To say that 2012 was a hard year would be an understatement. To say I'd like to forget it would be wrong. If I did that, I would have lost all of the lessons learned and would not have grown. And believe me, there were MANY lessons learned.
The year brought more pain than I could have possibly imagined. I was betrayed in the worst way by someone I considered a friend. I was betrayed in the worst way by my best friend. The sword went in me, deep, and was twisted over and over and over again, up and down and left and right. It sliced me in ways unfathomable. It pierced my heart. It spliced my soul. It demolished my trust in people. I am still in the healing process and I'm still wounded.
However, these hurts taught me lessons.
Lesson one - friends, TRUE friends, are there for you in your deepest, darkest hours. They will hold your hand and support you, even when they don't support your decisions. They will hug you and let you cry. They will hold the phone to their ears while you sit in silence on the other end, not saying a word, just to let you know they're there. They will wrap their arms around you in church when you break down in uncontrollable sobs. And they will not judge you during this entire meltdown. They will help you build yourself back up, ready to face the world with you. They will love you.
Lesson two - your spouse should be the relationship you nurture the most, not take advantage of. You never know what others are capable of, but if you have a solid foundation, you can overcome it. He must be honored, respected, and cherished, always. He must be shown these things, regularly. Never take it for granted that he knows. Show him. Every. Day. Continue to pursue. Continue to flirt. Continue to build upon your relationship. This is the relationship you must keep strong, because one day (Lord willing), your children will move out, but your spouse will remain. Make sure you want each other there when you're all alone.
Lesson three - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, submit to Him and He will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6. I made many decisions this year that I had a hard time making. The last thing I wanted to do was make this decision or that one. I am grateful for my upbringing and my faith because before I said yes or no, stay or go, I closed my eyes, and cried out. I prayed fervently, more than I ever had before. I tried to tell Him "no", and He laughed and said, "Yes". So, I did as I was told and am forever blessed in doing so. My year could have turned out so differently, and not for the better, if I had not listened with my heart and done what I heard. I am eternally thankful.
However, the year was so much more than pain and suffering. L has made progress in leaps and bounds thanks to her acceptance into the STX-209 study. She is able to make sense of words and sentences, communicate somewhat effectively the majority of the time, and can enter unfamiliar places without too much prodding. Her kinder teacher has nothing but praise for her, and she is starting to play with her classmates. I can honestly smile just thinking about everything she has accomplished this last year.
K, too, has made much progress. She decided that panties feel better than pull-ups, so she is finally potty-trained!! It took a while for her to realize that L had a reason for not using the potty; once she finally understood, there was no looking back! She makes a great "big" sister and is helping teach L. K is also impressing her daycare teacher - she was the first in her class to be able to spell her name, count to 30, and recognize every letter and number. It probably helps that she assists me in helping L with her homework. It's definitely fun seeing her learn so much so quickly.
Overall, I'd say 2012 was a growing year. Every one of us has been taught lessons that will stick with us for the rest of our lives. There are many things I'd never wish to relive and never wish on my worst enemy, but those are the things that taught me the most and forced me to grow.
Thank you to my friends and family for helping me, guiding me, and letting me cry on your shoulders. I could not have survived this without you.
Here's hoping 2013 is a less stressful year where healing continues, growth is less painful, and love expands exponentially.