Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Since we were traveling over Thanksgiving break and busy preparing for our trip before, I'm a little late writing a blog about the things I am thankful for this year. But hey, better late than never, right?
This year has been one of the hardest years of my life, and it has been one of the best. I can honestly say with complete joy that some of the most painful things we have been through have been used by God for our good and His good. Months ago, I wasn't sure I felt that way. It was just head knowledge that I was hoping would penetrate my heart in time.
Today, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and joy for the journey we are on. This year I have been sanctified through fire, tears, illness, heartache, loss, and uncertainty. When I look back over the last nine months, I see how God has used a painful period to usher in a period of deep healing for me and our family on many levels.
After several possible miscarriages this year, one at Easter, one in May, and one in June, God answered our prayers. Before scheduling an appointment with a fertility doctor to try to figure out why we were miscarrying again and again, I took a pregnancy test just to not feel foolish when we walked into his office. To our surprise, we were pregnant. Again to our surprise and joy, we didn't miscarry. Not coincidentally, our son's due date is Easter Sunday. Where we felt loss and sadness Easter 2011, God has brought joy and peace through another child expected on Easter 2012.
Leaving a church at the beginning of the year was something that neither Bryan nor I had foreseen. What started out as a scary nightmare has turned out into the greatest adventure of our marriage. We have been supported and loved by our families, friends, and our new church family. Without either of us having a single full-time job in a tanking economy, we have had all of our financial needs met this year. With our hodge podge of multiple jobs, God has provided for us so well that we have been able to stay debt free (besides our home), even with multiple medical problems rising, and we have been able to be generous with others in need as well. God is so very good. God's provision during this unusual season of our life has been needed confirmation that we are indeed planting His church- not ours.
I love our ministry at Church@The Square. It is so refreshing to be part of a church that matches our personalities, gifts, and vision perfectly. We love the simplicity of meeting in a "borrowed building" on Sundays so that our church resources can be funneled back into the Kingdom without as much overhead. We love that our church body is made up of people all different ages, backgrounds, and races. We love that people feel welcome when walking through the doors and are hearing the Gospel sometimes for the first time clearly. There is so much more that I am excited about, but I'll have to save that for another blog all of its own. Can you believe our launch is only a month away now???!!!
I am so thankful for Jesus. What other god takes things meant for evil and turns them into good? There are still things I don't like- don't understand. I am so thankful that weeping only lasts for a night and that joy comes in the morning. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, I can look at the future and laugh. Though life is uncertain and at times very difficult, the joy we have in Christ is unshakeable and helps us overcome all things. In Christ, we can look at the future and smile. Even if things do not get better for us in this life, we know we have one to come as believers... a life where all things wrong will be made right and where peace will reign and night will be no more. The morning is coming beloved Christian. Take heart and be thankful. Jesus will not let us down. Close your eyes when you are discouraged and anticipate it. The sun is rising. Our Master's return is near.