Dear 2019,

I started my year with high aspirations with you. There was motivation. There was inspiration. There was holding on to the hope that the only thing I ever wanted would finally come into fruition.

Today, as I embark on the last day with you I’m trying to focus on not what I’ve lost but what I’ve gained. It’s been a great battle this year. We have suffered physically – a measles quarantine, a lost hope. We have suffered emotionally – being reminded as fosters we have to often times do what we don’t want to. We have suffered spiritually – shaky foundations aren’t worth it. We have suffered mentally – feeling unworthy after losing our jobs for choosing to be parents. We have suffered in every possible way we could with you.

But, 2019, though we feel defeated, mistreated, unfairly targeted I wanted you to know, you have not won. After fighting so hard the two years prior to beat depression and anxiety you assaulted us in the cracks we have not allowed God to seal. You have reminded us of the infertility, the brokenness, the longing in our hearts for a new family and our old. You threw depression at us like it was a colorfully wrapped present. You showered us with anxiety attacks like it was a fun day at the beach. You saw us fall to our knees every single time you knocked us down in hopes we’d finally stay down.

2019, I’m glad you got to see us stand again. I’m glad you got to see – though we greatly struggled – that even through the pain in our hearts, the uneasiness, and the uncertainty we stood in faith that God would get us through. And He did. You neglected to remember that we are only here today because of Christ. We are only here today because God told us to not let go and we are too damn stubborn to let go of anything. We stood again because it was the only thing left to do.

As we usher in a new year, we will remember you. We will remember the events you have unfolded and cling hand in hand looking up. We aren’t strong together. But, if there is one thing we have learned this year we are strong in Him. We may not be where we need to be in our faith as people. We may not be where we need to be in our faith as parents. We may not be where we need to be in our faith as a couple. But, you cannot deny our faith.

The darkness you’ve so happily hovered over our heads this year, we are denying and leaving it behind. In 2020 we choose joy. Joy through the fear. Joy through the uncertainty of loss. Joy through the depression and anxiety. Joy through the darkness. Our joy isn’t coming. It. Is. Here.

Never happier to say goodbye,