First, let me wish you a very happy new year. I've seen lots of people write online (mostly Facebook) "Good riddance, 2011! Let's hope 2012 is better!" While I do know it was a very hard year from some people (for example. my friends who lost their first baby a week before his due date), I worry that many of us are too focused on the negatives in our lives.
Let's look at my 2011. My husband is working low-wage temp jobs, because he can't seem to get a good job (he was laid off 2 1/2 years ago and he's still struggling to get back in the right path). I've been stuck in a full-time job I don't want while a babysitter raises my babies. And I found out (once again) that my husband had been lying to me about his addiction. Crappy year? Actually, no.
My husband and I have learned patience. Lots of it. In constantly searching job opportunities, my husband has a much better idea of what he wants to do than he did when he was in his old job. I have a very good job and am lucky to work with amazing people. My kids absolutely love their babysitter and we consider her family our kids' second family. If I can't be with them all day, I'm glad they are with her. Heck, I'm lucky just to have kids, let alone such healthy and happy kids. I am learning patience with my husband. He is learning to trust me. We are closer to our Heavenly Father (together) than we ever have been before. We pray together every day. We read scriptures. We talk openly about his struggles. We check in weekly about our emotional well being. We are supporting each other.
If it weren't for 2011, my husband and I would not be as close as we are to each other or to our Father in Heaven.
So let's start 2012 off right. Look back at 2011. What have you learned? What do you have to be thankful for? How are you going to use those things to influence the next year? Let's be grateful for our trials. And let's learn from them, because if we aren't learning from them, then we are just suffering through them. And that's no way to live.
I'm looking forward to 2012. Are you?