I've heard from many people who tell me they hope I have a "Good" 2015 in store, after the 2014 we've walked through. I understand what they mean by that statement. I get it. They hope there's good things ahead for my family. For me, I can't break down an entire year of my life as being "good" or "bad". It's life. It's a journey. It's ups and downs. It is moments of thankfulness and moments of sorrow. Yes, no doubt 2014 had many difficult moments but it had its wonderful moments as well. Some of the more difficult moments:
-The start of 2014 still found me heavily grieving the loss of my husband. That first year without him was the hardest I've ever walked through. I'm now in year two. I won't say it gets easier because I don't feel it does. I am still grieving his loss. But you do start to get your bearings a little more and move your way through your new reality. It's maybe not as scary as it once was, but I miss him more than I ever did. That only grows, not diminishes. Life is never the same.
-The whole IVF process was not an easy one. It was not an easy decision for me to make and it was not an easy process to go through without Joel. Ultimately, I know without a doubt I made the right decision. But most will never know what a bittersweet road that was to walk alone.
-Walking through Ellis' illness was the scariest thing I've ever had to experience. I've never felt so helpless in my life. Having to see your child, flesh of your flesh, enduring what she had to endure marked me forever. Knowing there was nothing I could do to help her was traumatizing. I had to put her in the Lords hands, because there was nothing more I could do. That wasn't easy. It was scary. We were a few small breaths away from losing her forever. There's many things I saw I wish I could forget.
Some of the better moments:
-As hard as it was to walk through IVF without Joel, there were many moments of joy. Finding out I was pregnant was the biggest one. Finding out it was a girl, just like Joel said it would be, was indescribable. Every time I would touch my belly, and know that Joel and my daughter was growing inside, was miraculous. It still feels that way when I look at her.
-Milo turned two this year and we celebrated his birthday in one of our favorite places-Colorado. I'm so proud of my boy. Truly, he's amazing. Our family has been through a lot in the last year and a half but he has never let it affect him. He stays the same smart, loyal, loving and compassionate boy he has always been. He is so full of life, wonder and joy and reminds me daily to live life in that spirit. He is so much like his Daddy it sometimes hurts. He takes care of everyone but especially myself and his baby sister. Having him here is like having a daily dose of Joel in my life and I'm so very thankful for that.
-The Choose Joy project was a day of random acts of kindness we did to honor the life of my husband. It was on July 23rd, which was the one year anniversary of his death. People from all over joined together and did something selfless for others. It was beautiful, it was inspiring and it was one of the most incredible events I've ever gotten to witness or be a part of. If you were a part of that day, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It took a really heavy day and made light shine through the darkness. I will never forget it.
-After blogging faithfully for four (almost five) years, this was the year this blog exploded. Millions of people read the blog in 159 countries around the globe. Incredible. I will never stop telling our families story. It brings such purpose to the pain we've walked through.
-This was the year I got to meet my daughter. We fell in love with her immediately. She's such a portrait of beauty rising from the ashes. She was put on this earth to move mountains and she is doing it daily. Ellis is a miracle beyond words and taking her home (for the second time!) was one of the sweetest moments of my life. She continues to inspire and astound me daily. I'm so blessed to be her Mama.
The word "restoration" has been a big one we've been praying over Ellis. I'm believing for "restoration" to be the word for my whole family for 2015. The Bible is so clear about the Lord restoring what is stolen from His people. I'm believing 2015 to be the year for that, in all areas, for my family.
Isaiah 61:7 -For your shame double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
Thank you for being such a big part of our 2014. You will never know what it has meant to have your prayers and support. It carried us all through some really dark moments. Thank you for keeping us so close to your heart and for allowing me to share my heart on this blog.
If you want to stay even more in touch for 2015 check out the connect tab to your left. If pictures are your thing, I post a lot on Instagram. You can follow me there. If you like pictures, as well as other daily content, follow me over on Facebook. And of course, if you don't already, consider following the blog so you get updates emailed to you directly.
Below are some of my favorite photos from 2014. I made them all the same color to signify in good moments and in bad life is still life and life is still good.
Many blessings to all of you. Here's to where the journey of life takes us in 2015! In all things, and in all ways, He is faithful.