Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Retrospective

{If reading in RSS or email interface, you may need to access the crumbs blog to view video.}

Although I did not participate in the "One Word" blogger challenge to name 2012 at the year's beginning, if I were to name it now, I would choose "Change," or perhaps "Endurance." A year ago, it seemed I had turned a corner toward health. Stamina was growing, and portions of many days were pain-free for the first time in 18 months. On December 31, 2011, we toasted our coffee with the words, "So long, 2011. Don't let the door hit you on the way out." I really believed that 2012 meant recovery and renewed strength.

I was wrong.

Health concerns multiplied this year, and issues we thought were resolved flared up again and again. Every member of my immediate family has experienced at least one crisis. Most of the men in the family have changed jobs, some voluntarily and some not. Change and upheaval have marked every passing month.

And yet, "In every change, He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul." However hard things became, however unsettled, however fraught with anxiety, God remained faithful and will for 2013 as well. He was no less loving, no less near, no less kind in the trials than in the joys (and there were joys, too, especially new and deepened friendships).

What theme lies in store for 2013? I have no idea. "Whatever," maybe? I still want healing, recovery, rest, strength, more happy than sad, but 2013 is in God's hands and utterly veiled to me. I do pray that the afflictions of 2012 (and before) begin to look "less like scars, and more like character."

This year began with an excellent study of James, so perhaps it is fitting to conclude it with his words:
Consider it a great joy, my brothers [and sisters], whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4, HCSB).
Let us give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His steadfast love endures forever (Ps. 136:1)!

I thank Him for His goodness in this past week:

one last batch of toffee made for family
strength to enjoy a long, full day with my immediate family and energetic youngest nephews
Christmas gifts given and received
2 desserts at our Christmas Eve celebration, thanks to parents and Mezzo
surprise packages in the mail from blogging friends
Christmas day at home in new pajamas and slippers
wet, white, winged Christmas watching the rain and snow fall and birds out in the midst of it all

new glasses on order
visit with my Nonni
...and an unexpected bonus visit from my uncle and his family, who live near her
tea every morning in Amore's gift of new tea maker
more light rain today, much needed in our area

Also, I thank Him by faith for His faithful goodness and provision in the past year:
42 medical appointments (just mine, not counting Amore's and Ebony's)
5 new doctors (ditto)
multiple biopsies
1 procedure requiring general anesthetic
1 surgery
in which I fainted
1 round of physical therapy appointments
2 rounds of a walking cast, one on each foot
a year without a sinus infection
new rheumatologist with fresh ideas

one reading of the Old Testament
2 readings of the New Testament and Psalms (yes, I realize Psalms are in the Old Testament)
82 verses of Scripture hidden in my heart
4 ladies' Bible studies
2 virtual (online) retreats

8 or more trips to Fort Worth for family
friends, near and far
Amore's new job
my dad's retirement
my mom's 5 falls in 2 months did no lasting harm
Mezzo's recovery from car accident

an abundance of butterflies
and bluebonnets
and birds

one new scar
other people telling me how strong I am, when all I see in the mirror is weakness
Christ's power residing in me (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
the testing of my faith producing endurance
6,032 gifts counted

(Joy Dare #8547-8586)

sharing with Laura at The Wellspring and Ann at A Holy Experience

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