Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Twelfth Day: My Family

"On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
twelve drummers drumming."

My family is the final thing which has sustained me through my life. I truly have an amazing family. Having grown up in the military, I have no sense of belonging anywhere, no real sense of roots or connection to any one place. But perhaps because of that, my family is my connection, my roots. If it had not been for my Dad and my Mom, I would have never recognized the severity of the life I had been living while married, nor had the strength to get out of it.

For a long while, I called my mom multiple times per day to cry on her shoulder as I weathered the considerable consequences of standing up for myself. My dad was always there to give me perspective when I needed it. My daughters have been a constant source of joy. It is for them that I have been able to do it all. A few good friends who are the family of my heart have been rich support.

But family is even more than that. Knowing that I have an Eternal family, getting to know my Heavenly Parents and my Savior better, has been what allowed me to come through my trials with greater love for others, a burning desire to serve and to do good.

I am, at my core, a very selfish and self-centered person. It is something I have struggled with for years. As a child, I was always odd, marching to the beat of a different drummer, often to the point where I gloried in my difference.

But as I get older, I have seen the value in unity. When people work together, bonded by love, miracles happen. I have been blessed with it in my own life, and I intend to become a part of it for others.

If I can take my experiences and bless others who are suffering, it will all be worth it. And that is the final thing which has sustained me over the past several years. In a few short days, the year turns over and I will be another year older. I have never before felt the power of a new year the way I am feeling it now.

Next year will be new. I start a new chapter of my life, a chapter free from fear and free from bitterness. I don't imagine that it will be a magic wand that suddenly changes everything. But I sense a change coming, and I am ready to meet it.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. Thank you for your life.

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