Taking a journey as emotional and life altering as looking for love, combined with making ones efforts so very public, and topping things off with a deadline, I knew I was looking for trouble.
But instead, I found courage, I found friendship, and I found acceptance. I shared what was on my heart hoping that it would resonate with a few. But as it turns out, there were many—thousands all across the globe.
You supported me throughout this year. I never would have made it 365 days without your encouragement and prayers. I humbly thank you. I recognize there were some who wanted me to fail, who had predicted I would be unsuccessful come year's end. But I suspect that even the naysayers secretly had hope. We all long for love - and happy endings are too rare in the real world.
I've done my best this year, as best as I knew how. But I'm sure I made many mistakes along the way. Thank you for not judging me. I also learned more than I bargained for, from how to treat others, and when to trust myself, to finding peace in the midst of hurt. I also learned to laugh a lot (especially at myself), and discovered ways to create adventures, so that I could hurdle burnout and the mundane. These life lessons, and others too numerous to mention, I pray have made me and will continue to make me a better person.
This year I worked hard, and didn't mind there was some struggle involved. As someone once said, you can't get the prize without a fight. So I imagine you can't get a ring if you're not prepared to do a little battle. But my battle, which I feel with all my heart is a very worthy one, is obviously not over.
I'm getting calls from family and friends, who are watching me very closely in these last days, wanting to know if I'm okay. What comes to mind is the quote Adlai Stevenson shared during his concession speech. It was from Abraham Lincoln who described his emotions after losing his first election, "he felt like a little boy who had stubbed his toe in the dark. He said that he was too old to cry, but it hurt too much to laugh."
I am obviously disappointed, but I'm too stubborn to quit. As I stated a year ago, I personally won't pursue love in 2010. It will be a nice break. But I won't take a break from the journey of love. I'll continue to look for ways to make finding love possible for more people. It's not simply something that's wanted, it's something we need. But unfortunately it's become too hard to find, too difficult to hold onto. It's not as it should be.
These 52 weeks will go down in my personal history books as one of the best years ever! I am so grateful for this experience. Online social networking will never replace in-person relationships, but it can and does create them, enhance them, and can even sustain them. Harnessing the power of the internet to find my husband was so much more than using the internet to find my husband. I connected in ways I never imagined possible.
Now that 2009 is behind us, as are my "52 Weeks 2 Find Him," I end as I started, full of hope and determination. God has blessed me so richly this year. There's no reason to despair as long as he continues to strengthen me with both. May God bless us all in 2010!