Who in blogland can let New Year's Eve pass by without a post? Not I.
I'll cut to the proverbial chase: I accomplished several things I wanted to, failed at more, and had to really look for bright spots in the year. I came up with five. There must be more, but here are the five I found in my memory near the top.
1. Sarah's graduation from college.
2. Ben's wedding.
3. A niece's newborn son.
4. Stephen's engagement.
5. My sister is expecting again.
Too many to list. 2012 was a really hard year for me. As I wrote in my journal this morning, it felt like there was a grey umbrella always hanging over my head under darker grey skies. Yes, of course there were sunny days and happy times, but in recalling the year, I had to look for them, and they were few and far between.
To name a few lowlights, though:
1. Paul had a terrible respiratory infection that lasted months.
2. He also fainted and fell face-first on the kitchen floor. I wondered if he was dead,but he "came to" and I should have called 911 but he wanted his teeth fixed immediately. ( That was a scary, scary feeling followed by guilt. Fear and guilt are two things that I don't handle well myself.
3. I left the church where'd we'd been for 17 years. It was a decision I made after two years of "dying on the vine." Six months later my husband left the church, but for those six months we were going separately to churches. That was tough. It put additional strain on our marriage. Leaving a church means not really having a pastor for life's big changes and hard news. And boy were there ever some hard things to deal with.
4, My brother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer.
5. My sister and niece each lost a baby through miscarriage.
6 . Fearing and preparing for major loss due to Hurricane Sandy.
7. Grieving and feeling helpless at the news of how bad Sandy was (and is) for hundreds of thousands in NJ and NY. It hit me like a kind of survivor's guilt. Why was our area spared?
8. The massacre in Newtown, CT. Seeing what Satan can do in one man, leading him to kill 20 little children, six teachers, and then his mother and himself . To have a daughter who herself is a teacher with 20+ first-graders....I know she would use her body as a human shield in the same situation... and I have a boy of my own in elementary school....I couldn't contain my sorrow.
9. A good friend's brother was killed in a car accident and a few weeks later her mother-in-law died.
10. Three days before Christmas, a family in our school had a house fire and lost everything. Thankfully, only the mother was home at the time and she escaped. However, the father is terribly sick and needs a liver transplant.
Sorrow like rain is why the whole year hung like an umbrella over my head. Feeling like a sheep without a shepherd (humanly speaking), being a church orphan without a forever family on earth to bond with since then...has compounded the sorrow. Every time I reached for the phone I ended up hanging up. "Who can I call about this?" If there's one thing I've learned, it is this: The LORD is my Shepherd! I have everything I need, even in the midst of a very sad year.