How do you feel about the coming of a new year? Sometimes I hate that time keeps moving forward. It is painful. I want to rewind my life back to the time when we were holding our baby girl, to the days when we were still laughing and playing with Cora. A time when we didn’t know the heartache of losing a child. But I also love the fresh start that a new year brings. I love looking back on how the Lord has worked in my life over the past year. I love the excitement of thinking about what God is going to do in the year to come. I love thinking about growing closer to Him in the days ahead. I like to think of it as moving further away from a very dark time in my life and moving closer to eternity with Jesus (and seeing my baby girl again)!
2010 coming to a close is something that I am still trying to grasp. When I really stop and think about it, I am amazed that we have even made it to where we are today. Honestly, there were some days that I didn’t even know if I could make it through the day, let alone through a whole year. Looking back, I would describe 2009 as a year of grief. It was a year of unexpected tragedy. A year of saying goodbye. A year that we would have never imagined would be part of our story. A year that we wish we could erase. A year of learning to continue on this journey God has called us to without Cora. A year that we never could have made it through without clinging to the Lord and finding strength in Him. A year that is a testimony of His strength being made perfect through our weaknesses.
When I look back on this past year, I would describe 2010 as a year of letting go. 2010 was met with much joy as we welcomed Levi into our family and much heartache as we continued to work through losing Cora. And with all of those mixed emotions there was, and continues to be, a lot of letting go. Letting go of our dreams for Cora, letting go of Levi growing up with his big sister, letting go of Cora’s room as it became Levi’s room, letting go of our family of four as we sent out our Christmas card with only three family members pictured, and letting go of places and things that held such precious memories of Cora. Just when we think we are done letting go it seems that something else comes up that we are forced to let go of and grieve again. I read recently that we will face letting go in some form our whole lives and eventually we will have to let go of everything. But with the pain of letting go also comes the joy and freedom of holding loosely to the things that ultimately belong to God. It means holding with an open hand the things and people here on earth that we love and holding on to the HOPE that we have of eternity with Jesus…a HOPE that we never have to let go of.
I don’t know what 2011 will hold for my family or for yours, but I do know that each day of this year is a gift. I want to be intentional with each day that the Lord gives me. And I can be confident that whatever this year brings, I can trust Him. He is trustworthy.