It’s December 30 – almost the end of 2017. That means it’s time to look back on the year and reflect on what has happened, and then make new resolutions to make 2018 better, right? There is value to looking back – to see the good that has happened, the lessons we’ve learned, the places we are still learning.
I got to do some new things in 2017. I spent a week in both Dawson Creek and Grande Prairie, helping open new pregnancy care centres there as a consultant for our national organization – while the locations were not exciting, it was a fantastic experience. Spent my first week in Arizona last January, and I know understand the hype. I’m hooked – flights are booked for this year’s trip, leaving in 25 days according to my WestJet app! Went away to Kalispell for a girl’s weekend in March, and then to Banff with in April – more firsts! I’d never gone away with just friends before, and had never been to Banff. Went to Yellowstone National Park, saw Old Faithful – another first. Not to mention that was part of a 2,600 km motorbike trip – wow. Amazing scenery, but that’s a lot of miles on the back of a bike.
Was able to speak at our national conference for pregnancy care centres. Gave my first two sermons this spring – that was definitely a first, and one that I really enjoyed. Was accepted to seminary and started working on Master’s degree, actually attending class – the first time in a lo-o-o-ong time! Got my second tattoo – not a first, but definitely noteworthy. Saw Garth Brooks in concert – potentially once-in-a-lifetime and so fantastic.
I’m the mom of a college student – Katie finished her first semester of practical nursing with flying colors! She also just bought her first car, all on her own, which is such a great accomplishment. John began dating this year – another first for our family, and while not a negative thing, definitely changes up family dynamics. John bought his second car – again, all on his own. Nathan went to Edmonton as part of the MLA for a Day program – all on his own. Wasn’t scared – applied all on his own, and then just got on that bus and loved it.
Lots of great things – relationships built and developed, memories made. And I think it’s good to intentionally look back at the good, because there are struggles between it all.
While there are many new good things, it seems like some things just don’t change from year to year. Parenting is hard – that doesn’t change from year to year. The struggles might be different, but it’s still hard. Marriage is hard. Finances seem to be always hard in my life – apparently I still need to learn some things. Definitely still haven’t lost the weight that I need to. Work, while so rewarding, can be really hard sometimes and I definitely had some challenges this year.
And I think the biggest one for me, looking back, is still trying to figure out how to come to grips with the mental illness that battling with my beautiful girl. It’s been almost three years since that first hospital admission. Three years of watching to see if meals are being eaten, of fighting about food, of that awful feeling of helplessness as you watch your child fight with herself over whether or not she is going to be able to eat supper or not. Of doctor’s appointments and hospitalizations, treatment programs and therapists, dietitians and pediatricians.
Life does go on through it all, but it’s always there. That underlying fear and concern – is she going to be ok? Is she going to be able to beat this? Is she going to have the strength to keep fighting?
Or……what if she doesn’t? Then what?
Can’t think about that for too long.
I know the answers – I need to pray, trust God, know that God loves her more than I do and He has a plan, that I need to pray to work in her life….I know the answers. And I know they are true – but it’s just so hard when that truth seems like not doing anything. When all I can do is step back and trust God – especially when I can’t always see things changing or getting better.
It’s been more of a struggle lately – I find I go through seasons where sometimes I’m really angry about Katie’s eating disorder, and other seasons where I’m just really sad. It’s been a lot of sad lately – the tears are never far away. And I’m guessing that’s why I found myself with tears streaming down my face yesterday on my way into work while listening to the lyrics of this song by Kutless…
Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come
Wow. Those are big words. Powerful words. And they’re truth – I know they are, deep down in my soul, I know they are truth. But can I really sing those words – even if the healing doesn’t come? It’s hard. It’s so, so hard.
So while I don’t have a word for 2018, or any real resolutions (well, other than spending less money and losing 50 pounds), this is what I’m striving for this year. Living in this truth – really living it, that God is good. He is faithful. Even if – and when – the healing doesn’t come.