‘Tis the season to remember our blessings

Without a doubt, this has been a trying year for South Carolina. We have witnessed and experienced tough times — from the tragic killings at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston that left our great state shaken to its core, to the recent floods that damaged many areas across the state. We have endured the deaths of Walter Scott and Officer Greg Alia. It has truly been one of the most emotional years in the history of our great state.[cointent_lockedcontent]

Tim ScottAs the Lord typically does, He has ensured we did not endure these trials and tribulations for no reason. I have had the opportunity to talk with almost all of the families involved in these events, and their strength, their dignity, has served as a guiding light for our state and our nation. Personally, each one of these tragedies has touched my heart in a unique way, and all those affected by these tragedies are certainly in my thoughts and prayers this holiday season.

So now, as Christmas is upon us, I hope we will all take time with our families and reflect on the many blessings given to us by the good Lord. For me, the holiday season is not only meaningful and special because it gives us the chance to be thankful for our blessings and the strength to overcome hardships as a country, but it is also an important occasion for us to remember and serve on behalf of those who are less fortunate during this time of the year.

I want to thank and recognize those all across our state who are actively making a difference and reaching out to help others in many ways. These folks have helped with preparing thanksgiving turkeys at church for families in need, tutoring kids after school, and taking the time out to support our veterans. They work with the homeless and those who cannot care for themselves, and dedicate their lives to giving other folks a hand up when they need it. Even in times of great tragedy, as we’ve experienced this year, the power of helping others and the generosity of our spirit cannot be dampened.

I came into the U.S. Senate with the expectation of making a significant difference in Americans’ lives — the Americans who lack hope and do not have access to many opportunities that would help them achieve the American Dream. As 2015 winds to a close and a new year greets us, I will continue to fight for those opportunities.

Looking forward to 2016, our nation still faces huge challenges, like tackling the threat of ISIS, getting spending under control and protecting our constitutional rights. I am working hard to ensure that we have a safer and brighter future.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and may you and your family have joy, peace, prosperity, and good health.

Tim Scott is a U.S. Senator from South Carolina.