You know that old adage. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Yeah, well, that’s kind of how I feel about 2016.
I completely understand that this whole calendar thing is man-made, and I know it means nothing in terms of reflecting the inner-workings of God and His ultimate time-table.
I totally get that.
Still, this year, these past 12 months, have been a doozy. Both personally and as a family.
Once trusted friends have walked away, and amazing opportunities have been missed.
I let so many people down and made countless egregious mistakes.
I sobbed with loved ones as tears of unthinkable hurt and pain poured from their eyes.
I cringed and cried over and over and over again, as I read one disturbing headline after another.
I questioned so much about the world we live in, and felt invisible at times, even to God.
I wasn’t patient enough with my children or loving enough toward my husband.
I allowed fear to get in my way.
Financial challenges led to stress and strain, and, most crushing of all, the devastating loss of my sister-in-love absolutely broke our hearts.
There’s been a lot of loss and grief and mourning this year. There’s been a lot of questions without answers and wounds that have yet to heal.
Yet, in the midst of the pain I refuse to become blinded to all the good that is so evident in my life.
There were a great deal of opportunities I didn’t miss, and adventures I was blessed to take.
There were new friendships forged, and old ones deepened.
Even when I felt alone, I knew deep down that I wasn’t.
There was so much love.
The greatest love I know is from the Father, and in His goodness He’s blessed me to know this kind of love within the hearts of my family.
Everything I mentioned, the good and the bad, was experienced with the love of my husband and our two beautiful girls.
We went through it all together. We had each others back. We picked each other up.
When one of us fell apart, the other reassembled the pieces. We strived with one another. We wiped each others tears. We gave out many kisses. We apologized a ton. We held each other close.
We learned a great deal about ourselves and worked through the hard, the bitter and the ugly to get to the beautiful.
We discovered so much about living this life as a unit, a team. We invested in each other and never gave up.
In all of this I still feel as though we’ve barely scratched the surface. We still have years of learning, years of growing, years of facing whatever challenges are headed our way.
But if there’s one thing I’ve gained from this difficult year, it’s knowing that no matter what, we are, and always will be, stronger together. My family. Our bond and our love.
And there’s nothing more special than that.
A HUGE thank you to Jessica Whaley Photography for this session. Jessica did a beautiful job and I truly appreciate her professionalism and incredible skills while capturing our family.