This first day of 2016 is an icy, overcast, bitterly cold one here in the mountains. As I stand here in my fuzzy socks, sipping steaming coffee, I wonder if the sun will ever break through that thick veil again. When I got up this morning, it was 18 degrees out there. Patches of glassy smooth ice make driving down our steep driveway a challenge. It’s been shoveled, salted, and scraped several times over the past few days, but continues it’s stubborn resistance to leaving. The sun is our only hope at this point, and so far today, it’s failed us. Guess we can hope for tomorrow.

A new year brings new hopes and dreams to most people. It’s refreshing to wipe the slate clean from the last 365 days, and open a new calendar. I find it cleansing in many ways to toss old calendars into the trash, and hang up a fresh, new one covered with new photographs and new possibilities. Every new year’s day I look forward to doing just that. It is a symbolic gesture that signifies the replenishing taking place on the inside as well as the outside.

The trouble with celebrating a new year with fresh possibilities is that for some of us the icy patches, like those in my driveway that prevent us from going anywhere, are still looming and must be dealt with day by day.

My life changed drastically this past year. Not only did I have to face my husband’s cancer treatment for the fourth year, but I had to watch the treatment completely reduce him to someone I hardly know. Radiation to the brain kills cancer, but it damages the brain in the process. We can certainly praise God that the cancer is declared in remission, but it’s difficult to keep praising while dealing with the effects of a damaged brain. Just as the sun is the only hope for my driveway, the Son is the only hope for my husband.

In this life we do have tribulation. Many are the troubles that come. I grieve in different ways on different days, but I also observe many others who have much more difficult situations than I. I do praise God for every blessing, great and small, as we travel this journey. I have no answer for why my husband has not been healed. All I know is that the Lord does sustain me, sustains us both, as we find new ways to do things each day.

I try to post positive and encouraging blogs each week on this site. This one is not meant to be a downer at all. I simply feel that being open and honest, sharing struggles as well as victories, is what we should do as fellow travellers down the roads of life. I know that many of you are believers and I definitely desire your prayers. Though some days are harder than others, I always know the Lord is with me. Sometimes I feel a burst of joy and peace and feel stronger, and I know someone is praying for us. The Lord said He would never leave us nor forsake us and that’s a promise I stand on. I cannot imagine walking through this without Jesus. He truly is the Light and my strength. He fills me when I’m empty and sometimes even puts a song in my heart.

This new year I will be sharing some struggles and I hope you will pray for us when we come to your mind. Please share yours with me as well. I will pray for you and yours. We can rejoice in the fact that this world is not our home—we’re just passing through—and God has given us each other for support and encouragement all along the way. I hope the sun comes out tomorrow up here in ice-land, but I know the Son never leaves, and He will shine on us with whatever it is we need this week.

Happy New Year to you all! I love you and pray blessings over your lives this year.