What could I share that might help someone else? What good has come of all the pain we've been through this past year? Am I really thankful to Him or just glad this year is almost over and that perhaps next year will not stretch me to the point of ripping apart (as I have felt at times this year did)?
Today, I went to L.L. Barkat's site again in hopes of some 'food for thought' and read about other's pain, suffering. Loss, extreme loss and realized that any circumstance that we've gone through this past year pales in comparison to theirs. They were thankful, grateful, celebratory.
Yes, I have much to rejoice in. Much to be grateful for.
I know 'Thanksgiving' is a heart condition...and to go through a tragedy and come out being thankful is a sign of a healthy heart.
In retrospect, I see my Father has been reminding me of all His goodness to me this past year. No need to even take into account the difficult times, but remember that those very times of walking the narrow path were causing my faith in Him to grow; my trust to bring delight to Him and that He's taken notice of me and has only good in store for us.
Just to touch on all He's done...our house closed in March, after being on the market almost two years and having to pay a mortgage and rent. That came as a result of God-loving people helping us with the closing costs...yes, that's right...we lost money on that house, but then again, it's over and done...!
Although we became homeless from a job loss, we were not left to sleep in the cold. We were taken into a dear one's home and given a place to rest our heads and a garage to keep all our belongings. That was a gift not everyone would offer.
Having lost his job, my love continued to believe and trust...look daily for work, meet the needs of others, which contributed to that demise (not a planned event, for sure, but it happened and is over) and the landlord of the home we were in forgave our debt (over $3,000!). That was extremely humiliating and humbling, but God will bless that man for his gift to us.
I have so much more compassion as a result of having experienced these things.
All these situations worked much patience, character and maturity in us due to having only Jesus to trust.
We had to leave a fellowship of people we love and that was excruciatingly painful. But God is taking us a different direction than they're going. We are thankful that He knows better than we and so can trust where He's leading us.
My love has a job he absolutely loves and has had multiple opportunities to speak Life to coworkers. That in itself is a gift. To affect the culture is why we're here and it's refreshing to watch Him bring about His will in our daily lives.
Our daughter gave birth to our second granddaughter, as you already know...what a gift that is! She, Rachael, is a gift to me...I am humbled that although I conceived her out of wedlock, God forgave me, gave her a daddy that loves her and she has grown into a godly woman, wife and mother. I am watching the fruit of repentance...it's Life in all respects.
My mother was in the hospital early in November and that was a test. She came home and is much better.
Looking back over the last year, I am in awe of His faithfulness. May I never take Him for granted. May I never take my marriage for granted; this adventure I signed up for twenty-six years ago.
It's all been worth it.
These are most of our children...and then some that we've adopted! They are my joy and I am most grateful to have celebrated that special day with them this year.