I’ve had some genuinely good years in my life. Until now, my favourite year was 2008 into early 2009. I had a summer internship at a local theatre and spent my days rehearsing scenes and painting sets. My family went to Disney World and I celebrated my 15th birthday at my happy place. I started my freshman year of high school and loved all my course work. I finished the handwritten first draft of a novel, saw my first opera, sang my first foreign language piece, had my last chemotherapy treatment for arthritis, and went to my very first dance.
Yes, 2008 was pretty swell. But 2015 definitely has won the title of “Best Year of the 22 I’ve Lived So Far.” I would have to say that the primary reason it’s been so incredible is that I’ve been able to spend it with my amazing husband. But I’ve done a lot of growing this year as well.
The first year of marriage is not without its challenges. It was admittedly very difficult for me to move 10 hours away from my close family and friends to a place where I knew nobody save my husband. But the move enabled me to jump into the art of creating my own family, in my own house. I soon came to realise that my husband and I together (and of course, Baby Asaro) is all the family I need. Now I barely miss the family I grew up with. Sure, I talk to my mom or a sibling almost every day, but there’s no more burning need to drive the many miles back to New Jersey the moment I feel a little bit down. I learned to love my home and cherish the memories that we’re making here.
And my little family of two unexpectedly grew when we found out about the conception of our daughter in July. It definitely took us by surprise. Both my husband and I are meticulous planners and, I’ll be honest, baby during the first year (or even first five years) was NOT on the very well organised spreadsheet that I put together. We definitely panicked at first and argued quite a bit, neither one of us really knowing why we were feeling so stressed out, but dishing it on the other anyway. However, God taught us to calm down and be patient, to let Him do the leading. I suppose He wanted to teach us early in the game that we’ve got to be flexible, especially as a couple living the Navy life. Now, with just three more months to go, we are beyond excited and counting down the days until we get to see our beautiful little girl’s face and hold her in our arms.
I lost a couple friends this year and thought my heart would surely break because of it. In a world where people are encouraged to cut off “toxic” relationships, I believe that, contrarily, Christians should be reconciled to one another and not cut each other out of one another’s lives; rather, forgiving one another and seeking to live at peace together, even if this means not being close confidants or having exactly the relationship you may have had before. Sadly, in our world of sin, that doesn’t always happen and there are people I once called dear friends who now are perfect strangers to me, despite attempts at reconciliation. That hurts the heart deeply. But God is faithful. He knows His people require fellowship and companionship and He didn’t leave me on my own for a second. I’ve made wonderful new friendships in the church and have strengthened the bond with some old friends (praise the Lord for the telephone and group text messages!). My mom always told me that God will provide friends when you need them and it’s so true. I still miss and love those I’ve lost and pray that someday we can at least be civil presences in each other’s lives. If not in this year, the next. And if not in this life, the life hereafter.
Mostly this year has been about falling in love. Every day, I fall harder for my hardworking officer husband, taking in all his quirks and habits, learning what makes him tick, cherishing all his reactions. From the moment I wake up to his alarm at 4:30 in the morning to the moment I fall asleep all cuddled up next to him at 9pm (we’re old, okay?), I’m overwhelmed by his sheer awesomeness. A man who never gives up, even in the face of some severely discouraging events; a man who acts honourably in every situation, even when he sees others acting in less than savoury ways; a man who pushes his limits, striving to be the best man he can possibly be; a man who throws all his faith on Jesus to guide him through the deep waters; a man who leads men by serving them. He who shakes his head at all the terrible puns I make, but throws his head back laughing as I start to laugh at my own jokes. He who will be seriously reading one minute, but in the next moment will chase me around the kitchen wrapped in a blanket, humming Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor as he pretends to be a vampire who just wants a hug. I love every second with him and just keep falling in love with my dear best friend and husband.
I’ve fallen in love with a tiny person whose face I’ve only seen in pictures too. It’s a weird kind of love. Primal, almost. As I rub my belly and sing songs to the little kicker in there, I am overwhelmed by the amount of love I feel for her. I would do anything to protect her and make sure she feels loved and safe. I want to be able to shield her from heartbreak and pain, to keep her safe from anybody who would ever wish to hurt my little gem. But I know that that’s not really my job and also happens to be impossible. I’m praying that God will give hubby and I the grace, ability, and strength to raise this precious baby in godliness and constantly point her to Jesus. I pray for her every day. It’s crazy… I’ve never known this kind of love before and it only makes me more thankful that God, having all this love for His only Son, sacrificed Him for my sins and my baby’s sins.
And speaking of that love, I’ve been so wooed by Jesus this year. He has brought me so close and taught me complete dependence on Him. I’ve been so blessed by the church He’s lead us to, the Bible study that He’s put me in, and the blessing He has bestowed upon my family this year. What a friend we have in Jesus! If I’m overwhelmed by the love I have for Baby, I am doubly overwhelmed by the love Jesus has for me and all His people. “Amazing love, how can it be, that You my King would die for me? Amazing love, I know it’s true and it’s my joy to honour You.”
So that’s my ramble about 2015. 2016 will bring its own set of adventures, joys, and challenges, and I can’t wait to experience them all!
Happy New Year, friends!