And just like that, the holidays are over. They seem to pass us by a little faster every year, don't they? We had a wonderful Christmas season this year, as I vowed to myself that I would slow down, not stress, focus on the Christmas story, and find more ways to give back. We enjoyed our usual Christmas traditions like a Christmas Eve movie marathon with homemade hot chocolate, and our favorite Christmas morning pancakes. All in all, it was a holiday season to remember and one that I know I'll look back on for so many reasons.
But after the holiday rush, I always find myself in a quiet place, reflecting on what has been and anticipating what will be. I took some time to think about 2016, and if I'm being honest with you, it was probably the hardest year of my life. I went into it with high hopes of becoming a mother and ended it with the same longing I started it with.
We attempted three IUIs, none of which were successful, I had to make one of the hardest decisions I've ever been faced with and ended up stepping away from a job I loved. My family also went through some trying times, as my younger sister had an unplanned pregnancy. I won't share much about that here for my sister's privacy, but watching her be blessed with a baby left me questioning God's plan. I went through phases of sadness, anger, frustration, and depression.
But guess what? God pulled me out of all those phases, and brought me to phases of peace, stillness, and hopefulness. This year has definitely been a roller coaster ride, especially from an emotional standpoint, but the one thing I found constant through it all was God. Even in my darkest moments of questioning, I felt His presence. Because that's what He does - He shows up when you need Him most. Knowing that He will always be there is what gets me through it all - the hardest moments, days, weeks, months, and years.
Even though 2016 was filled with many difficult moments, God also brought us several happy moments. I was named Teacher of the Year, things couldn't have been better for Chris from a career standpoint, and we had the opportunity to travel to New York and Hawaii together. My family was able to spend a full week together at the beach, and my sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy. So among the hardships, God showed up with blessings... He is good all the time!
Although I am starting 2017 with an empty womb and the same overwhelming desire to have a baby, I'm also entering it with a heart full of hope. I'm turning it all over to Him and letting Him guide me through these trying times of infertility. Because if there's one thing I learned from 2016, it's that God will always show up and carry you through.. all you have to do is call out to Him. He is near. He will never forsake you.
Goodbye 2016. Hello 2017 - which I'm calling the year of hope.
Was 2016 a good year for you? A hard year? A wonderful year? I'd love to hear your reflections!