2016 sucked; yes, and…

on social media i keep seeing tweets and updates about how much 2016 sucked. it was a year of struggle, disappointment, and violence. a president was elected in the United States that half the country didn’t/still doesn’t want. also, a lot of celebrities died, which is really what brought this concept of 2016 horrible-ness to the surface.

and those are terrible things: death is sad and violence hurts my heart.

but i think we can also agree that a lot of beautiful things happened in 2016 admit the hurtful. one of my childhood best friends is now an aunt and i saw her 4 week old nephew over Christmas. his little red face was so precious and loving. i got to see five national parks including the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Rocky Mountain. i also traveled to New Mexico, Wyoming, Iowa, and Utah for the first time. i was let go from my technology job and entered into seminary. i read some amazing books by brilliant people and saw beautiful art. i started going to spiritual direction and my soul flourished. my grandmother passed and i walked through hospice with her.

really is a dichotomy, you see, of the two. death walks hand in hand with life. death walks with resurrection. it is not as black and white as “terrible” and “good.” the springtime brings new life after the dead of winter.

so, don’t opt out of 2016 by saying it was a year of terrible-ness. i think there is more hope for all us than that blanket statement.

let’s hold gratitude in one hand and compassion in the other for 2016.

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