2014 has been a long, hard year. There have been so many ups and downs that have led us here. The beginning of this year, January 19th to be exact, we announced we were beginning this process. I divide my year into two different categories: hurting and loss, healing and learning. These two different categories are different, but they also go hand in hand.
First of all, hurting and loss. This year, I have lost two very important people in my life, my Grandma Floyd and my Papa. I have never experienced loss like I experienced with these deaths. I have never hurt like I did with these deaths. Along with this, I have experienced hurt/loss through tragedy that struck two very good friends’ families. These hit hard because unlike my grandparents’ deaths, these deaths were untimely, they didn’t seem fair. They hurt. I feel like over the past year, I have cried more than I ever have in my life. The hurt has been overwhelming at times.
However, during these past 11 months, when the hurt and loss have been so great, I also have experienced one of the greatest times of healing and learning as well. I truly believe that I have learned more over the past year than I ever have in my life. I have learned that there are things in life way more important than football. I have learned that sometimes blessings come disguised as hardships. I have learned that sometimes the blessing you may receive out of a tragedy is the fact that it knocks you to your knees and brings you closer to Him. I have learned that during times of hurting and loss, the only thing you have to cling to is your faith in an eternal, sovereign Lord that loves you more that you can ever imagine. I have learned that your hope can always be placed in Jesus. He isn’t going to let you down, no matter the feelings you are having here on Earth.
So, 2014 has definitely been an emotional rollercoaster. It’s funny/amazing to look back and see just exactly how God has been working through this year. Tonight, I am thankful that these experiences that I have gone through over the past year, the tragedies, the death, the hurting were not in vain. They were to gently remind me that His plans are always greater. They have also reminded me not to focus on my problems, look at His bigger picture. Also, 2014 has reminded me that prayer works and that my God is always for me.
Having said that, Ward, you have a lot of people counting on you to finish this year out on a good note. We have had a lot of hurting and loss, healing and learning, but now, we have you to look forward to. We have you to focus on. Instead of this just being our first holiday season without loved ones, we now have you, a beacon of hope for us. (Hope this isn’t too much pressure!)