Thursday, January 5, 2017

Last Year

I bought this little decor item as a post-Christmas gift for myself as a reminder of what I did last year.

Last year, I said goodbye to my husband five times, each time knowing the stretch of time before I saw him again would be longer.

Last year, I said see-you-later to the dearest group of mom friends I have ever had, and fought little by little to make brand new mom friends.

I spent five months living in an apartment with my four kids and no husband, except for the couple of nights he visited before deploying.

I searched for a house, bought a house, moved into a house, and set up a house that my husband has never seen and will not see for several more months.

Last year, I survived my 17th wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving, my 40th birthday, Christmas, and New Year's Eve but missed my man every second.

Last year, I learned that fighting doubt and anxiety is exhausting, terrible work and that lowering expectations is a perfectly acceptable, but humbling, coping strategy.

I loved my children through a 2600+ mile road trip, attitude adjustments (before, during, and after), their own anxiety struggles, and plenty of too-big feelings they are ill-equipped to handle.

I found joy and peace in doing the one thing in front of me and putting one foot in front of the other each day, despite my longing to just stop time and stop being in charge of everything for a bit.

You see, I am strong. And I knew that. But I had no idea the kinds of tough emotions and stressful challenges I would face in 2016. I simply had no choice but to love my husband and my children and get through it somehow. I suppose I did have a choice, but no other option was okay with me. I might not have always done it with as much grace or love as I was capable of, but when I woke up on New Year's Day, I realized...

This year is the year my husband comes home.

This year is the year I cultivate my newfound strength into personal growth.

This year is the year that no matter how daunting the day, I know I can face whatever life hands me.

Because that's what we do, and there is no other acceptable path. Whether you deal with deployment, divorce, death, discord, disease, or something else, when life hands you adversity (and only then) God will reveal the hidden depth of the strength He planted deep in our souls.

5 days down, 360 to go! To God be the glory!