I've reflected on the past year quite a bit lately. It was one that I hope we don't ever have to relive. I would say I'm glad its coming to an end but that might imply that things are going to change, that the new year has a promise of being nothing but wonderful. Unfortunately, I know that the hard times aren't over. I know we still have to go through a few things before I can be hopeful that life will be completely happy again. We had some really great times and I am grateful for those moments that helped me realize I am living a very blessed life.
This year has been the hardest that I have ever had to deal with. I'll admit, I've had a pretty easy life so far (and still do, really). I've never cried so hard or so much, I've never felt so low about myself, I've never felt so alone or inadequate in every aspect of my life. I've never had my faith tested so much or had to make such hard decisions.
Through all of this I've also been able to glean some good from the year. I learned that I have a husband who loves me. No matter what. He will defend me fiercely and do what ever is necessary to help me be happy.
I've learned that I have parents who love me unconditionally. I've never seen my mom's momma bear side come out-and really there hasn't ever been a reason to bring it out. In the past year I've seen that side of her. As a 33-34 year old it is still comforting that your parents will fight for you. My mom talked me through some pretty dark days. She helped me see my potential and that I have a choice-be happy or miserable.
I learned that sometimes we have to sacrifice and give up some pride to find happiness. I was released from my calling, not so much because I wanted it, but because I knew I couldn't give myself completely. I knew that the girls I was serving needed a leader who had their best interests at heart. I didn't. I was struggling to stay afloat myself. I felt like I was letting them down and abandoning them. That was so far from what I was doing...but its hard for teenagers to see that. My family needed me. I needed to be able to breathe. I hope my Heavenly Father understood.
I learned that a firm foundation is so important in the gospel. I had to dig deep a few times and figure out what I believed. I'm grateful that I had some experiences I could lean back on and hold onto while I figured out where I was going. I know that I am not following blindly in my religion. There were a few months that I went through the motions. I wondered if it was worth it. Through the atonement I was able to physically feel the love of my Savior. I know that we are not a lone. I know that the people running the church are not perfect, but I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect. I know that through it we can feel whole again.
I am slowly learning to do what is best for me; to not worry about what others think or might think. This has been the hardest. I wish I could let things go. Let it be water under the bridge. I am learning to do this slowly. I know it will make me happier. I know that forgiveness, with or with out an apology, is important-no, essential- to happiness. Sometimes its harder said than done. One day I hope to have the light in my eyes again. I can slowly start to feel it return. Its not such a struggle to be happy these days and I am grateful for that.
So as the year comes to a close, I'm ready to let so much go. I'm ready to be happy and do the things that make me and my family happy. Happy New Year!