I know 2016 has a bad rap. Lots of people blame it on the election, celebrities who died, or tragedies around the world. While I know these things are important to many people, they are not the reason my year was so hard. As I write this post, please know that I understand life isn't all about me. My tough year isn't the center of the universe. Some people have faced things I could never imagine enduring. Everyone's journey is different, some more difficult than others, but we all face life's challenges.
2016 was hard because I lost my grandfather. He had ALS and diabetes. He declined in health very quickly in the last year of his life. He couldn't speak for the last two weeks. He left behind my Granny after nearly 66 years of marriage. I did not cry once after Papa died. I still haven't. It's weird to admit that, but my emotional energy was completely consumed with our daughter since early on in my pregnancy.
2016 was hard because I went through the most excruciating pain during our pregnancy and anticipated loss of our sweet girl. If you haven't followed along with June's story, you can find that here and here. I spent many days in bed and cut myself off from most of my friends and family because I couldn't deal.
2016 was hard because I had to give away a lot of business. I had many requests for weddings that would take place late in my pregnancy or during my maternity leave. Fortunately, those couples were in great hands, thanks to planners I could trust. Sadly, this prevented me from adding to my wedding count for the year. It could affect my business growth for years to come.
2016 was beautiful because my grandfather is in Heaven with God. He served Jesus his entire life, led many to know Him, and provided a Godly example to his family. His death brought us all together. I miss him.
2016 was beautiful because our daughter was born and she lived. Despite her uncertain future, her presence is the biggest blessing of my life. She is the best baby I could ever want. She makes me a better person and has enriched my marriage. I would live through every ounce of pain a thousand times over just to have her here. She has helped my Granny heal from a broken heart of losing her husband.
2016 was beautiful because I was blessed with the BEST couples during my wedding season. They were encouraging, kind, generous, and allowed me to use my gifts to serve them. I was rewarded richly, both personally and in business, by working with them. I was fortunate to expand my circle of vendor contacts/friends and even had some of those weddings published.
Looking back on 2016, I would have to use the word PERSPECTIVE to best describe it. I gained an appreciation for life and learned to view the hardships as blessings. I learned to be more understanding of where people are and what they are going through. I think this year has made me more kind. While I'm not perfect in any sense of the word, 2016 bettered me through it all. This brings me to my word for 2017:
This year, I will trust in the Lord more. I will trust my husband more. I will trust that my business will grow as much as I will be able to handle. I will trust June's doctors. I will trust myself more.
Looking forward to the next twelve months to teach me, grow me, and make me a better wife, mother, business owner, and friend. Cheers to 2017!
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9