What a difference a year makes…




Ahhh what a difference a year makes. This was last year’s visit to the Easter Bunny compared to this year’s. Clearly an improvement.

It got me thinking about everything else that has changed this past year. Last year’s picture of Bud with the Easter Bunny was taken about 6 weeks after Sam left for Afghanistan. This year’s picture was taken about 4.5 months after Sam got home.

Bud was seriously overtaken with separation anxiety after Sam left and it didn’t go away until recently. It was crippling. I couldn’t walk across the room without him screaming. I had moved him from the only home he’d known, his daddy left, and his little world had been turned upside down.

Now when we take him to the church nursery or when I leave him with a friend, he doesn’t even look back! He takes off giggling towards the other kids or toys and only a few months ago, there were complete melt-downs. He knows his family is together, his “normal” has been restored. Redemption.

Now that my normal is wonderfully in place, I am grateful for this past year.

I’ve learned I can be quite self-sufficient. I can install shelves, blinds, and curtains. I can change hard to reach light bulbs, mow the grass, and run our household. I have learned that friends are invaluable, especially on hard days. I have learned how to savor a margarita and laugh with my girls. I learned how to put on a brave voice for my husband and how to put on a vulnerable heart with my friends and family. I learned how to incorporate Sam into our daily life without him being there. I learned that for better or worse, everything is shifting sand and the things I had made a habit of grabbing onto (like my husband) weren’t there and I was clutching to my Father for survival for the first time. Do you know the fullness that comes from that!? Redemption.

I have learned, I have grown, I have cried, I have laughed, and I have survived. It was a crapshoot of a year but so full of richness and growth that I couldn’t trade the world for even if I wanted to.


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