What I learned in 2018 and what I’m looking forward to in 2019

In just a couple of days, 2018 will be history and we will be in 2019. I’m looking forward to the new year. 2018 was far from perfect and had its fair share of hurts and disappointments, but it also held some good times as well.

For our family our biggest good news of 2018 was moving into our new house after nearly a decade of selling our old house. For me personally, the biggest good news of 2018 has been my health. Near the end of 2017, I had surgery that could either have improved my pelvic pain, made it worse or kept it the same. By springtime of 2018, I knew that it had actually helped. I have been able to live most of this year like a “normal” person. I’ve been able to go grocery shopping and make dinner in the same day. I’ve been able to start doing some more work again. I’ve been able to clean my house and still take my kids to the park in the same day. These things I appreciate so very much because I can’t always do them.

While my pelvic pain and bladder issues have been better overall this year, I’ve struggled with my fibromyalgia pain. There have been times that my knees hurt so much I had trouble climbing the stairs. There have been times I unpacked too many boxes in one day and couldn’t use my arms for a day or two afterward without significant pain. But, those times were more an exception than a norm. And for that, I’m thankful.

I’ve appreciated the good parts of 2018, but I also am ready to embrace a new year. I have more hope for 2019 than I have for pretty much any other year. I have a loved one who’s been dealing with a situation for nearly five years that I think will be resolved in 2019. I have a milestone birthday coming in May when I turn 40. My daughter has a milestone birthday as well as she enters double digits when she turns 10 in October.

We are moving forward. I don’t tend to make resolutions as much as think about goals for the new year. Some years my goals have been just to get through them. In 2019, I want to thrive, not just survive. I want to get more settled into our home. I want to continue to feel well health-wise. (I also know that can change, but I am going to appreciate the good times while they are here.) I want to continue to grow my blog. I want to make sure I take time to enjoy my kiddos and play with them when I can before they are too old to want to spend time with me. I want to laugh more than I cry. I want to act in love and grace more than irritation and frustration.

As I look through the calendar pages of my planner, I know there are 365 days in 2019 and not all of them will be good. I think back over these past few years that have held various losses that have broken my heart. And I pray that 2019 will be a year of restoration and healing. If it isn’t, though, I also know that God will be there. No matter what this year holds, I’m not going into it alone — and neither are you.

While I have hopes, goals and prayers for the new year, I can’t guarantee any of them. God knows what 2019 will hold for each of us. Our job is just to hang on, enjoy the ride and focus on the One who holds us.

I hope your 2019 is full of love, blessings — and much grace!

In order to enjoy time with my family for New Year’s, I won’t be posting a new blog on Monday as usual. Blog posts will return on Wed., Jan. 3. Thanks for your understanding!

About the Author: Stacey A. Shannon

Stacey A. Shannon is a freelance journalist and blogger who has been published internationally. She's also a Christian, a wife and a mom of two school-aged children. She started Families with Grace in 2019 to encourage Christian moms as they create homes filled with grace, love and faith.

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