Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

I cannot believe that it is December 31, 2011! How does time escape us so quick? I mean, seriously? The time has come to say goodbye to yet another year. This year, however, this goodbye is bittersweet. There have been parts of 2011 that I never wanted to experience but oh how I have learned so much, gained so much, and lost so much.

In January, our team- the Auburn Tigers won the National Championship and the very next day our home pregnancy test read “positive”. I had NO IDEA the journey this pregnancy would take. From our first prenatal appointment where we learned our pregnancy might not be viable to hospital stays for out of control asthma to preterm labor scares to that warm September afternoon when I finally held Harper in my arms.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalms 139:13

April 1, my Papa met Jesus. My last visit with him on March 31 though, I heard in his low voice say, “I love you. You are my Sweetie Pie.” Not too long ago, my grandmother shared with me just how proud my Papa had been of me. I cherish that. At the time, I didn’t want to say goodbye. It felt too soon. But hindsight is always 20/20. I now see God was just preparing me to be ready. He would use my grief to prepare me to help others through theirs. Well, that time came just this past week. My sweet friends Ashley and Melissa said goodbye to their grandfather. I, finally, could see how my grief changed me. It allowed me to show compassion when someone else needed it most. I LEARNED and I LOST but I know that my grandfather is no longer hurting and right now he is running down the streets of gold. I will always miss him and my tears flow easily when I remember his soft hands or how it was to sit in his room and hear stories about World War II.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of one of His saints. Psalms 116:15

In July, almost two years to the day, I handed my son over for a morphogenetic bone graph- AGAIN. I remember in the early days of Ryan’s life our pediatrician said this journey would be long. He was not kidding. There are days that I still ask “why Ryan?” I am reminded that through Ryan and his journey that the Light of the Lord shines brightly. These days, as hard as surgery is on Ryan, I am thankful to have Brian’s hand to hold and shoulder to cry on. Ryan and I are blessed. Unlike the first surgery, he recovered quickly but still had to wait about 10 weeks before activities could return to normal. I am always so proud of him. He never complains and takes everything in stride.

Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. John 9:3

September 16, I gave birth to the most beautiful daughter. After a long and hard pregnancy, I felt it was a miracle to finally have her to hold. We named her, Harper Elise. She was perfect. It has been such a different journey than with Ryan, I think God knew I needed easy. Ryan is the perfect big brother and never gets tired of helping me with her. He always loves on her and I cannot wait to see the two of them once she becomes mobile. Great times are ahead for us.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalms 139:14

I cannot tell you how long Brian and I prayed for a group of Godly friends. I would say from the beginning of our marriage 3 years ago, we have prayed this. Now don’t get me wrong, we have always had friends and have always been connected in our church but we wanted deeper lasting relationships. Shortly after Harper was born, we joined 8 – 10 couples from our church to watch Courageous. Not only did this movie CHANGE me, it strengthened our friendships with these particular couples. We all dove in to the challenges of the movie and have spent time together allowing our lives to be changed by the Resolutions set forth in the movie. I, seriously, want to hug my Dad because he kept Harper and Ryan so we could see this movie. Had he not done this, our friendships would not have changed. God, however, knew that on this day he was going to give us great blessings. I now have about 8 ladies that I know if I needed, I could call them any time of day or night. I also know that when the walls of my home are crowding in on me that I can call them for a visit. It’s wonderful to know that this prayer has been answered.

In October, Brian and I celebrated 3 years of marriage. ANSWERED PRAYER. I have never known love like ours. I know when I lay down at night that the man next to me is a man of God. I know he loves me as Christ loves our church. I know that through the hard times and the good times, he is there. HE IS THERE. That’s all I ever needed. I am blessed.

In November, Brian was promoted at work. He is finally back in a corporate setting underwriting loans. It is so sweet to see his smiling face at the start and end of every day. He is now in a position that he can be proud of.

2011, you’ve been good to me. I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye. I’m in a good place right now with Brian, Ryan, and Harper. I can’t imagine life getting any better. My walk with the Lord is amazing. My friendships are PRECIOUS to me. I actually may cry tonight at the stroke of midnight. I normally am ready to say goodbye to the year. But if I could just push pause and sit here for a while, I would. I pray 2012 blows my socks off. I hope at the end of next year to feel this way again. It's such a wonderful feeling.

I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!