A Year in Review

As 2013 draws to a close, I’ve found myself thinking back over the year.
I’ve never much been one for keeping journals, but it’s times like these when I wish I did. I don’t know about you, but I’m prone to forget. (It’s a little sad to have so many “senior moments” when I’m still this young!)

I know people always told me that time would go by faster the older I became, and they were right! Although, I do know some kids that even said this year flew!
It seems as though I was just here, doing this for 2012, and here I am again.

This year definitely had it’s difficult moments, but there were such wonderful moments as well.
I don’t want to dwell on the unpleasant days, but I do feel they warrant mentioning because they did occur, and they did have a purpose.

My sweet husband had another week-long hospital stay in April/May.
I know no one enjoys sitting next to a hospital bed… Well, I don’t either.
I hate watching my hubs suffer and hurt, but even that time had a purpose, and praise the Lord, it wasn’t as severe as it was last year!

God has really helped me, and brought me so far in this daily struggle of mine.
Really.
If you had heard or seen me about 2-3 years ago, you would better understand. (Sometimes when I think about that time I like to call “the dark days,” I wonder how anyone stood to be around me!)
Although I can’t adequately put into words the leaps and bounds God has worked in my heart, rest assured, it happened.
That being said, I had a more difficult time this year than I have since “the dark days.”

2013 brought clumps of pregnancies.
It seemed I was hearing about a new one every week…sometimes more than one per week!
While I do okay with them spaced out, I get a little overloaded with the clumps.
Many of them were expecting “miracle babies.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing about the miracles my Father is able to do…but the back of my mind always asks the question, “God, where is my miracle baby? Will I ever be able to share the news that You’ve worked a miracle for me?”
I had many days this year when I cried and cried until no more tears would come. My poor husband watched me sob, while he stood there looking and feeling helpless.

Throughout 2013, I experienced the “breaking” that must occur so that God can “bind up.”
There must be hurt before healing, and this year has brought both.
I can stand here at the end, look back and say without hesitation, “God is still so good and ever faithful.”

I’m amazed at how many of my days of dread this year became days of joy.
Days when I thought I would fall apart, God turned the situation around and made me happy.
Isn’t that just like Him?! 😉

Last New Year’s Eve, I was in the hospital watching my niece come into this world.
I was very afraid of how I would respond to this, but God so helped me that my response was just what it should have been: excitement and amazement.
While her parents dozed, I held that tiny baby, just about an hour old, and was able to tell God that as badly as I wanted several of these, if He never saw fit to give me one of my own, I would still love as many children as I could because they are all a gift from Him…even if they weren’t given to me.
The amazing thing: I meant every word.
My friends, that was no small miracle!

That’s just one example of the reality of Romans 8:28 in my life this year.
I could go on and on.
I won’t, but I could. 😊
I’ll just hit the highlights:
* God really helped me at a meeting in Georgia in March. It was one of those times that left a lasting impression on my heart.
* We had a new family join our church in the spring. (That’s always exciting!)
* My best friend gave me another little “nephew” to love on and spoil. 😘
* We were able to visit my brother- and sister-in-law in Oklahoma. Because of the distance, we don’t get to see them often, so we thoroughly enjoyed the almost 2 weeks we were able to spend with them.
* My sweet hubs and I celebrated our 5th anniversary this summer. I can’t believe it’s already been 5 years…and I can’t believe it’s only been 5 years. God certainly blessed me with a precious gift. The song I sang at our wedding says, “He gave me the best that He had when He gave you to me.” Five years later, I still feel the same way.
* We were able to return to youth camp this summer! I had missed it so much, and God worked it out so we were able to go back. As always, we had a wonderful week goofing off with our friends and gathering around God’s Word. The best part: God moved in on Thursday night in a way that can’t be explained, and we were able to see young people we’ve loved and prayed for get right with God. ❤️
* I was able to take a trip with my wonderful sister to celebrate her milestone birthday. Since we now live 4 hours apart, we don’t get to see each other nearly as often as we’d like. This has been the worst thing about my moving to North Carolina when we were married: my sister is still in Georgia. Aside from my hubs, she’s my very best friend in this world and we definitely enjoyed our birthday getaway.
* We found out we’re having another niece!
* We made it through another year without attending a funeral of a family member or friend.
* Answered prayer upon answered prayer upon answered prayer.

God has proven Himself faithful again and again. He’s supplied every need we’ve had and gone above and beyond.
This song says it best:

🎶 Lately I’ve been looking back along this winding road to the old, familiar markers of the mercies I have known. Though it may sound simple, it’s more than a cliche. There’s no other words to tell you than to say,

God’s been good in my life! I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest dreams as I go to sleep each night. Though I’ve had my share of hard times, I wouldn’t trade one if I could because through it all, God’s been good!

Times replay and I can see I’ve cried some bitter tears, but I’ve felt His arms around me as I faced my darkest fears. I’ve had more gains than losses; I’ve known more joy than hurt, and His grace fell down upon me undeserved!

God’s been good in my life! I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest dreams as I go to sleep each night. Though I’ve had my share of hard times, I wouldn’t trade one if I could because through it all, God’s been good!! 🎶

I hope and pray you’re able to echo these words in your own heart.
Whatever this year has brought for you, whether you enjoyed every moment or you’re looking forward to putting 2013 behind you, try to make your own list.
If you’re a child of God, you’ll see His hand even in the hard times, and you’ll realize again that Christ has a way of making bitter things sweet.
I hope you all have a safe and happy new year! ❤️

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8

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2 thoughts on “A Year in Review

  1. The “clumps” of announcements are always the hardest. What a beautiful prayer your prayed while holding your niece.

    Suffering truly does lead us to moments of grace, doesn’t it?

    Happy New Year!

    (I’m new to your blog, if I remember correctly, I “met” you through Thelma’s blog.)

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