Visiting Danielle’s blog today, I was inspired by her list of 2006 blessings. The beginning of the year for me is usually the time when I breathe a sigh of relief at the chance to start over and make new plans for how the year will be. But it is also a time when I look back over the year and think about how it turned out.
This past year I was especially blessed. I remember that at the end of 2005, I just knew that 2006 would be a special year. I knew it would be different from the rest. And I was most definitely right! 2006 has proved to be my turning point, the year I transformed, changed, grew. It was the year I lost the sorrowful divorced girl, the one who depended on the wisdom of others and who didn’t seem to have a voice. In her place I found the confident woman that was always inside me, the one with her own wisdom, with the strength to make her own life.
2006 was the year that I gave up my divorced identity, letting go of the misconception that being divorced was a sad reality, and somehow made me less. It was the year that I realized that I am my own person, not identified by who I was once married to. It was the year I let go of my sufferings, realizing that they didn’t create me. It was the year that I stopped lamenting, and started living….for my life!
2006 was the year that I found out what being a devoted mother looks like. Yeah, I’ve been a mother for almost 9 years now. I’ve been a single mother for 3. But this year I realized that sometimes we must make huge sacrifices and give up our own comfort to allow our children the best world possible. Sometimes we must give up some things, and some people, for our family’s well being. And when life gets hard, you just work harder.
2006 was the year that I realized that I need friends and family. I could not have made it through the trials of this year without my devoted family and my true friends. Sometimes I was given valuable advice. Sometimes I was given a willing ear. Sometimes I was given a shoulder to cry on. I learned to receive, as well as to give. I learned that sometimes we need to be supported so we can be strong.
2006 was the year I sound the courage to work outside of the home. In 2004 I began working with my father in an amazing job that allowed me to make an income while still being home with my kids. This last year, circumstances “forced” me into seeking a different job. I landed the very first job I tried for, at my dream location, the newspaper! It was a place I always wanted to work. And when I got the job, my fears were overwhelming. But I soon realized that it was possible, I could actually be successful in a job, and my kids would survive the transition. It’s been rocky, hard at times, and absolutely wonderful! Working with my father gave me the confidence I had lost for awhile, and allowed me the strength to actually survive the fast paced and demanding job that I have now. And not only that, having this job gives me the sight to see the possibilities I have for the future. And that excites me most of all.
In 2006 I found God, over and over again, every single day. I saw Him in the big things, and I saw Him in the little things. I saw Him in ways I had overlooked Him. I saw that God answers prayers in His own way, in His timing, and in ways much better than my own. I found God’s wisdom in my own religion, and I found God’s wisdom in other religions. And I realized that my identity as a Christian never lessened in the process, I daresay it was strengthened. There were times when my questioning even troubled myself, but when it all fell together, I found God waiting for me in the end. I learned that finding God is all in the journey, and the journey never ends.
As I look back at 2006, I see a transformation that I am proud of. And it makes me confident that 2007 holds even more in store for me. I am excited about this new year, not as an escape from the previous year, but as a continuance of a truly magical year.
Happy New Year to all my friends! May your new year hold magic for you too!