I’m struggling today to come up with a topic to write about. I thought I’d go back to procrastinating but that doesn’t really interest me. My thoughts are split between planning for the New Year and reflecting on this year.

It’s been a tough year. That goes without saying.

Experiencing all the painful “first” while still trying to live my life to the fullest has taught me a lot about myself. The most valuable lesson being that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. That strength comes from trusting the Lord and His Sovereignty. It hasn’t been easy to trust that God is good in the face of such a loss. I questioned why a lot. I also resented that He didn’t intervene so that things would have been different. But as I look back over the course of this year, I see all the times that He did intervene. His greatest gift to me has been the people He has placed in my life.

There’s the staff at Whole Foods whose hugs and kind words have helped me through several difficult afternoons. Then there’s the friends who not only remember the hard days like anniversaries and birthdays, but don’t hesitate to call or text to say I’m thinking about you just when I need it. And most miraculously are the random women I have met who have also lost children, especially the woman I met in the shoe department.

It had been a particularly difficult day. I went to the mall in hopes of maybe raising my spirits some. While looking at shoes, I noticed the tattoo on her arm because it was in the same spot as mine. I asked about it and she shared it was for her sweet daughter who had died three years ago in a horrible car accident. I pulled up my sleeve to show her my tattoo and told her about Matt. We hugged each other and cried. As she pulled away she remind me that God is with me. Those words were so powerful coming from someone who intimately understood my pain. We exchanged numbers and each went on our way. Meeting her was definitely Divine Intervention because I felt remarkably better after our interaction.

Those are only a few instances of how God has cared for me through my journey so far. Through it all I have learned that trusting God isn’t about an assurance that things well go our way. It’s about knowing that even in the worse storm of your life you can count on Him to take care of us. We can count on Him to provide what we need and strengthen us. And even when we are all alone He will still be there to comfort us. Knowing that has given me all I needed to stand strong this year.

As I think about the coming year, I feel more and more compelled to leverage my life in such a way that I can use my experience to encourage others. I’m not sure exactly what that looks like. I’m sure that it will be more clear in the coming days.

Until next time. . .

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