2015: The Year of Change

1 Jan

As we welcome in the New Year I find myself reflecting on the year 2015. For me this year will always be remembered as the year of change.

I have always been anti-New Year’s resolutions, figuring it’s probably best not to start the new year by setting myself up for failure. A couple of years ago someone recommended I read the book, One Word. This book suggests choosing one word to use as the theme of your year instead of a typical resolution which you’re sure to abandon by March. It’s One Word for One Year for One Life, as the book describes. Instantly I liked the idea.

In 2014 my One Word fell into my lap. It was almost forced on me. That word was hope. It was a time in my life when things felt quite hopeless. Our lives were consumed by disease and hospitalizations. We had just learned that Jody would need a double lung transplant if he were to survive Cystic Fibrosis. Even transplant was no guarantee of a long life. Hope did not come easy to me. But God asked me over and over to be hopeful until finally I agreed to try. It turns out 2014 was the year Jody received his new lungs which have proved to be a life-changer. This leads me to 2015…

Early on in January of 2015 I sensed my One Word should be ‘change.’ Jody was still recovering from his transplant and having been warned by his transplant coordinator, there was no guarantee that our time spent sleeping in hospitals was over. Still I sensed our lives were changing in more ways than one.

Obviously the biggest life-changer, one which can never be topped was Jody’s new lungs. While he received them in 2014, 2015 was the year we were able to watch them blossom. With each passing month I could see life returning to him more and more. The further out he went from hospitalizations and frequent check-ups, the easier it was to believe that things really were going to change for our family. This brought healing to my heart.

Another welcome change in 2015 was a new job for me. I spent the last 14.5 years working for a local hospital, the last nine of which were in obstetrics. I had known for quite some time that I needed was ready for a change but didn’t know when, where or how it would happen.  Throughout the year, I had three great opportunities arise and ended up choosing to return to my dialysis roots. I accepted a position with DaVita Dialysis working as a home hemodialysis nurse educator (did you know people are doing hemodialysis independently at home these days?). This was a scary move because it meant giving up benefits I had acquired after so many years as a hospital employee. It also meant no fluffy bank of paid time off if Jody were to get sick, as well as a change in insurance (which was huge and scary for us). Still, I felt this was the change for which I had prayed. I am enjoying my new job immensely and having all weekends and holidays off is an added bonus.

The last big change for us in 2015 was listing our house for sale and accepting an offer on it in December. We have tried to sell our home numerous times throughout the nearly 11 years we have lived in it. We live along a busy, four-lane road with businesses surrounding so it hasn’t been an easy property to sell, despite all the remodeling we have done. We are excited about this long-desired change (not so much the packing part), and look forward to our move in February, Lord willing.

Change is often hard but it was very welcome in 2015. I’m glad it was the One Word God placed on my heart early in the year. Jody’s newfound health allowed our family to go, do and see things new and old. This change was desperately needed. When I wasn’t sure I would ever find a new job that was suitable, I clung to my One Word, believing it was applicable to this area of my life as well. And it was. Now I wake up in the morning without dread for my workday; a wonderful change. Selling our house after years of trying still seems unbelievable. Will this change really happen? I hope so. It seems like the perfect ending to a nearly perfect year.

I’m so thankful for all the changes that 2015 brought and I look forward to watching 2016 unfold. I especially pray it will be another year full of health for Jody. I’m still not sure what my One Word for 2016 will be, but I’m asking God to speak it to me. Consider joining me by asking God for your One Word for your One Year for your One Life.

Happy New Year!

Highlights of 2015:
– Jody reached 100% lung function (from 22% pre-transplant)
– Speaking in front of 1000+ people at the local Cystic Fibrosis walk
– Family day trips to the beach and afternoons spent at the pool
– Celebrating 10 years of marriage in June
– Jody celebrated one year post transplant in September
– Vacation to Riviera Maya, Mexico in November (no kids)

2015_10_17_Snellbakers_(0047_of_0110)_Color A

Photo courtesy of John Martin Photography

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7 Responses to “2015: The Year of Change”

  1. Sheryl January 1, 2016 at 7:36 am #

    Wishing you all health in the new year and that
    This is the best year yet for your family!! We love you all and are so thankful for your support to us and your friendship.

  2. Julie Holtzer January 1, 2016 at 8:01 am #

    Wonderful encouragement to all who read this. Even though our journey is different than yours has been, the similarities in the story is amazing. Thanks for being open and transparent.

  3. Anne Marcarelli January 1, 2016 at 8:29 am #

    I read One Word and felt it was a powerful book. I rejoice with you, Jody, and the girls as you continue to walk closely with Jesus in 2016. God is good!

  4. Rich Ragan January 1, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    Thank you Tiff for your heart, love, and Godly insight He has given you. You and Jody are a huge inspiration to me and I know MANY others!

    My “Word” for 2016 will be “Prayer”! Oh God teach me to pray out of desire and Love for you and not out of obligation or fear!

    Rich Ragan
    Romans 8:37

  5. Marilyn Titter January 1, 2016 at 9:41 am #

    You are so blessed. Enjoy every change, continue to hope, and find peace in all you do giving thanks to God for all of it!

  6. Pam January 1, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

    What an awesome year you have had…I am so happy for you and your family! Jody looks like the picture of health. I will get the book you mentioned…thank you for sharing how your word represented your 2015 year. I miss you. I am also leaving the hospital so maybe MY word for 2016 should be “change”😏. Wishing you a New Year filled with love and wellness.

  7. Paula Balliet January 2, 2016 at 1:15 am #

    So happy for you with all the events that took place in 2015. Thanks so much for the wonderful update. Always great to hear from you.Love the picture. Take care. Paula

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