In my time zone, it's not quite midnight yet as I begin this entry, so it's not officially the day of the 2011 Winter Solstice. But it's close enough that I can say most wholeheartedly, "Thank you, God, that this is the shortest day of 2011"!! The year is almost over and a new one can begin fresh, with no mistakes in it. And I, for one, am ready.
Exactly one year ago when I woke up, I never dreamed that the next time I laid my head on my pillow would be thirty-five hours later. Those thirty-five hours saw a diagnostic doctor visit for my mother turn into emergency cancer surgery resulting in a colostomy for her.
Side note: While only one sentence, the above words have required months of living before it could be written so concisely.
Woven throughout the threads that have made up my mother's life this year with all of its resulting complications have been more changes for our family. Even I can't keep up with the Joneses anymore!!
April saw Hamp's "new" job that moved us back to Georgia end unexpectedly so in June we packed up hearth and home once again and headed to Nashville to the only job that was offered.
We barely got settled when Hamp decided to test out the local emergency facilities by having a heart attack during the 4th of July weekend. Then, after months of assessment, Tiffany had to have her thyroid removed in mid-July which has made her already full life of graduate school and work much more interesting as she's battled getting hormone levels balanced. Matthew's house finally sold in October ending a year of stress and financial worries, then Michael and Bekah moved halfway across the country in November to Texas to a new job, new climate, and life challenges that are still being worked through. Mixed in there somewhere was my birthday in October which was spent saying goodbye to our sweet Kit, the family cat for the last fifteen years.
It's been a difficult year. Starting over has lost its adventure and I have drug my feet in doing so. We don't really have a church home yet nor a group of people with whom we can share life. Friends and family are at least four hours away and in a different time zone which has been an interesting adjustment. I'm still not over that fact that the sun is setting at 4:30 right now!
Yes, I know, I'm whining...and doing a good job of it! But I've realized as this year is rapidly coming to a close that while difficult, it has been one in which we've seen God's faithfulness in so many ways. For example, this is a picture of my Mom from last weekend when we gathered for Christmas with my side of the family. Pretty good for someone who wasn't supposed to live through her ordeal a year ago, huh?
And while things haven't been easy for any of them, our kids are seeing God meet them in new ways and they are continuing to trust Him as they travel the paths He has set before them.
In glancing back over this entry, I realized I haven't really addressed the title yet. I had to have cataract surgery this fall on both of my eyes. (Yes, I'm considered "young" to need it yet, but I have genetics to thank for that!) The surgery was easy and recovery has been fine except for the minor detail of my world being fairly fuzzy if I get much beyond a couple of car lengths. It won't be until January before the healing will be complete and I can get my glasses tweaked which will enable me to see clearly again. I've thought often about this verse and as I have, I realize that it describes this year well. I haven't seen much beyond my immediate circumstances to know what God is up to. But someday, I will, and the story that's being written over all of our smaller ones is the One that will finally make sense of them all.
1 Corinthians 13:12 - "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known."
So forgive me, 2011, if I seem a bit eager to be rid of you. Don't take it personally. And should you decide to ask 2012 to take it a bit easy on the Joneses, we won't mind!