I have talked on the blog about the last few years being rough for our family. In reality, the last eleven years have been rough. It has taken both, Mark and me to stop fighting each other. To appreciate each other as individuals and learning how to allow our gifts and talents to bless our family. We had to figure out how to allow each others strengths to complement the others weaknesses. We have had to learn to not react to our individual triggers we both brought to our marriage. Giving each other space and compassion, yet give each other gentle truth in the moment our triggers are set off.
Throughout the course of our marriage we have moved ten times in eleven years. It has been hard for our nomad-selves to settle down and become the adulting kind of adult. Some of our trials have been self-inflicting, others have not. Both have been stressful to work through. God has helped us grow up. He has taken lost wretches and turned us into beautiful, compassionate human beings who desire to passionately help those around us. We want to offer light to others living in dark times like we have.
As we get closer to New Years Day I have begun to see posts such as “burn 2016”, “can’t wait for the New Year”. While I completely understand the thinking behind this sentiment, I don’t want to forget the trials I have gone through or the tears I have shed. I do not want to say I don’t care or flip my middle finger to this last year.
When I say I don’t care in these situations, the reality is I do care and I’m trying not to. When I flip the finger I am reacting out of my pain, hurt and/or rejection. I say and do it because I don’t want to feel the raw, painful emotions. The reality is, I care so deeply it hurts. I have begun to realize when I react in that manner, I am forgetting all of the blessings that have come with the trials and tears. I am forgetting the gift cards, letters of encouragement, kind words, grace, love and support that came with the hard times. Instead of being embarrassed or reacting out of my hurt and pain, I want to feel it. I want to feel the love I didn’t think I deserved. I want to see all of the times someone has held my hand and told me to keep going.
God has placed key people along my path my entire thirty-seven years I have been alive. Key people who would teach me exactly what I would need to know when I needed to know it. They would give me grace, truth and believe in me when fear kept me from seeing the gifts and talents in myself.
This last year I had friends and family continue to tell me how much they saw in me. Honestly, I didn’t see it, I was too afraid. I wanted to believe it and so I took them at their words and kept trying. Every time I wanted to give up, without fail the Holy Spirit would put me on peoples minds. They would call me on the exact day I was ready to throw in the towel and give up. They would remind me of the difference I was making (even though I wondered what they were talking about). I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to make someone else’s life easier and to encourage them to keep going.
I don’t want to flip 2016 the finger and I don’t want to forget all of the trials. I survived them! I want to celebrate sometimes just surviving and sometimes thriving. I want to celebrate surviving the roller coaster of emotions being an entrepreneur brings. I told Mark this is why people drink, they celebrate the highs and drink through the lows.
I want to celebrate the friendships and connections I have made this year. Friendships that have taught me, people are people. The majority of people in the world want the same things I do. They have the same struggles I do and if anything I have felt the most normal I have ever felt.
I don’t want to live in the trials or the tears of the last year, the scars have healed (most of them). I want to see my scars and say damn, look what Christ has done for me this year. I want to see the scars that lead to learning how to be brave, the act of doing something death defyingly scary and soar through with excitement to the next year. I want to make sure I don’t take into 2017 the mindset well, life will get better later. I don’t want this to become my thinking or teach our kids to have this mentality. I want them to soar where they are, even if it’s painful.
To those who have prayed for us, encouraged us, told us to keep going and to not give up, thank you! To those who have loved us when we felt unlovable, thank you. Thank you for making 2016 easier, because of you we thrived as well as survived. We have so much to celebrate and to be thankful for in our lives. We look forward with excitement at all the living we will get to do with each of you in 2017.