Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013

It's the last hours of 2013. I stand on this threshold and wonder that we made it through the year. This past year has been one of the harder ones we have had to get through. We watched Josh declining into full on heart failure, we changed churches and communities, Tim changed jobs, we said goodbye to my dog, we watched Josh go through another catheterization, and then another open heart surgery, we let our youngest go for three weeks this summer while we handled Josh's health issues, we traveled miles getting Josh to all of his therapies, we moved houses and neighborhoods, searched for tenants for our old house, we sent both boys to new schools, and we have struggled with countless problems at Kaleb's school. It has been busy, chaotic, scary, insane and to say that I am glad it's over is truthfully an understatement. 2013 was not a year I would want to look back fondly on, it's not a year I would ever want to repeat.

Yet, even as I write this, I think back to each and every stress, each and every moment of uncertainty or trial, I can at the same time see each face of the people who have stood beside us through out this past year. I see the new friends at the new church who have welcomed us into their home and gathered us up in our times of fear and worry, whose support literally moved us to tears on a number of occasions. I see the faces of old friends who gathered behind us and kept us moving forward when all we wanted to do was stop and hide. I see the faces of doctors and therapists who were working hard to heal our son. I see Josh, I see Kaleb and I see them smiling, not because of what they have been through but because of where we are now.

Leaving 2013 behind is a joy, because once again we have survived and flourished. We have grown stronger, our relationships are deeper, our trust and faith has been stretched and not snapped. We have overcome great odds and still we laugh, still we smile. I started this year knowing that 2013 could be tough, had I known then what I know now I may not have been able to cope; however, life tends to take you through things one step at a time and before you know what's happened you have scaled a mountain.

I won't sit and tell you that I have any great insight for 2014, I have no idea what will unfold this year. I could be great, it could be tough. All I can do, all anyone can do really, is take a step, and then another, and when we reach our destination we can look and see the beauty of the journey.

In the last hours of 2013 I can sit here, safely behind my computer and say that the journey was stunning, in all the impossible moments there was a profound beauty and love that I don't want to forget. I don't want to repeat it, I don't want to sit and remember the pain, but I would happily sit and remember all of those faces, all that love, all that support.

It's been quite a year...

I wish you all a blessed journey into 2014, I wish you joy, and a glimpse of the beauty in your journey. Happy New Year!