A Hopeful New Year

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

As we approach a new year, it is only natural to reflect on the passing of the previous one.  And, for our family, 2015 was a doozy.  Derrick lost his father, Eliza underwent two surgeries (and spent four months in a nearly-full-body spica cast), and we went through the craziness of a move.  But despite all of that, it was a good year.  A really good year, in fact.  It led us to grow as a family and to unite behind our faith and our friends.  And when we do that, we gain a new perspective on all the “little” stuff.

This was the year that Eliza said her first word and learned to crawl.  It was the year she decided she is hilarious (as is almost everything around her) and that she began to give big hugs during which she will gently pat the back of whoever is holding her.  It was the year she overcame obstacles again and again with an unwavering determination, smiling through it all.

It was also the year Amelia began dressing herself daily (and often in more colors and patterns than I ever could have imagined, by the way).  And the year she really bonded with Eliza as a friend and not just as a sister.  2015 was the year our toddler turned into a little girl, capable of saying anything and everything on her mind, complete with opinions, praises, and prayers.

And in the midst of this hardest year of residency (while working insane hours), Derrick still made 2015 a year of embracing the heart of each of his girls…listening to them, cuddling with them, and simply adoring them exactly as they are.  He makes me so proud, so grateful to be his wife and to share this crazy life with him.  How he manages to do that with so much stress and on so little sleep baffles me, but I am so, so thankful for it.  For him.

And as for me, I got to be part of a new race in Denver…one that raised $30,000 this first year alone for the Foundation of Prader-Willi Research, and one that will hopefully become an annual tradition in our neighborhood for years to come.  It was challenging and time-consuming and overall just wonderful!

I don’t know what 2016 will bring, but I have no doubt that it too will come with its share of heartaches and joys.  Every year does.  And sometimes I wonder whether we will be able to keep it all up, whether we will be able to face what’s to come, knowing things may get much harder with Eliza once hyperphagia (excessive hunger) sets in.  But I hope in the Lord and trust in His promise that our strength will continue to be renewed from the endless love that He pours down on us in every circumstance.  We sometimes see it most clearly in the moments of hardship, but it is always, always there.  So I am opening my arms and embracing 2016…with all its messy unknowns…for surely it will be a year of more love, more adventure, and more hope in a God whose grace knows no bounds and whose presence stretches across all time.