Well, it’s finally here. The end of 2015. What a year?!
(Can I get an ‘Amen’?!)
I’ve thought a lot about this post. About what I would say. About my reflection on this past year.
I’ve been reading so many updates and Facebook statuses from friends who are wishing nothing but ending of this year. Grabbing onto the idea that 2016 has to be better than what they were dealt in 2015.
I’m afraid that’s not true though. Not necessarily.
I remember as 2014 came to an end I, too, had faith that 2015 would be better.
After all, 2014, just a few months before the year ended, everything changed.
I had found out my husband had been cheating on me. I can still feel the pain in the pit of my stomach. It is still the worst thing that has ever happened to me. When I think about it, I realize it is still very raw. And the truth is I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it. It changed everything about me.
But then 2015 happened. And on paper it looks really bad. I mean, really, really bad. Husband walks out the first time. We are separated for 3 months. Reunited for 3 months where I was walked out on every single weekend. Living in misery, regret, anger, hurt, frustration, but still putting on a smiling face for everyone else to see because I was too embarrassed to admit the truth.
Admit the truth that I was failing at marriage.
Until our 5 year anniversary.
After driving home 18 hours from NC to spend our anniversary with my husband, he walked out for the last time. That was a Saturday. The next Tuesday he let me know that he no longer wanted to do this anymore.
‘This’ being our marriage.
I was blindsighted. I knew our marriage wasn’t good, but I never knew that it would be over. I mean, we had spent 10 years together. We had built a family together. I kind of just imagined that we would just be miserable together forever.
I never expected a divorce. Not once.
So see, I told you, on paper it doesn’t look so good. But what if I told you that I think 2015 might have been my best year yet?
Yep, I said it.
Because in 2015, I finally started to pay attention to me. Who I was. What I liked. What I didn’t like.
In 2015 I have learned to love myself. I have learned to give myself grace and mercy. I have learned to forgive. I have learned to love others too.
In 2015, He gave me the opportunity to go home, not just once, but twice! It had been almost 3 years since I had seen my friends and family and this year I got to see them a lot!
Including Christmas with my entire family.
In 2015, He gave me a car. He gave me freedom. He gave me independence.
In 2015, He blessed my business. He gave me a huge promotion. He showed me that we can do this together if I just let Him.
In 2015, I found faith. Faith like I’ve never had before. The kind you get when you’ve got nothing else. When you’re lying on the floor and you don’t even have the strength to sit up. The kind where He just has to scoop you up and carry you the rest of the way because you just can’t do it on your own anymore. You’re just exhausted.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
So see, I think a lot of people would look back on my 2015 and think ‘Oh man, that sucked’ or ‘I’m glad I didn’t have to go through that’ and to those people I would say ‘you’re wrong’.
While I don’t wish for any of the ‘bad’ stuff to happen to any of you, you might find that the ‘bad’ stuff is actually the ‘best’ stuff.
If those ‘bad’ things didn’t happen, I don’t think I would be writing this. If I was still in a marriage where I was being hurt and hurting someone else, I wouldn’t be able to point out all those blessings. I would be too busy feeling sorry for myself. I would be too busy listening to the enemy. I would be too busy trying to do things my way and getting frustrated when no one else was on board.
So thank you Lord for these ‘bad’ things.
I have just one more thing to share with you. I will share it again partly because it’s my favorite and partly because I feel like it is exactly how I would sum up 2015, but mostly because I want you to cling to it too. Because when things don’t make sense, ESPECIALLY, when things don’t make sense. And when we can look at those things on paper and think it’s hopeless. And when we can wish away a year thinking that the next has got to be better, I want you to cling like I did.
White knuckles and all.
In all things God works for the good of those who love him. Romans 8:28
Cling friends. Remember this verse. Repeat it out loud and remember the God we serve.
Because maybe 2016 will be better. Or maybe it won’t.
But maybe, just maybe, it just depends on how you look at it.
Happy New Year’s my friends!