2013 was so good to us. I felt like it was a year of reward. Of blessing. Of joy and happiness and memories. It was a year where we all grew closer together. We planted a church, went on beach trips, Asher made a new best friend, Bella started kindergarten, my business grew, Brandon started working from home, I trained for and ran in my second half marathon, Mia went from being the baby of the family to a strong headed, hilarious little peanut.
We found our groove as a family of 5.
And as I look back on it all, I would say that the "word" that weaved itself in and out of my heart and mind and spirit through every step was "FREE."
God truly showed me what that word meant and what it looked like for me. I felt myself becoming more confident in who I was, and who He wanted me to be. Free from the fear of others, from failure, from the need for acceptance & validation. Free from insecurities and fears. Free from the weight of the years before...from the struggles, the loss, the hurts and the battles fought.
I felt this new, braver, stronger, bolder girl rise up.
Then December happened.
We found out we lost the baby. And one thing after the other seemed to hit me in dealing with that. Because when you lose a baby, those aren't just words. There are motions and actions and things you have to walk through that aren't fun. At all. Especially at Christmas. I found myself fighting harder than I ever have to find my joy. To choose it every single day. To look into my children's eyes and be all there. To smile and laugh and take in the moments. To sing out praises and thanksgiving in the middle of tears.
But I did do all of those things...smiled, laughed, praised, thanked and I took it all in. Because I was determined to.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
This verse was one God spoke loud and clear to my heart toward the end of last year. Today I was listening to a podcast and I heard it again. For some reason the second part was louder than it had been before.
"Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
I have been set free. I am free.
Now I have to stand firm in it. To not be shaken. To get back up and to keep going.
I went running yesterday for the first time since November. I wondered what it would be like to run again. I worried that it would feel like starting all over. But as my feet hit the sidewalk and the music filled my ears, it felt so familiar. It wasn't at all like starting over. It was just like starting from a different place than before.
I've always been so aware of choices and the power we have to make everything change, or stay the same. Instead of the fear of going backwards I'm lunging forward and asking God to show me how He wants to use all of this...use me. It is always my prayer that I can take what is in front of me and learn from it, grow and let it change me for the good.
I have no idea what 2014 will hold, but I'm excited for it. And expectant. And completely open with a desire for Him to use me like never before. My prayer is for the boldness to keep standing firm in this freedom. To live in it. Be in it. Heck...to dance in it.
A sweet Goodbye to 2013... It was good to us. We cried a little but we laughed even more.
I'm so ready for 2014.
Happy New Year Friends.