As 2011 comes to an end, I glance behind me one last time.
I take in the path I took and the mountains I had to climb.
Behind me I see a year that has been full of detours I never expected to take.
Behind me I see a year of choices I didn’t think I would ever make.
Behind me I see sleepless nights full of worries and fears.
Behind me I see my family reduced to shattered tears.
Behind me I see situations that I’ll never be able to fix.
Behind me I see 3 little girls that turned two, four and six.
Behind me I see the times that I had to be strong when I was weak
Behind me I see the times that the very future was unsure and bleak.
As 2011 draws to a end I look at what is in front of me.
I put behind me what was and look at what can be.
This year has been the hardest one in my 35 years that I thought I would ever have to endure.
If you had told me January 1, 2011 of what would happen in the next 7 1/2 months. I would have told you I wasn’t strong enough. I would have told there is no way that I would make it through it all. I would have told you that I would have never laughed again. I would have told you that I would have failed.
If you had told me that I would make it past all of it and laughed so easily; I would have shook my head in disbelief. If you had told me that I would end the year with love; I would have called you a liar. If you had told me that my children would have thrived; I would have accused you of the impossible. If you had told me that God would answer every single prayer beyond the possible; I would have asked for the punch line.
Yet, here I sit writing to you. Laughing, living and loving. The dark days behind us; the year beginning in the light.
Thank you to all of you who have weathered this year with me and my girls. Thank you to those whose hearts broke with ours. Thank you to those who reached out to help, to listen and to love beyond what was required. Thank you to those who have been in the same darkness who showed me there was hope. Thank you to those who hit their knees in prayer beside me.
This year has taught me so many lessons, but the one that screams the loudest in my heart.
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you,” says the Lord. – Isaiah 66:13
Many times I had to comfort my children as their hearts were broken, promises forgotten and love denied. As they dealt with the death of their dad; I shielded them and allowed them to draw strength from me. Strength I didn’t think I had to give them. Many times I left their rooms after they had finally fallen asleep and laid in my own bed. Consumed by more emotions than I had names for. I cried out for help and His peace and strength was given to me. Although I didn’t received the physical comfort of a lap to crawl into or a shoulder to cry on; I was comforted as a child.
Behind me I see prayers that were answered before I could ask.
Behind me I see that I was given strength to match every task.
Behind me I see that everything worked out in His will.
Behind me I see that all I needed was to listen and be still.
Behind me I see that my life was my own to live.
Behind me I see that I still had love left to give.
Behind me I see that I was ready to laugh again.
Behind me I learned that I am ready to move from where I had been.