Today I am a bit emotional saying goodbye to 2017. You'd think I would say, "see-ya!" Yes, I am wanting to move forward from cancer but what I don't want to move away from is the all the beauty I witnessed this year.
My husband wrap me in his arms and love me through sickness into health.
The strength of my children's hearts and them meet adversity with faith and hope.
My parents were on a road trip and drove straight home to be here beside us every step of the way.
My siblings and their spouses, along with our nieces, and nephews rally around our family. Their love was palpable.
My incredible in-laws show up for us in every way.
My aunts, uncle, and cousin visit so they could give our family a hug.
My best friend since Kindergarten continue to walk beside me in life.
My soul sisters pray over me and my family every step of the way.
My hometown cover us in prayer, provide our family with meals, a clean home, and so many other gifts of love along the way.
Every card, text message, email, facebook message from family and friends, near and far, to let us know we were in their thoughts and prayers.
Friends wrap their love around our children and help us whenever we needed it whether it was have them over or help with carpooling.
Strangers become friends.
The circles of love around us are something I never realized were there until this year and I am so grateful for each and every circle of love.
Why am I having trouble saying good-bye to 2017?
Even though it took cancer for me to see it clearly, what I witnessed this year was the best in people. I saw people pour love towards a family in need. I witnessed God's love in action every day through all these beautiful people as they lived out love towards our family.
And I don't want to lose sight that perspective.
Yet as I have moved further away from treatment, I see the lens being blurred as day to day life weaves its way back in. Yes, I need to move forward yet my hope is to keep the lens clear and the perspective I gained this year. How will I do that? My hope is to...
Pause. Breathe. Pray.
And in 2018 make it my goal to be a vessel of love in someone else's circle of love. From my child navigating a new stage in life to a friend recovering from surgery. From those in our community who don't have enough money for groceries to those in need of clean water on the other side of the world. There are opportunities near and far for us to live out love towards others.
I know I can't do it all, but I can do something everyday for someone.
I share this with you today because I wanted to extend this invitation to you too. I invite you to...
Pause. Breathe. Pray.
And consider making one of your goals in 2018 to be a vessel of love in someone's circle of love. If we each do what is ours to do, the circles of love will broaden in our homes, communities and around the world, hopefully someday wrapping everyone in love and care.
I hope wherever we choose live out love, that whoever receives it can feel God's love working through each of us, just as our family did this year.
Thank you 2017 for showing me the beauty in people and what life is all about; to be a vessel of love in someone's circle of love; helping those in need.
Here's to 2018 and the possibilities it holds to live out love...
With love, gratitude, and hope,
"God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them." - 1 John 4:16