Looking Back to Look Ahead

Each year, my husband and I take a look back at our year and make a list of everything, both good and bad, we have experienced that year. It’s kind of fun to then read the list to see just how God helped us make it through difficult times but also how much he has blessed us. These are just some of the things that are on our list this year:

  • Ashlee survived a major car accident
  • Josh traveled to both Spain and Seattle
  • We got our first foster care placement
  • We traveled to Chicago and Chattanooga (for Moon River Festival)
  • Ashlee ran the Knoxville Half Marathon

These are some pretty big things—some scary, some wonderful. It is interesting to look back each year to see how certain decisions and certain events have shaped us into who we are now. God knows what he is doing. He has a plan for my life and yours. He was with us in our past, present, and future. That gives me hope. Because He was with me during our past scary times, I know he will be with us in our future scary times—times that will inevitably come.

Another reason we look back at our year is to also learn and prepare for the year to come. What have we learned this year? My husband reports he has learned: what kind of family he wants for the future, to better appreciate who he has in his family now, and to no longer do things he doesn’t want to do out of fear of displeasing others. I have learned that just because things are hard and are not what I wished they would be doesn’t mean God can’t give me joy in the situation. I have also learned that it’s okay to lean on people and that you never know what kind of an impact you have on others. (My car accident taught me this, and I was blown away by my loved ones’ care, time, generosity, and patience they gave me).

Now it’s your turn. What did you learn this year? What has God shown you through the good, bad, wonderful, and scary times? Before making New Year’s Resolutions, look back on the previous year to see what kind of person God has prepared you to be.

Have a good Christmas and may it be merry & bright!

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