working full time plus plenty of side jobs. Ryli and Blissy off to university. I transitioned from a stay-at-home mom to a work-from-home mom and had lots of time spent working away from home as well. That’s a lot of changes…never mind the fall sport schedule of 88 practices per week– or framing out a new website for BelieveWithMe and all the work that went into our more than $200,000 worth of Gold Star benefits this year. Yes, parenting this year had more than just a few challenges but that too was an immense opportunity for growth. I definitely didn’t get it all perfect but dammit I tried.
As a daughter, I probably failed miserably. As a friend, Lord knows I gave it my best shot. At the end of the day there just simply isn’t enough of me to meet every need but that’s where my most valuable lesson came in:
I’m never going to have it all together. I’m never going to be able to meet every need for every person in my life. I’m simply a servant of the Most High King and where I fail, He fills. Where I struggle, He strengthens. When I’m wrong, He makes it right. When I lose, He still wins. And when I finally realized that this year, I felt freedom and more joy than I had felt in decades.
I do my best, He covers the rest. I have no idea what 2017 holds but I know now more than ever Who holds it.
I hope and pray as you reflect on 2016 you remember the goodness of God even in your worst moments. I pray you will see His hand or at least feel His embrace when you look back at the most painful parts and that in your joy-filled moments you recognized His grace and blessings. I pray that as parents we remember that the Lord loves our children even more infinitely and far more perfectly than we ever will, and His love for us even in our challenging times is never at risk or at stake. I know I am looking forward to a New Year and new challenges and thankful that even though I am certainly not perfect, we serve a God whose perfection is never in question. The sacrifice Jesus made on the cross gives us access to our loving Heavenly Father and His wisdom is never more than a whisper away.
God bless you and yours this year and may you experience the peace of Christ in 2017!