There’s something to be said to being a bit contemplative as the new year begins. Thoughts of the old year ending. Thinking on the highlights that made it memorable. Considering the challenges that made it tough. Looking back at moments I wanted to last. Remembering times I just wanted to make it through.
Life, in a nutshell.
As a family, we experienced some incredible mile markers. Two babies and a wedding. Watching family grow has been a gift. The babies are healthy, and the husband is a keeper. Those are things I had no control over, no power to affect. But I benefit greatly from having these remarkable new people in my life.
We sent our youngest to Puerto Rico for the year. A chance for her to experience life from a new perspective. A new culture. An opportunity to serve others in a place that takes her outside her comfort zone.
I got to see a sweet friend get married after having waited years for the right man, the best man for her. I’ve had the chance to work with people who have given of themselves, heart and soul, for the good of others and the sake of the gospel. People I respect and admire. People I’ve come to love.
A year ago I was in Burkina Faso with my daughter, Debbie, working with people in a village that had no running water. No doctors locally. Being with children who have lost hearing due to malaria and other illnesses that are easily treatable in this country. I saw deprivation and need in ways I never have before. I held children who didn’t get much to eat and played with children who couldn’t hear at all.
I’ve watched as dementia has taken away bits and pieces of my Mom. Watched her struggle with knowing she can’t remember, knowing things aren’t as they used to be. Not understanding why.
I’ve lost friends due to cancer. I’ve other friends whose lives are now being measured in months. I’ve seen my friend Lindsay lose another daughter within twelve hours of birth after having lost her first daughter in much the same way 20 months earlier. The struggle to give up what she and her husband waited so long to have, knowing that a loving God was providing for them and their two girls in ways I can’t begin to understand.
I’ve cried with family and friends in their pain and grief. I’ve laughed with family and friends in their joy.
The journey continues. 2015 is another bend in the road. And I’m more confident than ever that God walks with those who choose to walk with Him.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven….Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11
What does the new year hold for me? For any of us? I don’t know. But this I do know. God is in the details. No one has to agree with it, but that doesn’t change the truth of it.
God is with me. That makes this time beautiful.
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