I’m sitting here at the end of 2016. I’ve read some rounding up the year blogs and Facebook statuses. The evening is looking up as I’ve just remembered that there is wine in the cupboard, a new series of Grey’s Anatomy to mainline in January and the last of sugar for a while to be eaten. Before all that, I’m wondering how to sum up a year that has felt more like a dumpster fire than ever.
It’s been an odd year. The most rubbish thread of the year has been husbandface’s depression and anxiety kicking off, increasing and taking new shapes as the year progressed. Hideous demons from the past have tormented him and we’ve had to adjust to a very reduced world. We don’t finish the year on a nice happy note of optimism. He currently operates well for about an hour and a half each day. It’s horrible. It’s not hopeless, but it is rather like the fog we drove through this morning, no clarity as to what the next step or hour may bring.
As well as that our lovely church community disbanded and we had to find a new church. We’ve found one and there are elements that are really exciting about that. We have barely any capacity to get to know new people though, and it feels like our safety net is much further from us.
Lots of scary things happened in the word around us, Brexit, Trump, whatever your views are, there is massive uncertainty swirling around us and the future.
This evening we burnt the pile of paper I’d released from the filing box sort out of earlier in the day. Much more satisfying than shredding. We wrote the words of pain and sadness this year has brought and burnt them up as well. It felt good.
We still wake up tomorrow though, a change in year will not necessarily bring a change in circumstances. We and others will wake up tomorrow with very little different in a world that says everything should be shiny and new because we have turned the page.
We turn the page and find the same story, the same road to walk, the same fog around us.
But we also turn the page and find another story, the one that has stopped us going insane this year. We find the same One walking with us, we find the same guide leading us on. We find the same person in the boat, in the storm with us and we find that he has been doing good in our lives in the midst of the dark this year and we can trust him to carry on bringing beauty out of grim,.
I am thankful for our marriage in the midst of this weird ass year. We have had moments where I’ve thought we might actually be growing in our communication and love for each other. I have loved being together in the better and worse, sickness and health of this year. I love my amazingly brave man and I am still delighted to share the crap with him.
I am thankful for our beautiful crazy boys. They make me laugh and rage daily. They have grown in love and wonder this year. They have developed hugely and weirdly know all the words to the Frozen Soundtrack. I have loved being their Mum more than ever this year. I have loved hanging out in parks with them, playing lego, doing puzzles, running around the garden, licking cake bowls out, taking them on adventures to Ireland, having a two week break from them (whilst in hideous agony recovering from my tonsillectomy but I’ll take the two weeks in bed…). I love their insanity and (mostly) their constant delight in the word poo.
I am thankful for such a close church community that it hurt so bad when we were scattered. The fellowship feels broken but the friendships live on. We have moved to the Two Towers and life is about bleak trudging but we are still in touch, we still care and friendships last. Phew.
I am thankful for my lovely family, for my parents stepping in when needed this year. I am thankful for how much our boys adore their Nana and Grandad, Granda, Aunties, Uncle and cousins. I am glad we have seen a whole lot more of them this year and I am thankful for developing friendships between them.
I am thankful for friends, for those who walk with us in Brighton and those who pray desperately from far away. I am thankful that we are not alone.
I am thankful that my mother in law got her wishes finally, despite efforts to thwart them, and we have inherited money that has brought us a new kitchen, floors, shelves and other things to make our home cleaner, more homely and pretty. I am grateful for being able to end the year with no debt and with some treats to make this time more bearable.
I am thankful that I feel more connected to God at the end of this hideous year than the previous few. I am thankful that I am able to have time with him each day and so thankful to know the source of all the beauty and wonder in this world and the one who can redeem and make beauty out of the grim horribleness life seems to entail lots of the time.
I am thankful that we turn the page with the author and finisher. With the lover of our souls and with hope at the bedrock of the crap.
I am thankful.
So long 2016, it’s been… erm… interesting. Lets see if 2017 can do any better eh.