As I look back over the past year I realize what a whirlwind it has been. I started 2019 with twice a week visits to the OT, trying to regain full movement and strength in my left hand after carpal and cubital tunnel surgery. In February, I officially began my part time job at Fellowship Baptist Church as Outreach and Connections Coordinator, along with continuing at both NFC and St. Leo University as a part time instructor. This summer I leapt out of my comfort zone and submitted some writing at a conference where I made great connections, won awards, and decided to make writing a greater priority. This fall I took on the challenge of 15 interns with St. Leo, who were scattered over a 320 mile radius, on top of my class with NFC, my job at church, and two boys playing soccer. We also began the dry in process of our new home that we are slowly building ourselves. In the middle of the semester, my husband was diagnosed with melanoma and had surgery about the same time our roofing trusses were delivered. Meanwhile I threw my back out and got shingles. Then we began cancer treatments in December, had to get another car, and one of our kids had the flu. And as we are winding up 2019, we are spending every spare second trying to get the roof finished on our house. It’s been one heck of a year.
One thing I can say about 2019, though, is that I have lived. I have lived on the mountaintop as God has used my job at Fellowship to grow my faith and trust in Him. I have lived on adrenaline as I shared writing projects with publishers who asked to see more. I have lived in doubt as I wondered if the strength would ever come back into my left hand after surgery. I have lived in the unknown as I tackled new job expectations and adventures. I have lived in fear as we found out that David had cancer and wondered what was next for our family. I have lived in excitement as we are finally drying in our home we have been planning for years. I have lived in anxiety as the worries of this world piled higher and higher, effecting me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I have lived in peace as so many people have blessed us with gifts of all kinds as we are going through this season of cancer. I have lived in joy as prayers are answered and our hearts are being ministered to by so many family members and friends. I have lived a life of blessing as I have been able to watch my youngest start school and my oldest develop a talent for soccer he didn’t know he had. I have lived in a place of fulfillment as I have experienced new friendships and rekindled those from years past. I have lived a lot of things in 2019.
And I don’t want to stop. The new situations and circumstances that come in 2020 may be hard, but they may also be rewarding. They may be things I never want to go through again, but at the same time, they may produce in me a fruit that would never grow otherwise. As 2020 begins, I want to be ready to live in whatever may come my way. I want my yes to be bold and my no to be firm. I want my heart to be full, even if it means tears helped fill it up. I want to love wholly and build others up. I want to learn how to give as well as receive. I want to feel all of the emotions and soak up every ounce of beauty this life has to hold in 2020. I just want to live. How about you? Don’t you want to experience life in its fullest? Don’t you want to live? Purpose in your heart to do it well. Decide to live.