The year 2016 was a tough year. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. To be honest, I’m kind of glad it’s over. There were definitely some high points, like when some dear friends from Hope College came to visit, as well as our much-needed holiday in Turkey. We also celebrated Titus’s first birthday.

Despite how hard the year was, God taught me so much through the pain. I decided to come up with a list of 16 things I learned in 2016. Turns out I have a lot to be grateful for despite the pain and grief.

16 Things I Learned in 2016

16 Things I Learned in 2016

  1. I grieve because I love the one I lost.
  2. Hope shows up in different ways–both in dark times and in the light.
  3. My friends are amazing. (Who else would travel across the Atlantic just to visit for 4 days?)
  4. It’s not wise to listen to the doctor when he tells me to basically stop my antidepressant cold turkey.
  5. Grief is a process of learning to live again after loss.
  6. It’s ok to have a hard time.
  7. It’s time to make positive memories.
  8. God uses the smallest people to make the biggest difference.
  9. My children bring healing to my broken heart.
  10. When approaching hurdles (significant anniversaries), the anticipation is often worse than the actual event.
  11. The size of my loss will never change–my life just grows to accommodate it better.
  12. We are grieving in a healthy way.
  13. Choosing to focus on hope for an entire year was epic. It’s going to be a hard one to top!
  14. God delivers in unexpected and different ways.
  15. I need a hobby.
  16. Exercise really does make a difference!

I will probably go into more detail on these in the coming months. For now, I’ll let them speak for themselves.

What did you learn in 2016? Praying you can find things to be grateful for despite whatever hardship you’re walking through.

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