I can honestly say that this has been the most unbelievable, challenging, rewarding, difficult, exciting, faith-stretching, life-changing year of my life! Have I loved every minute? No. Looking back, am I thankful for every minute? Completely.
There have been SO many changes in my life that I never dreamed would happen, but thankfully, God was right on top of those, and He saw me through those times.
Seriously, if you would have asked me a year ago today that I would:
begin doubting my career as a teacher
give birth at 27 weeks
not teach for 12 weeks after that (...and not have my sub plans ready, mind you! Eek!)
watch my baby fight for her life in a hospital
cry more tears than I wish to admit
watch babies lose their lives in the NICU
be heartbroken for those Mommies and Daddies
learn how difficult it can be to be the Mama of a micro-preemie
leave the school that I grew to love
fight what can only be described as a bout with depression during A's hospital stay
...I would have told you that you were absolutely nuts. Stuff like this just doesn't happen to me, right? Isn't that so easy to say? ha! God has a way of rocking your world and making you realize that He is indeed in control of this whole shindig! Thank Heavens.
On the flip side, some amazing things happened in my life, too! Here are just a few:
leaned on God and felt His presence in every. single. minute. of this year!
learned that my teensy baby girl is a fighter :)
learned more about a NICU than I ever thought possible... and felt pretty darn smart about it, too!
made friends in the NICU that I will treasure forever
learned that my husband is more amazing than I ever dreamed
learned how supportive our family really is
found out just how true friends can be when times are tough
loved having a baby at HOME! :)
took a gazillion pictures!
fell in love with a blue-eyed girl
helped open a school that I love
started loving my job again (thanks to these sweeties!)
loved every aspect of living my dream of being a Mama :)
got to wake up every day to the happiest baby on the planet!
... the list goes on and on. :)
Now, is every day peachy? No. But like I said earlier, I have learned to be thankful and content in everything. If I can show Addie anything from this first year of her life, it is that God is SO faithful to us. He will stretch you, break you, and bend you... but all the while, He is molding you into the woman He wants you to be. He puts some people in your life that are there forever... and others that are only there for a season. Each of those people has a purpose... something He wants you to learn and use to grow closer to Him. I also want her to know that she was chosen to have an awesome story and that she is to use it to help others and teach them about God and His faithfulness. It's my prayer that she will be a woman who does this from a young age. :)
It's pretty stinking amazing how He works it all together.
Happy 2011, friends!