What a year it’s been. Without a doubt the most challenging of my life so far. There have been ups and downs but definitely more downs. There has been struggle and loss and periods of calm in the storms. You’ve been through a lot of that with me – thank you for that. You know even though it’s been so hard and I’ve made mistakes I’m not sure which bits I would change. Sometimes I think God uses the really tough stuff in our lives to prepare us and change us into what he needs us to be. I was reflecting the other day on what I had learned and what I was grateful for even in all the difficulties.
Some things I have learned:
- It’s okay to be me – in fact it’s better to be me than to wear a mask – even though it’s sometimes the more difficult option.
- There are some genuinely loving and non-judgemental people in the world (and in the church).
- Asking questions and taking an interest makes people feel loved and special (sounds obvious huh?).
- I can be brave and step out of my comfort zone.
- Writing – this blog and other things – really helps me process.
Some things I am grateful for:
- My two amazing kids who somehow are still strong in their faith and confident in themselves and kind and thoughtful and loving.
- That my Papa never ever leaves me and that He carries me through even the most difficult times.
- My friends and family members who have stuck with me through all the ups and downs and who genuinely want what’s best for me without an agenda.
- God loves me just because I’m His kid and not because of anything I did or didn’t do.
- I’m still here and getting stronger.
It would be very convenient if I could say that all the challenges of this year were neatly tied up and the struggles were over ready to start the new year with a clean slate but that’s not the reality. Really January 1st is just another day. There are still struggles and challenges to overcome and difficulties to deal with. One thing is certain though – Papa will be right beside me in it all. He’s always there, carrying me through.
As this new year comes in what I’m working on is shifting my focus. Trying to stop thinking about my own struggles so much and instead thinking about how I can be a blessing and an encouragement to others. I’m pretty sure I will need reminded of this as it can be easy to slip back into overthinking and maybe even self-pity. I’m thinking of making it my mission to bless as many people as I can every day. I’m not sure what that will look like yet but I guess if I can do something to help even one person have a slightly better day that would be a good thing.
I hope and pray for all of you reading this that 2019 will be better than 2018 (whether it was a good year or not), that God will bless you and prosper you in every way, that you will have good health and love and peace and fun. That every day will bring joy and revelations and new adventures as you journey with Papa and grow in faith and love.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!