As we end the 2013, it is often a time of reflection on what the year has brought to us. We remember the good times and the bad, those who have come into our lives and those who have left us. For my family it has once again been a trying year.
In January, I finished my masters degree in Special education but that was one of the few highlights of the year. Most people who know me would chime in that I’m pretty special too.
In February we lost our nephews dad. This left a 13 year old boy without any parents. Through heartache, pain, worthless social workers and much more, he ended up in foster care. For months we have tried to communicate with him and right before Christmas he sent us an e-mail. We had waited and struggled through nearly 10 months for him just to say hi.
This past summer I left my position at a church that I had been with for seven years over disagreements about how people should be treated and just plain exhaustion over what had transpired the previous year. Recovery was really what I needed to find. At that point I was done with church. I still loved God, but I didn’t care if I ever entered a church again. My wife made me go to a couple churches as we looked for some place that we felt comfortable at. I remember at one Bible study we went to the leader asked everyone why we had come. I responded, “My wife made me.” We didn’t stay at that church. They didn’t seem to be friendly. We have been attending a church since July that we feel more comfortable. Yet I still feel like a hammer is going to drop at some point. Maybe it’s because I have been hurt too many times by those that I trusted or thought were my friends.
I didn’t get my teaching job like I was hoping, but that may have been a blessing in disguise. Because of the car accident in November, I missed a lot of work, but I had sick days so I was still getting paid. I only worked one full week from the first of November until now. Partly due to the accident, Dr.’s appointments, strep and some weird body rash that I passed to all my family members. This past week was my (hopefully) last therapy session to strengthen my back.
My wife was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, an auto immune system problem that has often left her sick, hurting and often unable to do much of anything. The stress of this year sure hasn’t helped that situation at all. That combined with the fact that often people just don’t get how someone so young could have so many problems led to people thinking she was for some reason faking it all. She was also diagnosed with Aspersers syndrome, which is high functioning Autism. Most people think of Autism as those that I work with in school that do not have high IQ’s. So again people jumped to conclusions that we were making up stories for some reason.
So yes, it has been a tough year, but it has also been a growing year. My family has stood together, struggling as we might. We had a year where we grew as a family. Not only by one cat, (our nephew’s cat) but also spiritually, and love for one another. We learned to be strong through tough times and to lean on each other and God. I don’t know what I would have done this past year without my wonderful wife and my faith in God. They are what have kept me going. Well, I need to go do my exercises so that I don’t have to get back to therapy.
I hope your year has been better. We look forward to a new year and new beginnings. After all it can’t get much worse than the last couple of years. Can it? Grace and peace to all of you and Happy New Year!