I’ve stopped short of saying this has been a horrible year several times. One reason is because just before those words can fill up my mouth with their bitterness, I actually can recount lots of joy. And I have a record of that joy in a journal. But those words stop short mainly because I know deep (deep, deep, deep) down that while there have been many disappointments and so much pain, that those disappointments and pain have been time in the Refiner’s fire, shaping me, molding me, burning away the impurities in my life…preparing me for great things to come in 2014. I have this feeling that God is going to ask me to do some scary huge things this year that can only be accomplished in His power. Things that can only be accomplished because of His humbling, mighty, loving hand through the pain of this past year. Instead of cursing this painful year, I’m going to be thankful for it because if I’ve learned one thing this year it’s that thanksgiving always precedes the miracle. And I don’t know about you, but I could sure use some miracles. So, 2013, while I’m going to be thankful for you, I’m also thankful you’re over! Let’s give it a little time before we reminisce on the lessons learned because I’m leaving you behind and looking forward to great things in 2014.