On this eve of a New Year, I cannot help but reflect on the year that we will close out tonight.
Honestly, I am relieved to see 2013 fade and to have a new year beckon me forward. This year has been challenging.
Just a few days before Easter, I broke my leg. With two little girls (newly three and newly five at the time), who still needed quite a bit of help from this stay-at-home-mama, hobbling about on crutches was not conducive to the task of chasing little girls.
In the middle of May, my husband confessed to me that he had been having an online affair for several months. Months that spanned one daughter’s birthday, my broken leg, Easter. The pain pierced deeply and shook our vows mightily. Especially after I read many of the email exchanges.
By the end of May, my husband and I were in counseling – individual and couples, though the focus was more on our individual journeys in order to prepare us for the healing necessary to continue our journey as a couple.
In November I took on the awesome challenge of National Novel Writing Month and wrote 53K words in 27 days. The story remains unfinished because my muse was derailed when I discovered only two days before Thanksgiving that despite being in counseling, my husband had entered into another online affair. This time with a different woman.
So, here I sit at the end of December. The end of a difficult, sometimes wrenching, and, yet, sometimes still awesome and amazing year.
And yet if someone were to ask me about this year, I would tell them that I had much for which I am thankful.
Yes, there were awful moments. Yes, there were difficult circumstances. Yes, there were emotional upheavals.
But the year was not awful. It was challenging. And at times it was difficult. And, no, I would not have chosen to live through all the moments I was given. But because God was faithful, this year has worked together for my good. Because that is what God does for those who love him and are called according to His purpose. The purpose to glorify him with my life. With my choices.
Choices that include my thoughts, my words, my actions.
This has been a year of incredible growth for me. Growth that involved and continues to involve wisdom. Learning. Discernment. Which means that the new year can only be amazing.
I am learning how to be thankful no matter what.
I am learning how to trust God for what I need. My joy. My heart’s desires. My worth.
I am learning how to trust God with the people I love. Starting with my husband. Including my children. And all of the concentric circles of family and friends.
I am learning that I am more than what others or even what I see in me.
I am learning that I can forgive others because I have been forgiven.
I am learning that I am free to be the woman God created me to be. Free from living under others’ expectations, including my own. Free from living in a way that is just getting by. Free from living in fear.
I am learning that I am indeed fearfully and wonderfully made and that the world needs the gifts I have to share. That my girls need me here at home to guide them through the challenges of childhood and to reflect Jesus to them and to speak love and encouragement into their lives. That my husband needs me to have his back and to pray for him no matter what.
Yes. It is New Year’s Eve and tomorrow marks the beginning of a New Year.
But I am thankful that because of God’s infinite love and amazing grace, I can live every day like it is New Year’s Day. Because God’s mercies are new every morning. And because God makes all things new. Every day.