So for the last post of 2012 I am going to depart from a devotional entry and focus on some personal reflections. 2012 will be a year I will remember for a long time. And not for all its joys. It has been a tough one. I have some years like that from my past: 1981, 1986, 1991, 1994, 2000, 2008. All of them to tough for various reasons.
2012 started rough. My dad was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer at the beginning of 2012. There was a lot of chemo and occasional hope along the way. He fought hard. And he went home to be with The Lord in October. We had some good times and great events this last summer together. But saying goodbye to your dad is not easy, especially when he takes the cancer train to his final destination. It was hardest knowing that I lived far away and could not help him or my mom as much as I wanted to help. But the family holds together fine. We are better to have suffered through this together.
2012 also saw us move Joni's parents back to Kansas City. This was a task that took a lot from us. There were many trips back in forth to Pomme de Terre to help them get ready, and then to help them move. And navigating that change with them and for them has been challenging. But it is good to have them just 20 minutes, rather than 3 hours, away. And it is a joy to serve them even in the challenges.
It was a rough year for my wife, diagnosed with Lyme's disease in late summer. Most people don't know it, but she has been quite sick. Thankfully, it seems the worst of it is over and she is feeling better, but Lyme's is notorious for bringing unexpected bad days without warning. This is something we will continue to manage together.
But what do we do with tough years? For me it is a relief to see the calendar page turn over to 2013. Just that sense of another year before me gives perspective. I am not one to complain about the events I have been given to experience, so I will do my best trusting that God will bring me future perspective on 2012, just like He has now done with those hard years from my past. Tough years show me the loving mercies of a faithful God.