I was sitting in my bedroom with the door locked, crying. Again. Sadly, I wasn't one of those moms that never allowed her kids to see their parents fight. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and tell my young self to "stop it". I would tell myself-"dry your tears and look up for a minute at your four children who are watching and listening" Marriage can be tough. There are those sweet times that I write about, but there are also some hard times. Some fighting. Some hurt. Some wrongs on both sides. Marriage isn't easy and life isn't easy. I'm thankful for a husband who forgives but is also willing to ask for forgiveness. This isn't always the case. People will hurt us. Friends and even loved ones will undeservedly hurt us, sometimes over and over. Our hearts can feel like they are breaking and as we sit crying and not understanding why, we have one of two choices. Stay there in that pain and justify our continued, righteous sadness or~ allow Jesus to shine from us. How often did I stay there? Too often. And even as I got older and went through heart aches and trials in my life, it seemed like it was still always about me~ "well God is allowing this to happen for MY good"~ when all along it was never about me, but all about Him. I was just focusing on Charisse too much to see it. Yes, God has a purpose in every trial we go through. Yes, He wants to teach us something through our trials, but we are only human. We feel pain and sadness. Our Savior understands that, and all along He is right there whispering to us~let me take that pain away and shine through you. Sometimes we don't think we can, because our human hearts feel it so deeply that we can't let it go. Just like my children were watching how I reacted, the world is also watching. I would go back in a heartbeat and react differently if I could now, but I can't. That doesn't mean I'm just going to throw in the towel. I will learn from my mistakes and realize now that every hurt, every bad thing that happens is intended for good. Not mine, but His. To show His glory so that others might come to know Him. Every day is a gift. A new beginning to start fresh. His mercy and compassion are new every morning. Today, as we end this year and begin a new one, let's determine not to stay in 2016. Let's open the windows of our hearts to God and even on our cloudiest, darkest days, let the Son, in all His glory, shine.