Like many, I’m ready to see 2019 in the rear view mirror. It has been a learning season for sure. It has been full of grief, bumps, bruises, scraps, loss and just plain ol’ general hardships. Don’t let me forget enduring menopause that I’m convinced is straight from Satan himself.
2019 started off with my faith being tested and questioned like never before. I lost my best friend in the ugly process. In my grief, I believe that God showed me that I had been laying my burdens on her shoulders instead of at His feet. I sought the opinion of flesh when I should have been seeking the Lord.
My Pop has had and continues to have some major health issues. We’ve been by his side as he has battled kidney cancer, and now battles complications. Parkinson’s disease has also taken a toll and progressed to the point that it’s heartbreaking. I struggle to understand his speech on bad days. But one thing I know is that the Lord has given me a beautiful second chance and much forgiveness between us both. I spent many lost years bitter and angry because he didn’t fit my perception of what he should be. Pop has been with me every step of Preston’s journey. No matter how bad he’s felt, he’s done his darnest to try to help me with Preston. My daddy no longer has to prove his love to me. His eyes speak all that needs to be said. There’s nothing left unsaid between us. Thank God for my Pop.
My larger than life spunky spitfire of a grandma passed away a few months ago after breaking her neck and a short battle with dementia. Two days before she passed, she told me that I was her favorite granddaughter. I’m her only granddaughter….. it was running joke between us. Grandma only has 3 grandchildren and we were all her favorite in our own ways. I’m so thankful for the time I had with her. If I never knew how much she loved me before she died, all of her photo albums and clippings told me so after her death.
Someone very close to me is also fighting a silent battle that most know nothing of. This is the one that rocked my world and sent me reeling at the unfairness. God is showing me again that he never said life will be fair. I need to trust Him and his plan.
My oldest boy, Chase, has flown the nest and has a home of his own now. Hunter is about to start his final internship before he graduates. It’s been very bittersweet for me. I’m overjoyed to see them spread their wings successfully. It’s sad for me at the realization of how much I’ve depended on them in Preston’s care. They took on burdens that were not theirs. The positive in that is that Preston knows how much they love him. He didn’t just adopt them. They adopted him, too. He knows that should something happen to me, they will always make sure he is cared for, as sons should.
I’ve also been humbled and reminded that family isn’t always blood. There probably are not too many former widows who can say that their first set of in-laws treat the new husband as family. I’m blessed. The boys’ family has and continues to help me care for Preston. I’m not naming 1 or 2 people…. the whole clan. God has been good. I don’t deserve that.
Battling menopause has meant that my emotions have been all over the place. Poor Preston! I reached one of the lowest points I’ve ever been shortly before my grandma died. It was extremely hard for me to reach out to what I though was a safe person. Only to be devastated that the person basically said that they didn’t want to hear it…. not their pig, not their farm. Probably one of the most humbling experiences ever. Again, I went back to the Lord. He showed me that I’ll never get the approval of some, no matter how desperately I think I need it. He closed that door and has shown me how to move from it and seek only HIS approval. He also reminded me that he gave me a special female confidante that whisked me off to the beach for was the best therapy with God, and two ladies named Jackie and Elaine. When God shuts a door…. he opens the right one.
Preston and I have gained many special friends this year that we call angels. They help with his care. They include groups and clubs from church. They include new and old friends. They are not always family. We’ve had to learn that’s okay. We’ve learned that we don’t have to beg people to be in our lives, to invest in us. It’s their loss, not ours.
Scripture commands us to praise Him in the storms. That’s hard. I can, with an honest heart, praise Him for keeping me humble.
Every day of 2020, I still hope to go into work and ask my co-workers to name 3 things they are thankful for. Or to ask them to share with me ways that the Lord has blessed them. It’s always a blessing to hear the answers.
No matter what, there is always, ALWAYS, something to be thankful for. I know my troubles are nothing compared to what some of you are going through.
Bring it on 2020!