Best of 2016

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Spent most of yesterday reflecting on 2016. Since I am more visual and at a loss for words to describe the previous 365 days, I tried using the #best9of2016 to see how that might help me. That just reminded me of all the pics that I have posted that meant more to me than the ones deemed “best of 2016”. So I came up with this #best12of16. 

Last year was not something I can condense into one photo collage, but I tried to do the best I could. I thought this was better because dividing up the memories from 2016 into 9 cute; even squares doesn’t seem appropriate because last year was made up of some pretty epic, life-altering events for me and some small, not so visible to everyone changes. So here it is, my 2016 in one image. It’s made up of reminders of grief and mourning I never expected, relationships that have made my life more full, the riches and blessings given to me by my heavenly Father, and losses that I will not soon forget. What you probably can’t see in this picture is the way God has used each of the images to change me. I enter 2017 a different person than I was in 2016. Over the coming days, weeks and months, I will write more about it and share it with you. Not because I have all the answers, but because the change internally is so profound I am challenging myself get it out of my mind and heart, so that you might be encouraged. One of the things I have noticed this year is God’s sovereignty in timing. Lots of things happened that I was not expecting and never saw coming. Some of them I greeted with great joy and longing because I have waited and hoped for them. Others came with crushing grief and loss I was not sure I could bear. Just thinking about those as I wrote the last sentence, I was overwhelmed with emotion and tears filled my eyes.  For those who have known me before 2016, that might sound odd and not "Randy-like, ” but that's part of this new me that I will write about later. So many things happened right when they needed to for me to be ready for the next moment God was going to use to shape me more into the image of Jesus. 

So here’s to 2016, a year filled with blessing beyond measure, filled with tragedy, hope, newness, change, a new beginning, awakening, and grace. I will write more, again not because I am good at it or love it, but because I need to. Will you call me out if you go for weeks and don’t see something from me?