This past year was challenging. It was probably one of the hardest years we’ve ever had…and yet it’s been completely, utterly, amazingly, wonderful. It’s weird the way heartbreak and gratitude can go hand in hand. This year was all about growing. Growing financially, spiritually, and emotionally. I’ve learned that growth happens in the hard times. And for that I am deeply thankful. Without the obstacles we faced this past year, I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today.
This year I learned what it’s like to go without. I learned what it’s like to be hungry. I learned what its like to be completely broke. I’ve learned what its like to have my account overdrawn day after day after day. I’ve learned what it’s like to feel like a complete failure. I’ve learned what it’s like to almost completely give up on my dream.
But I also learned what it’s like to receive. I learned what it’s like to be in need but then to have blessing poured out on me in a completely unexpected way. I learned what it’s like to feel the unconditional love and support from family and friends. I learned what it’s really like to live under God’s grace.
And I learned what it’s like to succeed. I learned what it’s like to set goals and then meet them. I learned what it means to be patient and to keep working no matter what. I learned what it means to have faith regardless of my circumstances. I learned what it means to balance work and family. I learned what it means to be able to give back and to have compassion, understanding, and empathy for others who are also struggling.
I learned what it means to be truly thankful regardless of what I have or do not have. I learned that things can be given and they can be taken away and I can be content and joyful with both. I learned that money is never the bottom line. I learned to be motivated by love for others instead of love for money.
As I look back on this past year and all the storms I had to weather and all the obstacles I had to overcome, I realize I never thought I would be where I am today. In the face of failure our business thrived, in the midst of opposition my relationships flourished, and when desperation closed in faith broke through.
And I’ll end this chapter anxiously looking forward to the next one. Happy New Year!