Someone told me today that this must have been my golden year. I smiled and nodded, but in my head, I was reviewing the year.
A couple of days before my ‘golden birthday’, my Grandma was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and then a month after, I started helping out my ever weakening grandma do basic things around her house. In the beginning of March, she passed away.
I watched my grandfather hide his grief after losing his second wife to cancer. I watched my mom struggle through life as she lost her second mom to cancer and yet tried to keep everyone else going.
I felt the loss myself. I wanted her to hold my first baby. I wanted her to be at my wedding. I wanted her to cheer me through college. I wanted her to be there when I graduated from high school. I just wanted to go for one more trail ride with her.
I was told ‘officially’ that I had hearing difficulties on the same day that Grandma died. I had the doctor who gave me the test tell me that I needed a hearing aid. I had to listen to the rest of my family explain to everyone that I was ‘hearing impaired’.
I watched as Grandpa had increasing health problems and thus required more help from me and my sisters. I watched as the frustrations between my family grew as more and more was asked of us this summer. I watched as school only brought on more stress.
I watched as my lonely grandfather found another woman who was a widow and married her. She’s a wonderful woman who loves God and my grandpa very much, but it’s still weird to come to Grandpa’s and find a new person where Grandma is supposed to be.
This year, my entire life was flipped upside-down. Golden year, huh?
But on days when I think over all the bad that has happened this year, God reminds me of a little paper. It was a worksheet that my LIT leader had the LIT group fill out. One of the things that was included was areas that needed to be worked on.
I looked over that about a month ago. While I’m nowhere near where I want to be, I’ve noticed things that were on the list, God worked on this year. God has strengthened my faith so much this summer. He’s given me more patience. He’s shown me more joy. He’s given me more confidence. He’s proven that He will never leave me nor forsake me. He’s proven that everything is beautiful in His timing. He’s taught me about the preciousness of life and about numbering our days.
My dream of training a horse came true when we brought home Coaly Grey in June. There was a family reunion where my family also helped to revive my faith. I had so many friends who encouraged me and prayed for me and loved me. I completed NaNo and now have a story. I went to a conference and made three wonderful friends.
I’m realizing more and more of what is truly important in this life.
Like my relationship with God. When I was in the pits, I realized how much work I really needed to do on my relationship with Him. Like my relationship with my family. They are so precious to me and life is not guaranteed. Like my friends. Some of them are broken and hurting and God has put me here to minister to them.
So yes, R., this is my golden year.
And I can’t wait to see what He does to make next year special too.
Edit as of February 3, 2016:
This song by Laura Story ends this post perfectly.