Saturday, December 31, 2011

Obligatory New Years Reflection

Yeah, along with every other blogger, Facebooker, and social media user, I’m gonna spend these last few hours of 2011 reflecting on the year that was and anticipating the year that will be.

As I scrolled through my news feed about, I don’t know… three minutes ago… I saw a plethora of people sharing what a big year 2011 has been. And yeah, it has been a year to remember.

As I type, I’m watching Yahoo’s Year in Review videos, highlighting 2011’s Biggest Moments…  from the rallies and uproars from fed-up people nationwide and worldwide using Twitter, Libya’s leader’s death, the occupy protests, Gabby Gifford’s amazing will to survive and the shooting in Tuscan, Japan’s earthquake and tsunami during which 15,00 people died (and the stories of people donating time and money and stories of hope that followed like the little 4 month old rescued from rubble), worldwide fascination with the Prince of England’s wedding, Osama Bin Ladin’s death in May, the official end of the Iraq war and the loss of 460 soldiers there this year, the public outrage at the results of the Casey Anthony trial, to the untimely deaths of Steve Jobs (56) and Amy Winehouse (27), and the loss of legends like Elizabeth Taylor (79) and Betty Ford (93). And there came amazing stories like the 44 year old who surfed a huge 90 foot wave, final flight of Atlantis, and that rare solar eclipse. Closer to home, the story about the man in Rock Hill named Steve Courtney who died protecting his daughter and granddaughter during a tornado, successfully completing my first full school year on the other side of the teacher’s desk, a friend who delivered a stillborn baby, my sister-in-law’s pregnancy, and my dad’s all-clear Cancer check up, my mom’s new car, more remodeling, a summer full of travels, the many growing families in our Sunday School class, and the bonds we’ve made at First Baptist (and finally joining back in February) all stick out in my mind as moments of 2011 I’ll remember.

Most obviously, this year has changed me drastically in that I have become a mother… twice. As I’ve said before, God has often whispered to me in a still, quiet voice that echoes through my heart that He has had been plans for me. And this year, 2011, I have seen the those plans begin to unfurl. I knew 2011 was gonna be big, and a pregnancy test this summer confirmed that. But when we discovered our Baby Zion’s time here came an end when I was 8 weeks pregnant, my faith was shaken and I felt like a line from a D.C. Talk’s song “What If I Stumble.” But, we pulled through it, only through the love poured out on us from family and friends and the grace and comfort God showered us with. Then, this fall, Mak entered our lives. One short conversation about a little girl in need of parents got my heart pounding. We did the soul-searching, uttered whole-hearted prayers, and I sought that voice reverberating in my heart. And God made it happen. And that’s how I became a mother the second time in 2011.

You know, at the end of every year, I say “wow, what a year it’s been.” I mean, we all do. We all look back with awe and shake our heads at what we’ve endured, overcame, and achieved, and then we all look forward with hopeful eyes for the things that we resolve to change, and grasp on to the brand-new fresh start that January 1st brings. But does it change? Nah. Big moments happen. In 2012, people will get pregnant, people will die. Tragedies will occur. Natural disasters will strike. People will make dumb decisions. Life will go on, and next December 31st, we will shake our heads again and our eyes will glow with hope once more for 2013. It’s life.

This year, though, has been a little more meaningful, for Jake and me. Our marriage has been solidified even stronger than I thought imaginable as we have held clung together to take on the challenge of being parents. Of giving up a child. Of taking a child. And even more importantly, of surrendering to Him.

2011 means the most to me because this year I have grown closer to my Savior. It’s the best resolution to make, and the most rewarding to keep. As 2011 ends, I am grateful for the blessings, and even the hardships that 2011 brought, and I look forward to 2012 with joy, not because it’s a fresh start. I’m not resolving to lose weight, get in shape, save more money. Heck, I’m not even resolving to be a better wife or mother or teacher. My only resolution is to work harder to die to myself each day so that I may serve Him more. I want 2012 to be all about Him so His glory and love are revealed through the actions and choices I make.

And through Him, all the rest will fall into place. Tragedies may strike and struggles may challenge us, but it will be a wonderful year because 2012 belongs to Him. Romans 11:36.

Happy New Year!

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