Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good Bye 2011

As we come to the end of 2011 I was struck by the fact that for my family especially and for several of our close friends, this was kind of a rough year….

With the economy being what it is, some health challenges and some personal challenges, it’s easy to look back on 2011 and think that I’m not only glad it’s over, but hope that 2012 is much, much better.

To stop there though, would be a mistake. It’s easy to look back on a tough year and point out all of the issues, challenges, problems and negative things with which we’ve had to deal. If I spend just a little more time though, and really think about the year, it’s pretty darn easy to see that overall we truly have been blessed this past year as well.

Both my wife and I have been fairly healthy this year with no major illness, we both have stable jobs, our house, through dropping in value with the rest of the country isn’t so far upside down that we’re forced to move, both of my daughters have found good, decent paying jobs that they don’t hate, my youngest has started a new chapter in her life by moving out with a couple of her friends, my oldest has two amazing kids that we are blessed to spend a lot of time with, and although I haven’t ridden as much as I would have liked this past year, I still managed to get out at least once per week and most weeks it was twice.

The other point about making it through a challenging year is that you come out the other side better and stronger for having survived it. I know in our family each of us has had our faith tested and strengthened.
In the same way that fire purifies gold, the testing of our individual faiths has strengthened and deepened them.  My oldest, who had a very challenging year personally, has blossomed into a mighty woman of faith that not only knows that God loves her, but believes it and lives it at the very core of her being.  My youngest having seen not only her sister but one of her good friends struggle this year, has also not only been strengthened through the experience but has shown an amazing capacity for kindness, love and and support.
My wife and I similarly have learned that when the challenges seem to be too much, we can give the battle over to God and he will help us to get through it.

So, do I hope that 2012 is a better year than 2011? Absolutely!
Do I wish I hadn’t gone through the challenges we faced in 2011? Mostly.
Do I know that no matter what we’re faced with in the coming year that we’ll be able to get through it relying on God, our family and our friends? Without a doubt!

So, good riddance 2011 and Bring it On 2012…..we’re ready for whatever you throw at us…..
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

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