Wow, a lot happened in my life in 2016! I knew in January that by the time December rolled around, I would have crossed the line that qualified me as a Medicare recipient.
What I did not anticipate was the death of my mom in February, although I was certainly not shocked when God called her to her heavenly home at age 86. I accepted her death with a mixture of relief that she is finally free of pain, and grief that our relationship here on earth now exists through a window of memories.
I anticipated more leg surgery for my husband this year, having been told in 2013 that the graft inserted into his left leg would only last twelve to sixteen months. Miraculously, that artificial vein lasted a year and a half beyond the projected time.
Still, God called him home during open heart surgery in June of this year.
Crossing into widowhood is not something I anticipated at the beginning of this year. I had faced the possibility of caring for my husband as an amputee, but that never happened.
Despite the sorrow, pain, grief, and losses that will mark 2016 in my memory forever, I look to 2017 with a sense of adventure and anticipation.
I’m a new person now, an orphan in place of a daughter, a widow instead of a wife, a child of God seeking His peace, comfort, and the contentment that only He can provide.
I have no doubt new challenges lie ahead. As I see myself in a different light, I am examining my weaknesses and drawing on my strengths.
One of the ways I manage my grief is to reach out to others who are fighting their own battle of hurt, pain, discouragement, and disillusionment. The main focus of my two blogs, Patti’s Porch and The Over 50 Writer is to give authors a place to share the stories behind their work, the struggles they have encountered, and the encouraging words they have for others.
My Blog Talk radio Show, Step Into the Light, is another source of encouragement for those who find themselves in a dark place. My guests share their own experiences with darkness and how they found their way back to light, or the venues they use to lead others to light from the shadows we all encounter in life.
Right now, I feel this is God’s calling for me, although deep inside, I still sense the desire to get my own struggles, life lessons, and insights into print. God has given me a wide range of experiences over my lifetime for a reason, and I sometimes wonder if he placed those twists and turns on my life path so I can guide others through them.
Despite the ruts and gullies I’ve had to navigate over the past year, I have felt the presence of My Heavenly Father every step of the way. I look ahead with confidence that He will guide me out of the valley to the mountaintop.
My prayer for 2017 is that I will make the trip as a willing and eager servant of His.
BIO: Patti has had short work published in two anthologies and local publications. She has three novels in progress. She has conducted workshops at Christian Writers conferences and served as an editor with a small publishing company. Patti loves to promote writers, both published and unpublished, on her two blogs, Patti’s Porch and The Over 50 Writer. She shares stories through personal interviews of those who have found their way from a dark place back to light or those who help others back to light on her weekly Blog Talk Radio show, Step Into the Light.
Patti lives in Southeastern Colorado and is fortunate to reside in the same town as her daughter and fifteen year old granddaughter, her only grandchild. Still, her heart brims with memories of the Adirondack North Country of New York, where she spent many childhood vacations and still returns periodicallyto visit family.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/PattiShene
Facebook - http://ow.ly/QN1u306koqf
Facebook (Step Into the Light page) - http://ow.ly/CRNS306koSJ
Blog talk radio show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stepintothelight