Welcome 2018!

Welcome 2018!  Au revoir 2017.   What a year you were.
I’ve been asked more times than I can count lately, as we finished up 2017, “I bet you’re ready to put this awful year behind you, right?”
I can’t argue that I always look forward to a new year {although that’s mostly because I get a new planner}. But truthfully I’m not ready to call my last year “awful”. It wasn’t terrible or the worst or even dreadful.

2017 was hard. Challenging. Difficult. But it was far from awful.

As I look back over the previous 365 days {177 of which I count closely} I see extremes. Super high highs. And deep, dark lows. Mountains & valleys as they say. For each “cannot find my way in this pitch black forest” moment, I can find so many “dancing at the summit in celebration & joy” moments. The hardest days were definitely the absolute most difficult days of my life. But the joy-filled ones were also the most glorious. And while I would not sign up to ever do a good portion of 2017 again, the moments that rose high to provide relief were some of the most treasured of my life. And they are tucked away safely where mamas keep such special memories.
I am aware of just how blessed I am. I am a part of a club no one wants to join – the “my child has cancer” club. This group of fellow momcologist {we’re a clever bunch} provided support and sanity through so many days. And for every amazing moment we celebrate, this club also sees more than it should of grief & loss. To have my boy here, doing well & as ornery as ever, how can I ever dare to complain? How could I call my year “awful”? Really? He is starting 2018. It’s a gift & a blessing I will not forget.
I don’t know how God works. I don’t know why the world turns the way it does. And I don’t know why some people’s babies get cancer. And why some of them live & some of them don’t. It can seem like God is distant. Or careless. Or callous. Or even bad. I can understand that. But deep within me I believe that God is good. I believe that even when my circumstance are not good, he is. And I believe that he is ever faithful. I believe he has promises he’s keeping that are hope-filled and full of grace & love. And this hope is what pushed me through, carried me day after day. The dark days were very dark. Black in fact. Moments of tears mixed with fear mixed with anxiety. The unknown that squeezed around me like a vice grip that just wouldn’t release me. And yet… A whisper away, the ridiculous calm that swept through my mind touching my soul to provide a second of peace. It makes no sense, not even to me, but I felt it as real as the -20ºF day outside. It was there. A promise to strengthen. A promise to provide peace. A promise to be a refuge when the waves crashed & I could barely tread water any longer. I have experienced His carrying me. And I will never forget the strength & gentleness with which he held me. Of all the things that I have learned & of all the ways I have grown in 2017, I see this to be the greatest.
I am looking  forward to 2018. I have no idea what the next 365 days will hold. I have no control at all over how they will play out. But I will continue to hope in the promises I find in the Scriptures and know that no matter what comes my way, I am held.

Psalm 25:1 – In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.

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