The end of another year is here, my thoughts begin to wander back over the events of this past year and I am amazed by all the things that have taken place in our lives. Our year began with quite a traumatic event in Greg having open heart surgery, Our little princess Emily had her first birthday, we finished renovating our little house by the sea, we packed up and moved to California and William began homeschooling.
This past year has taught me so much. I have learned to have great courage and faith even when I felt like my strength was failing. When Greg was going through his surgery in January I felt as though with one wrong turn my whole world could change forever. I was standing on a corner and I could chose to walk in two different directions. I could take the path marked suffering. A path where I could put up the white flag and say that I was done. Where my hope was left behind and my strength and courage buried in the sand. Or I could take the path marked faith. Where I could chose to stand firm and hold onto my hope. To have hope and faith in my God who is bigger than my circumstances and will uphold me no matter what the outcome may be.
I remember going to church just after Greg had his surgery but was still in hospital. I remember standing there during worship with Emily on my hip and William by my side. We were singing the song Cornerstone. Singing the words Christ alone, cornerstone, weak made strong in the Savior’s love, through the storm, He is Lord Lord of all. When Darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. Words that touched my heart more than they had ever touched me before.
Through this trial my faith was strengthened as friends and family gathered around us and supported us, encouraged us and lifted us up. I felt God close in on us, He was using these people as his divine messengers. They held me up when I no longer could support myself. They were the love of Christ in my life. My God loved me so much, He was my comforter and He provided for me and my family in our time of great need.
I have discovered the importance and power of community. How the people you are walking through this life with can be so valuable. These relationships are where strengths are exchanged. We bring peace to each others chaos, we lend each other strength and uphold one another. They know where you are going and they are going with you. They know your dreams and offer unconditional love and support as they help to launch you into your destiny, into what God has called you to be. I have also learned the value of serving in these relationships. To lay down my life to serve them, to take care of my community so that they are blessed. Serving others is more important then self serving.
I have learned to worship and sing praises always. To sing when I feel like giving up, to sing when I am feeling doubt, to sing when I feel all hope slipping away. There is power in words and what you declare will become. As I stand and sing the words weak made strong in the Savior love, so I will become. As I stand and sing You give life, You are love, You bring light to the darkness. You give hope, You restore every heart that is broken, Great are You, Lord; so He is.
And, most importantly in my journey this past year I have learned to look upon God as a loving father and not as some far off vengeful God who strikes fear in the heart of man. I have come close and seen Him for who He really is, God who is my comforter, who loves unconditionally and shows me his mercy’s everyday. My God who redeemed me, who paid the price for me so that I could walk in freedom and now I am learning how to walk in that freedom. Learning to love myself and see myself the way that my Heavenly Father sees me, to let go of my past – the fears and insecurities that once bound me and learning to walk in the light. Picking up who He created me to be and running with it.
I feel like this list is only a small selection of what I have learned this past year. You never stop learning, you never truly arrive at a destination where you can say that you have discovered all there is for you. Even though this is the end of a calendar year I still feel like I am in the same season which will probably keep on going until we finish up our time here in California. When that time comes who knows where we will be and what we will be doing and learning. One thing I do know is that I am very excited for that next chapter in our lives to begin.