Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013—my hardest year yet

I've always done "year in review" posts, and in the past I've always looked forward to writing them. Not so much this time. I'm tempted to be bitter and complain about what a sucky year it's been, but in my heart of hearts I know that there have been memories made this year that I will always treasure. Thinking back on 2013 and reading old blog posts is painful for me, and I can't explain all of the heartache that follows reflection, even reflection on happy times. Don't let my attempts of being positive lead you to believe that I'm not still struggling with being angry, cynical, anxious and terrified. I have to stop myself from despairing and choose to remember the good. I have to remember that in this world I will have trials and sorrow. I strive daily to take heart and cling to the knowledge that God has overcome the world.

I didn't blog much this year. 35 posts to be exact—nearly one hundred posts less than 2012. At first it was because I was pregnant and sick, and then it was because I was pregnant and our baby wasn't healthy and I didn't know how to write about it, and then it was because our baby died and I couldn't write anything without crying for the rest of the day. I never wrote about our family vacation to the beach, or our trip to Chicago, or the little changes to our home I've made... all things I would have normally blogged about. I did write a handful of posts about my experiences with grief, though, and I'm more proud of those posts than of anything else I've written. In the spirit of continuing to be vulnerable with my readers, here are a few things I'll remember from 2013:

Even though I wanted so much more, I'm grateful for the time I had to be John's mother. 

22 weeks - the week I found out John wasn't growing,
and the last week we took a picture of my bump.
This was a happy day, though. We took baby to a Blue Jays game!

Even though I also saw him cry with sorrow, I'm grateful my husband talked to our baby—even after we found out he was dying. He is a wonderful father.

Even though I was tempted to never leave the house at times, I'm grateful for friends who distracted us with fun occasions.

we almost didn't go to this wedding because we had JUST gotten the "diagnosis." we wanted to be there for our friends, though,
and everyone was so sweet and helped us keep our minds off the bad news.
Arrested Development viewing party! Rita, Lucille, Maggie and Kitty (hair up, glasses off).

Even though I was terrified of my baby's impending death, I'm grateful that I got to go to the beach with my family, introduce baby to the ocean and witness every one of my prayers concerning that vacation being answered.

Even though it wasn't how I dreamed it would be, I'm grateful we got to meet and hold our son.

Even though I would have rather been holding a healthy newborn baby, I'm grateful for the opportunity we had to travel to Chicago (again!) with dear friends. It was a fantastic trip!

Even though it's due to tragedy, I'm grateful for increased closeness with my husband, and that I have a partner who truly cares for me in sickness and in health. His tender care and killer sense of humor make my darkest days much more bearable. 

Even though I've never struggled more with consistently reading my Bible and attending church, I'm grateful for confidence in my salvation, rest in God's grace and the power of intercessory prayer.

Even though I'm not successful by the world's standards, I'm grateful for two flexible part-time jobs and the time I've had to rest and grieve, the sweet and silly kids I've met through substitute teaching and the huge blessing it's been to write for a Christian website.

Even though I've been an absolute mess for the majority of the year, I'm grateful for the patience and love of my family and friends. I've never felt MORE LOVED than I have this year. Now THAT is something to remember about 2013!


  1. you are one amazing lady. love you lou.

  2. Oh, sweet friend! How beautifully you expressed all that God has done for and through you. He can take all our trials and tribulations and turn them into beauty. Praising God that you have let Him do just that.


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