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2014 that is.  Today is the last day of the year.  It’s a day where some are reflecting, some are looking forward and some are just wondering how they will get home tonight.  For me, it’s a little of the first two but I’ll be home tonight so that last question isn’t an issue.

There were lots of changes in 2014 for me.  Some weren’t so great.  Some were AWESOME!  Yes, worthy of capital letters.

As I reflect on 2014, I can easily think about some long days and nights of darkness and remember the pain.  Not just remember, I can still feel it in my gut.  I remember feeling hopeless at times.  I remember being angry with God.  I remember thinking I did not want to go on.  I remember nights with little sleep and a lot of tears.

As I reflect on 2014, I realize how far I moved emotionally.  From pain to joy.  From despair to thanksgiving.  Friends helped me through the dark days and my faith carried me too.  Faith that God had something in store for me.  Faith that life would get better.  Psalms 27:13-14 stuff.  I got a job that brought me hope.  I came home and proposed to an incredible woman.  I got married and went to Colorado and she went flyfishing with me.  How crazy is that?

2014 was a year that taught me two things.  One, life is hard.  Every single day has obstacles and some of them will crush you if allowed to.  Two, thankfulness is a choice requiring action.  There are good things happening in life, some small and some big.  The big ones are easy to figure out so it’s the small ones I have to seek out daily and choose to focus on what is good.

I don’t like the road I had to travel in 2014 but I am thankful for the lessons and thankful for where the road led me.  That is enough.  I remember the darkness and I will let that memory live so I might be able to be a light of hope for others going through darkness.  At the same time, I am thankful for what the light has brought into my life and I  have immense hope for what the future holds.

Grace and peace.