I burned my finger on the wood stove this evening, and it hurts to type. Perfect.
My 2012 started out with pain, as usual. I broke my arm last December, and the first month of 2012 was spent recuperating. That was added to the pain in my neck (literally - not my husband, who sometimes can be just that) and my shoulder. Pain was my constant companion.
February was the month that our grandson had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. He was suffering from HSP (Henoch Schonlein Purpura). I tripped and fell on my sore arm in the middle of February, which gave me SORE MUSCLES for the rest of the month. One good thing was that my nephew and niece purchased a lovely home. That was exciting.
March meant worry over loved ones. A daughter in an abusive marriage, a husband with heart issues and many "bad heart days".
Helped nephew move in April. That was fun, but oh, the pain! The month was a blur of pain with worry mixed in.
May meant a daughter with a bad back, and another daughter who decided to hit the ground with her face.
June was an attempt at a normal life. I tried to buy and sell vegetables at the market. Physically could not handle it. Much more pain. Discouraged at the fact that I cannot do what I want to do.
In July, my daughter married her first love. (That was the highlight of the year.) July also brought difficult news from a friend, diagnosed with cancer, and difficult relationships within the family.
August - canning. Canning. Visiting with friends. More canning. Elena started work.
September - more canning. Marriage Difficulties.
October - broke three bones in left foot. Humbled ourselves at church, confessing sin. Sick Dog, barfing everywhere. An online friend lost her firstborn son to a car crash. This affected me deeply.
November. Pain from crutches. Pain from falling three times. Woe is me. Pain Clinic with Dr. Miller brought the diagnosis that nothing can be done about my pain. Sigh.
December. Gray and Cloudy month. More bad news. More hardship. More pain.
The Good News
I am not going to turn this around to be all sunny and light. It simply isn't. Two Thousand Twelve was a difficult year for me, and I for one am glad to see the end of it.
The good news, however, is that the end of the story hasn't been written yet. As the year draws to its final moments, I know my life will go on. I know that my every breath is in the Hands of the Lord, and that He is good, and that even if my life on this earth is cut off quickly, glory awaits, and my hope is sure.
I'm thankful for the Bible. If you read it, you'll know that I am not the only person with faith in God who has struggled.
Moses had a rough journey in the wilderness. Elijah was isolated and discouraged. Jonah despaired at the wickedness of the Ninevites, and could not understand why God would forgive such evil. Jeremiah lost hope. Naomi suffered grief in the loss of her sons and her husband. Job was a man of great sorrow, having lost more than I could imagine. Paul cried out for deliverance from his "thorn in the flesh".
Most of all, Jesus, my Saviour, is a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
“We are living in this short time, a time, indeed, full of sadness and sorrow. To live this short time in the spirit of Jesus Christ means to reach out from the midst of our pains and to let them be turned into joy by the love of him who came within our reach." ~Henri J. M. Nouwen
So the good news? Difficulties do not kill joy. In fact, I would say that true joy is deeper than pain, stronger than sorrow, more sure than sadness, and more solid than afflictions. JOY is a gift from Jesus.