Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2018: Some Unexpected Changes, While Other Hopes for Change were Unfulfilled

It's hard to believe, but another Christmas has come and gone. I pray your Christmas was full of love and blessings. I'm so thankful ours was uneventful(a large family gathering and a small Christmas Eve meal), but also a little sad...
2018 is almost over...
Where did another year go? 
I had planned on writing many more posts this year, but it just didn't happen.

My word for this year was "change". Yes, I admit, there were several things that brought change for me in 2018...some were good, many were very difficult. Other changes that were anticipated never occurred. 

I'm realizing that's real life, though.
It brings lots of surprises, followed by numerous disappointments. 
But, it's just been one year out of many.

The truth is, the best any of us can do in this life is just do our best and trust God for the rest.

As I think back over 2018, I know I am blessed with changes that I have experienced!!...
  • I have my son back, after he went through a rough marriage/separation, which had put a barrier between us for years.
  • I participated in a weight loss/fitness program and lost 35 lbs and became healthier.
  • My hubby just recently retired from his job of 42 years. There had been several dates for his retirement set over the years, but he finally is officially retired.

There were also changes that I had hoped for that did not occur...
  • Receiving outside help with the caregiving of my mom, who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. (I never realized how exhausting and challenging caregiving is!) I recently had been reminded that it is the 3 year anniversary of when I quit my job and began caring for her. For over a year I had wanted some help with this and, in August this year, we began the process of officially applying for that help. Unfortunately, the process has been excruciatingly difficult to complete! (Lots of paperwork and hoops to jump through, as well as lack of availability of professional caregivers). After almost 5 months, we still have not gotten any help.
  • Traveling/RVing was something that I had hoped and dreamed to be able to do in 2018. We made a few very short trips(a couple of days each) within our state in our RV. Because retirement plans, as well as not finding caregiver help, had been put on hold, so have our travel plans. There is no timeline set for this for now, so I cannot say if it will happen in 2019 or not.
  • Even though I have my son back, I have prayed for years to share in having a strong faith in God with him, but it hasn't happened, yet. I will continue to pray for this, but only God knows when/if/how this will happen.
Ultimately, I have to say the "changes" for me this year have been an emotional roller-coaster.
I've had some hopes and dreams met, but also some that were crushed.

Some quotes about change...
"Give up the struggle and the fight; relax in the omnipotence of the Lord Jesus; look up into His lovely face and as you behold Him, He will transform you into His likeness. You do the beholding–He does the transforming. There is no short-cut to holiness."  (Alan Redpath)

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."  (Viktor E. Frankl)

"There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse."  (Washington Irving)

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves." (Anatole France)

"What we count the ills of life are often blessings in disguise, resulting in good to us in the end. Though for the present not joyous but grievous, yet, if received in a right spirit, they work out fruits of righteousness for us at last."  (Matthew Henry)

In my next post, I'll be sharing a new word(or words) for the new year ahead that I have felt pulled to write about. If you have a new word, feel free to share them with me in the comment section. Until next year(2019), may the Lord bless you, strengthen you, and empower you!!