In the last several years, I have chosen a word or theme to focus on in a new year. As I began reflecting back on the flurry of 2016, I could not recall what I started the year with.
I went back and read this post and realized I has selected a Bible passage. But in recent months (more likely the 2nd half of the year), I had forgotten all about it.
2016 is not really a year I want to reflect on. I remember that it started off so well, with much excitement and anticipation. A huge blizzard at the end of January encouraged adventure. I even started the year off with doing things I enjoyed: going to the movies, taking a class, etc…
I usually like to reflect, but part of me does not want to go back through a year that brought great challenge and stress in almost all aspects of my life. While we all deal with this on a regular basis, it seemed to be heightened and overflowing in 2016. There was never a break from the difficult stuff.
Certainly there were some happy moments to remember:
- The huge snowstorm that kept us indoors, but created lots of opportunity for snow-adventures and memories!
- A trip to Charleston with a friend
- Celebrating our 4th Anniversary in Ocean City
- A family reunion where I met many from my spouses side for the first time.
- Dear friends visiting us on their tour of DC
But from the middle of the year on, it’s easier to see the difficulties:
- Increased stress for my partner with the load of school
- Financial burdens
- Stress at work
- All-consuming election coverage and tension & fear created with the outcome
- Physical and mental health concerns
There is certainly some hopefulness to feel in the coming year. Things are looking up and plans are being made.
But as 2016 comes to a close, while it’s been a blessing in many ways, it’s hard to feel at peace and look forward. I’ve never had this much trouble looking ahead, but in this reflection, I struggle to see how God has used it, even though I know His will has been done and will continue to be done in 2017.