Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What God has Taught Me in 2016

With the official end of 2016, I can hear the lyrics to one of my favorite songs ringing through the air:

"Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes; Five hundred twenty-five thousand Moments so dear. Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes. How do you measure - measure a year? In daylights - in sunsets. In midnights - in cups of coffee. In inches - in miles. In laughter - in strife. In - five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes...How do you measure A year in the life. How about love?"

As the first week of January 2017 comes to a close, I have been contemplating about the lessons that I have learned throughout 2016 during my last five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes on Earth.

There is a Beauty in Suffering

Suffering is something that scares me. Hurting mentally, physically or emotionally is something that I try to avoid at all costs. However, over the past year, I have struggled physically with my Spina Bifida and mentally and emotionally with my depression and anxiety. 

Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. Spina Bifida literally means “split spine.” Spina Bifida occurs when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column does not close all of the way. I was born essentially with a hole in my back and spine and it is extremely painful. Lately my condition has caused muscle spasms up and down my legs and back and I receive shooting pains when I walk, sit or stand. Sometimes it feels like there is no relief. My amazing husband rubs Biofreeze and massages my spasming muscles everyday for me. I am so blessed to have him. 

Depression and Anxiety are two more enemies that I face everyday. I have my good days and bad days just like everyone else but sometimes it is an all out battle just to complete every day activities. I just want to sit in bed and cry or I over think a situation to a point where I no longer have the motivation to try anything new.

It is through this physical, emotional and mental suffering that I have found a closeness to God that I have never known. I honestly use to pity myself and just felt that I deserved to feel this pain because it was a punishment of some sort. I know now that is not the case. I feel God comfort me when I cry out asking for pain relief, for him to ease my overactive mind and to calm the sorrows that I feel like are drowning me. I am only 30 years young and I hope to live a long life. I know that my life is a blessing regardless of the pain and that God is besides me, holding me up so that I can make it to the next area he wants me. I am ready and willing to accept this cross. Jesus laid down his life so that I may have one. Who am I to question him? This is who I am. I have also come to accept the beauty in this relationship and cherish the growth in my faith from it. 

The Best Things in Life Aren't Planned

I am a planner. Planning, making lists, organization all make me feel safe and happy. I have come to the realization that life cannot be put together like a puzzle and that the most amazing parts of my life have happened completely differently than I anticipated. The unknown honestly scares me... but I have come to realize that although this is my life, I am not the driver, God is and his plans for me and more wondrous than anything I could dream up myself.This past year has been FULL of surprises and although at times these surprises seemed bad... they were the best things that could have ever happened to me and my family. If someone would have asked me just a few years ago where I would be in my life now? I would have told you a completely different story than what has happened. I am blessed beyond measure

Be More Appreciative

I have an awful habit of not seeing the amazing blessings right in front of my face. I need to learn to be more receptive of these blessings and acknowledge them. My husband would be one of these blessings. He is understanding, loving and thoughtful. I often forget all that he does for me and my family because I focus on the one time he didn't do the laundry, or the time he left dirty clothes on the floor. Why do I focus on such petty everyday activities? I honestly can't tell you why but I know it is not a good thing to do ever!

Our financial status is something else I need to learn to appreciate more. Yes, we owe a lot of money for legal fees and medical care and many other things but we have a nice warm home with an abundance of food and all the necessities we need to survive. We have what we need and that's all that should matter.

My back pain is something else I should appreciate because I only deal with pain when I could be unable to walk or do many other things for myself. Spina Bifida ended the life of my mom's sister before my mom was ever born.... It is a blessing that I am able to get around and I should focus on that more.

The Journey is just as Important as the Destination

Goalie has been struggling with many different medical diagnoses: ADHD, SPD, Anxiety and he is being tested for Autism. All of these things make school so extremely difficult for him. Although a specific diagnosis would help with his IEP, therapy costs and many other things, it should not change him. My son is amazing. He is the most compassionate human being, he is so loving and has taught me so much about patience, love and courage. We are discovering so much about each other and our relationship as mommy and son through this journey that I don't care if it ever ends. I don't ever want to change him but sometimes I do wish I could change aspects of the world for him. 

If All Else Fails; Just Love

Several times throughout this year I have been in a situation where I was at a loss for words and action. I just did not know what the right thing to do was for myself or the other people involved. I found that everything always works out when you choose the option that involves Love. Love can be as simple as a hug or listening ear, even if you don't feel like it. Or it can be a grand gesture of volunteering your time, talent or money for something that does not affect you. It also mean offering forgiveness or something else as difficult. Release yourself from the chains that hate breeds and allow healing and love to enter your soul. This is a lesson that I have had a hard time swallowing over the past few years. I have shared my story several times and although it's not pretty, it has led me to this moment here with my family and I wouldn't change a thing. Love can transform this world if we let it. This is the greatest thing that I have learned this year. 

I have shared these thoughts not for any other reason than to share my wisdom gained. Although these lessons may have been officially "learned" over the course of the past year, I can guarantee you that the Lord has been working on me for quite a longer time than just a year. So please, keep your heart and soul open to hear the advice that he is attempting to teach you and let's make 2017 the best possible year for ourselves and all those that we meet along the way. I am sharing this with Revolution of Love

God Bless!


  1. Thanks for sharing! I'm inspired by the way you've chosen gratitude, even when things don't go as you hoped or planned. :)

    1. Thank you! I think there are so many out there that have crosses more heavy to carry than me but sometimes its a good reminder for me to stop being so short sited in my life. Thanks for always being so positive! You are a true light in the darkness Alicia!

  2. Beautiful lessons learned! And, some of these things (such as finding meaning in suffering, and being more appreciative) can be *so* difficult when we are in the midst of things. This is a great reminder!

    1. Thank you! These things were epiphanies for me really... I guess I've always known I should work on these areas but the "ah-ha" moments were real shocking at times. I am praying to be more open and receptive to the lessons I need to learn in 2017!