Even though this past year has been so hard on me, I have been blessed by so many beautiful experiences and tender mercies. My heart is so appreciative to those who brought a little sparkle into my life this year.
This year I experienced loneliness in a deep piercing way I had never known before. And even though I wasn't alone, it doesn't change the way I felt or that that was my very own gethsemane up to this point in my life. Some days I would pray constantly because it was absolutely the only thing I could bring myself to do, other days I honestly didn't feel like praying at all. I started to feel like God couldn't hear my prayers or if He did, He was pouring blessings on everyone but me. But my message to you today isn't about misery, it's about hope.
HOPE; that's what so many people brought into my life this year. That's the message I learned most this year, is that hope is ALWAYS there. It took missing hope, to find it and believe in it like never before.
On days when I felt so useless and like a grain of sand that was to soon be swept up by the tides of the ocean, a dear friend would bring me a plate of goodies when I least expected them, or a ward member would show up with some chocolate, or a servant of Christ would come to my home to listen to me open my heart, or a letter would show up in my mail box reminding me of the good qualities I have to offer, or an email would be found in my inbox of some of my spiritual qualities that I couldn't see, and even receiving phone calls and texts out of nowhere from those I hadn't heard from for a while.
Each of these very tender and thoughtful acts of service and hope reminded me of just how much God is looking out for me, just how many of my burdens Christ was carrying for me, and how much one simple act of service can bring hope.
That is why my one word for 2016 is SPARKLE - I want to serve many this year. I want to deliver hope because of the sparkle that was brought into my life when I needed it most.