Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Year's Eve 2010: Full Circle

This New Year's Eve held special significance for me. One year ago I wrote the following about the emotions of celebrating this night without Ian and Alec in our home:
I have to admit that my heart was not into the celebration on New Year's Eve.

Even as I mixed salads and iced a Texas sheet cake; even as I greeted friends as they arrived for an evening of food and fun together at church; even as I watched the fireworks and joined in the hugs and well wishes for a great year in 2010 ... The tears were always near the surface and thoughts of my boys who did not make it home in 2009 weighed heavily on my heart.

... Shortly after 1 a.m. our family said our goodbyes and headed home. We were only the second family to do so, but by 2 a.m. our kids were tucked in and soundly asleep. I took a minute to kiss each soft cheek and pray over each one, asking God's special blessing in this coming year. Once in my own bed, I asked for just one more thing: that very, very soon I would have two more sleeping sons to kiss goodnight.

It is my dearest wish and hope to begin this New Year.
Little did I know then how my prayer would be answered - the hope that would rise from heartbreak and the beauty out of ashes. Though never in a million years would I have wished our joy to come at the expense of such devastation, yet I am deeply grateful for God's protection over the lives of our sons and the incredible way He brought them safely home and into our arms.

It was with this on my heart that I entered into the New Year's celebration this year. I remembered through each step of the night the opposite emotions that had flooded me just twelve months ago; whereas this time my spirit overflowed with thanksgiving to have my little boys at my side.

Once again, we joined the crowds and made our way down to the beachfront for the fireworks display, only now as I sat in the same spot where last year my eyes filled with tears and my arms felt so lonely I was given the gift of holding a son in each arm and experiencing another thrilling "first" with them. Their eyes opened wide and sparkled in wonder at the lights and the noise and the explosive bursts of flashing fireworks against the night sky.

I looked over my shoulder and saw my husband with our daughters and Owen close by, our entire family within a few feet of one another as we watched the colorful display. How thankful I am for this gift! -for this life God has granted us, and the grace He has shown us.

Happy New Year's, indeed.


Life with Kaishon said...

So thankful for what God gave you in 2010 Stephanie. Very, very thankful.

HollyMarie said...

Happy New Year Stephanie! What a blessed moment to have all your family with you and to praise Him for it.