My sweet girls are peacefully sleeping after a day of high needs and Dan is off to a rare guys board games night. In the quiet, my thoughts are roving back over the past year. I realized a few random things while my thoughts flitted about; here are a few. I have made many new friends this year, we changed houses three times, this is the first December since 2006 that I am neither pregnant or have a new baby and the first time that I am okay with that.
Every year, I like to take the last few days to ponder the over past year and then I like to look forward to new one and dream a little of what it will hold. This year I approach the coming year with both trepidation and hopeful expectation. Trepidation because I look back over the pain filled times and dread what more could come. Hopeful expectation because I can look back at the journey and see how I have been changed and that I have never been alone. Oh those months where the only thing that I felt kept me going were my two wee girls who needed their mama. How is it possible that there could be so much hurt and yet still joy refused to leave? When we came back to this little town, we hardly knew what to expect and for a short time I wasn’t sure that we would leave in one piece. But slowly, we began to find our way again. We reached out for each other and clung to the One who could heal. We were quietly loved by those who knew best and by others who loved without questions. Shortly after our arrival here, Dan shared a quote with me and it know sits on my fridge and is often present in my mind. In my drafts, I actually have an unshared post that I wrote when he first read it to me. The last lines are these; “Woundedness just leads to more woundedness. Brokenness leads to healing.” These words are the anthem of my year, I was a wounded woman and only when I learned to be broken did healing begin. I always picture a wild animal that has been hurt, they will lash out at anything in sight and basically go crazy when wounded. Or a one of my fragile teacups, broken in pieces, just lying there until I piece and glue it back together. This year has changed me. I am not strong and I don’t wish to be. I can forgive and be forgiven; I have asked forgiveness more this year than in all other 26. I have learned to lean on Dan and to stand on my own. My voice has become gentler, my words sweeter and I hope they are a reflection of my heart. I have made poor choices and good ones, both having lasting effects. I have learned to both to watch my words carefully and to speak freely.

After I had a cesarean with Cecily, I was told that it would take some time to heal; that the surface would heal quickly while the inner muscles and layers would take a long time. I was also told that some nerve damage would likely never be reversed. I think that this describes the past year and really much of life. On the outside, it is nearly impossible not to look whole and happy especially when one has been incredibly blessed as I have. And yet, that inner stuff where only those closest can see still burns and aches; it still affects and colors everything. And some things are really never quite the same. Some healing comes slowly and , like with the cesarean, there are setbacks and recovery comes slowly.

And so  I admit, the pessimist in me fears the months ahead, this year 2011. But the broken and healing me is excited and hopeful to see and to welcome this new year! As we went through the advent season, the words Hope and Joy continued to ring through my heart and so holding tightly to them, come 2011!