I have learned so much about myself and about others.
It has definitely had it's ups and downs.
Even the most painful parts of it, taught me lessons that I am grateful for.
They helped to shape us.
And the most beautiful parts, well...
they have paved the road for next year. Things to look forward to. Things to love.
Ways to grow.
In celebration of 2010, here are the 5 most important lessons I learned this year.
1. Faith in God can help you overcome ANYTHING. It doesn't matter if you do not get the answer that you want from Him. If you truly believe in your heart that things are going to turn out the way that they are supposed to, and that you WILL get through it, you can make it through anything. When Adam was diagnosed with cancer this year, we were in shock. I know that I never expected something like this to happen to him at such a young age, and because he was so healthy and felt fine, he didn't expect it either. But when we prayed about it, we prayed for the strength and peace to accept whatever outcome came. And because we had that outlook on the situation, it made everything a lot easier. I know that we both had a peace in our hearts that God would take care of us regardless. That is what kept us strong and hopeful. That makes all the difference.
2. I am starting to appreciate my family more and more every day. I remember being in High School and feeling like the most "uncool" thing in the world was to hang out with your family on the weekend. Remember that feeling? But now, I realize what an amazing family I have, and I find myself wanting to be around them more than ever. We have so much fun just playing board games, going to the river to ride four wheelers, sitting around singing songs while my brother plays the guitar, and laughing until our stomachs hurt. If I could only use one word to describe my family, it would be GENUINE. Sure, we have our flaws. We have our country accents and our Italian tempers. But at least we are REAL. And I sure do love them.
3. I love being a wife. So many girl friends that I have just cringe at the thought of staying at home, cleaning up the house, doing laundry and having a warm dinner on the table for their husbands. They love their independence and that is wonderful if that is what works for them. But there is something about being the nurturer and weaker vessel that really appeals to me. I love being able to take care of my husband and to let him be the spiritual leader of our home. And I know that if I love being a wife this much, I will really love being a mom.
Oh, the things to look forward to. :)
4. I might have a different definition of friendship than others do. My best friend and I were talking a couple of months ago about some of the trials we have faced in this year. She had a miscarriage and Adam got cancer. And it is so true, you can really tell who your friends are when something like that happens to you. From people coming by to visit, to even the shortest text message to let us know that they care, your true friends will be there for you. I don't have to talk on the phone every night with friends that I don't live near anymore, but when the going gets tough, and you are there for each other, that is when it really counts. Crystal who constantly checked on us, Leslie who sent us sweet cards, Katlynn who sent us beautiful flowers, Jen who sent us a giftcard to celebrate, Erica and Amy who wrote me and let me know you were there if we needed anything, .... nothing could ever repay the love you showed for us. All of you on Facebook that constantly asked about Adam and prayed for him... And all of our new friends here in Tyler, everyone who sat in the hospital waiting room with me, Nicole and Misti for offering to bring me a bed and making us chicken spaghetti.... you guys are the best. We really do have the GREATEST FRIENDS.
5. I never want to give up on a new Christian, or someone who has yet to become one. This was a very important lesson that I learned this year. You see, I became a Christian 5 years ago. And it takes everyone a different amount of time to become mature in Christ. Some people it takes years, and some are faster than others. Some might still have questions and get things wrong after a very long time, but they are trying. I definitely don't have all of the answers. I'm not always going to take the right context from scripture that I quote on my blog. And I'm not always going to make the right decision. But the fact of the matter is, if you are someone who encourages another to be a Christian, and helps them learn and be baptized, you can't just stop there. This year, I not only watched people being "phased out" as new Christians, but I saw people turn their backs on and "defriend" people who were studying and trying to figure things out. A lot of the time, they get "phased out" of a loving group of Christians because they are no longer dating someone in the group. Here you have a person that is studying and trying to figure out if Jesus is the answer, and the people that once showed love and care about their soul just forget that they ever needed help in the first place when a relationship ends. So that makes me wonder, do we really care about their soul? If we are willing to give up so easily? To defriend so easily or write hurtful emails at the first sign of a scripture out of context? For those of you who grew up in the church or have been a Christian for years and are very mature in Christ, please remember that souls are more important than your popularity or your "status" in your group. In Heaven, there is no Big Man on Campus. I hope I never turn my back on a new Christian, or someone searching for answers, EVER.
So despite the downs that came without a warning this year,
the ups definitely out weighed them. This has been a learning experience, as each year is.
I have found out what and who is important to me.
I have decided that letting God take control really is the best feeling.
I have realized that some people just aren't going to like me. And I'm not going to lose sleep over it, because I have the greatest, most loyal, friends.
I have come to appreciate my family so much more.
And I have fallen farther and farther in love with my sweet, strong, husband.
I am the luckiest.