Count Your Blessings in 2012

“Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.” –Psalm 31:21

2012 has arrived and many of us have moved from family mode to reflective mode. We are making lists and making goals. We are resolving to exercise more, read more, accomplish a difficult task, or learn a new skill. We are looking back at 2011 and looking forward to 2012. The beginning of a year can feel very hopeful and anticipatory about what is to come. Maybe 2011 wasn’t the year you expected, and you want 2012 to be the turning of a page and start of a new and better chapter of your life.

I can relate. 2010 was a hard year for us. My grandpa died in February of that year and then I miscarried in August. I ended one grief process only to be met with another. And I remember when the clock struck midnight I was relieved that 2010 was over. 2011 was supposed to be the year of hope for us. It was supposed to restore the years (or months) that the locusts had eaten (Joel 2:25). I was excited and ready to move beyond this season of our lives. Less than a month into the new year, Daniel’s grandmother passed away. And then a month later we started seeing a doctor who informed us that our difficulty with getting pregnant again might be related to fertility issues. Where was the hopeful 2011 I had anticipated? It wasn’t even spring yet, and here we were facing similar heartaches at the start of another year.

I wish I could say 2011 ended with a pretty bow and “they lived happily ever after.” While we are happy and enjoying one another, the story hasn’t changed much since the end of 2010. This chapter in our life isn’t over, but I know that my attitude towards it has changed. As I reflected on 2011 last week Psalm 31:21 was the constant theme in my mind. It’s really easy to reflect on our circumstances and only see the gaping, baby-shaped void in our lives. It is there, and that’s just a reality that we are living with. But it’s not what defines us (especially me) anymore. Yes, we are in the besieged city of infertility and loss right now. Yes, our hearts ache a lot. But God has shown up. He has shown us his love and care for us in ways we never would have known if our 2011 had the alternate ending of a smiling baby in our arms.

And that’s what matters more than anything. As I begin 2012, and reflect on 2011, I am reminded of so many evidences of his steadfast love to me—too many to count. It’s easy to forget these things when the thing that I want most right now is missing. But just because I forget them doesn’t mean they aren’t true. God did so many great things for me in 2011, and I know that his kindness to me will continue into 2012, with or without a baby to call my own.

So, here’s to holding on to hope in 2012. God has shown his steadfast love to me, even in a besieged city. Even when my circumstances are unstable, my God will never change.