Friends . . . I am absolutely in AWE of my life! My goodness. Today I would like to take you on a journey back in time. My prayer is that by giving you a glimpse into one particular part of my journey, that you will be encouraged for your journey. I know that SO many of you who read this blog are hurting. So many of you have lost and are grieving.
I want you to know that two years ago today, I thought my life was over. Two years ago today I could NOT see a future. Two years ago today I did not WANT to see a future.
One year ago today . . . I met Practice. One year ago today . . . we went on our first date and the beginning of the rest of my life happened. The truth is, though, that the beginning of the rest of my life was happening LONG before one year ago today.
And today, friends? Today . . . I am the happiest woman in the world . . . absolutely in awe of all that God has done . . . but . . . we will get to that in a moment.
I want to share with you my journal entry from January 2, 2008. I remember HATING the ‘New Years’ holiday that year. Everyone talking about all the good from 2007 and ‘looking forward’ to a new year! I hated it! HATED IT!!!!!! I didn’t want to live! I didn’t want a new year! I didn’t want life to keep moving forward when ALL I wanted was my old life back! Here, friends, is my journal ~
January 2, 2008
Purposeless. We have turned the corner on a new year and I feel lost. Purposeless. My purpose and hopes and dreams and prayers were wrapped up in the joy of my marriage and all we felt called to. Now, I am lost!
God – please nuzzle me in. Please give me signs that You are still working on my behalf. I need big and awesome signs right now – not to lay down a fleece. How do I go back to the activities of life? Please give me hope, vision, strength.
How can Chad really be dead? I just can’t fathom it – my God!!!!! My heart hurts so badly. The turn of this new year means returning to so many of the old . . . choir at church, bible study, etc . . . all without Chad. I mourn the old. Please help me to see the future – PLEASE God! I feel so lost!
Chad, how could I ever miss you more? My heart is broken. I would rather die than be without you! I cannot stop weeping! I feel so alone.
Oh, God! I miss Chad SO much. How can this be my life now? God, I feel so alone from you, too. Lord, please minister to my spirit! Please help me walk through this grief. There are SO many questions.
Can I be happy without a man and will You make me learn to be happy without one before You’ll bless me with one? I’ve never seen myself alone. All my hopes and dreams had Chad in them. I don’t want to be alone! Please don’t punish me! Please bring me a wonderful man. Please God – PLEASE!
I feel so alone! Please bring a daddy for my babies. Lord . . . how do I walk through all this pain?
Lord, somehow I know that You are holding me. Please help me! I am CHOOSING to trust You! I do love You, Lord. All I’ve ever wanted is to serve You. That is harder now. Please forgive me for questioning You. I am sorry this is so hard.
Oh, friends! I know that many of you are there today. I know that for many people . . . the turn of a new year is just a magnifying glass to their pain and problems. Please let me encourage you! Folks! I have said it before and will say it again . . . GOD IS GOOD! Whatever circumstances you are facing today – they DO NOT CHANGE WHO God is! God is STILL good even when you are facing a mountain of pain and ‘purposelessness.’ Even, and ESPECIALLY, when life seems hopeless.
So, here we are today . . . in my life . . . two short years later. Oh, who are we kidding? They were long, painful years! But here we are, none-the-less. January 2, 2010. I AM the happiest woman in the world today! God is a God of restoration and not only has He restored . . . but He has blessed, my friends!
There is an AWE about my life that I am coming to realize will never leave. I thought maybe it would wear off . . . but, it won’t. I am so thankful for every breath! I know what it is to ‘lose’ in an instant – to have life as you know it change, radically and horribly, in ONE HEARTBEAT, and because of that I am left in awe of every single breath.
There is not one thing about Practice that does not leave me in awe! The fact that he is breathing. The fact that he is warm. The fact that I get to look into his eyes, and snuggle with him. I get to touch him . . . and be touched! I get to be friends with him and build a life with him. I get to watch him learn my children and be living, breathing arms around them. Those arms around my children are an extension from Heaven . . . of that . . . I am convinced. When Practice hugs my babies, I know that Chad is smiling down from Heaven!
We had the MOST wonderful first Christmas together . . . and I KNOW that Chad was smiling down on us! His babies are happy. They are smiling and laughing and engaged in life again. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Chad picked Practice for his babies. I truly believe that when Practice hugs my babies, Chad does too. You see, friends, THAT is the miracle of how God works.
I can see, now, that I have a perspective that is different than most. You see, if I may be so blunt, I know that there are many who are walking away from their marriages. Many, even, who are throwing them away. It angers me! So many are choosing infidelity over faithfulness. Many are choosing to carry offense over forgiveness. Many are choosing an end . . . over the work to make it good again. Marriage IS NOT easy! This ‘blending’ thing is one of the hardest things I have ever done. It takes CONSTANT work and communication on Practice and my part. It can be exhausting. Know what? It is also absolutely wonderful. Why? Because it is a gift. It is an everyday, living and breathing, us being Jesus to one another . . . gift! It is eight people learning to work together as a whole. It is a mama and a daddy learning to serve one another as we serve Jesus and praying that these babies will see Jesus in everything we do. It is hard . . . and big . . . and scary, sometimes. But is it is also absolutely worth it. It is a miracle!
How in Heaven’s name did God find me a farmer? How in the world did he orchestrate two broken families . . . a hurting mama and her babies, and a hurting daddy and his babies . . . finding each other and becoming whole? I will tell you that one of the keys in all of this is that the mama and the daddy had figured out how to be whole in Christ . . . THAT was the starting place. But, if you only knew ALL of the intricate stories of the back-story of our lives that eventually led us to one another. You would say it is a miracle. I . . . would agree!
And so, I am in awe! I am in awe of a great big God who was . . . who is . . . and who always will be . . . ALL that He says! He is good. He is the Healer. He is Hope and a Future.
The beginning of the rest of my life began one year ago today. No, that’s not true. It really began at 12:55 p.m. on October 7th, 2007. The moment I hate! It felt WAY more like an ending than a beginning. But, friends, I believe that is the miracle of WHO God is! Please trust Him for YOUR new year! Please trust Him for your . . . miracle!