This year was going to end relatively quiet until the end of the year. October, my heath issues started, and in December, literally one week before Christmas, a family crisis had happen. So far things are looking positive for the family crisis, and only time will tell about my health issues.

However, regardless of how we planned this year, and how it ended, I’m sure that it was completely different than what any of us had in mind. Yet I’m thankful. I know, how can you be thankful when it feels like your world is crumbling around you? Being thankful is the hardest and yet easiest things I can be at the moment. Hard because: yes, I do feel like my world is crumbling around me, and yet it’s the easiest thing to do because we easily forget it.

So, this year I’m thankful for:

1. Family. When one family goes through a crisis, you can always depend on family to rally around you and give you support. When you feel like the issue that you’re facing is too large for you, its family that gives you the extra emotional support to help you get through the dark times. For my family, I’m very thankful.

2. Faith. Nothing is possible without faith. Nothing is impossible for God. When you don’t know how something is going to get done, all you have to do is ask God, “How do you plan on doing this? I know this is way bigger than me.” Without faith, we would be wondering how to get through our daily lives. When we see a challenge, we won’t know how to get through it, but faith provides us the direction, and it leads us to the calm solution.

3. The Internet. Hahaha, why would I be thankful for something like that? Well, there is so much information regarding everything on it. Not only people talk about the same issues that you are going though, but people talk about how they found solutions for their problem. The internet can be an empowering tool because it proves you with so much information that would otherwise not be available. This can lead to better decisions regarding health and excercise—of course you would have to exercise good judgement when reading about health online.

4. Truth. Something as simple as truth sometimes can be manipulated and distorted. I was watching a health documentary and it was going over how many times truth about a cure has been suppressed because there is no money in it for big corporations. On a smaller scale, how often do we suppress the truth because we don’t want to hurt anyone, when they deserve the truth from us. I’m thankful for truth, because we can be honest and truthful with our loved ones, and one shouldn’t have to fear retaliation for telling them something that other people just won’t. My motto is, as long as that truth is told with love, and not looking to put the person down, while they will not like what you have to say (and may end up not speaking to you for a bit), they will come around because they will understand that you hold no ill will against them.

5. Change. I am very thankful for the ability to change. We are not set in our ways. We can change if we want it. I’m at this stage in my life where I have to get serious about many things: care for parents, grandparents, children, spouse, retirement, you name it, I’m sure that I’ve been thinking about it. What I love about the ability to change is that every day provides us with a new chance to do things differently. We are able and capable of making new decisions that can affect our lives in the future. What many of us have a hard time with is knowing that that part is in our hands.

As this year comes to a close, and the plans for the upcoming year are underway, I hope that many of us will not forget the lessons that we learned in 2015. The challenges that we faced will not be swept under the rug, but they will be used to learn and grow from. 2015 will be gone in a few days, but for me, the lessons will be forever in my mind.

What lessons have you learned in 2015?