October 22, 2010

One Year Later

The unexpected news slashed my heart.  Despair poured forthHope came a few days later.  Then the gifts came tumbling in, one after the other.  It wasn't planned. It wasn't what I wanted. It was a reality harsh and blinding.

One year ago today, our lives changed forever. I look back at the last year, skimming through posts and thinking on conversations and events.  Some days I think the last 12 months have passed by at warp speed.  Other times, I think they have been the most grueling of days.

I don't allow myself to look ahead, to one year from today when we'll be almost to the finish line of school. I can't think of the possibility that R might not find a job after he's done. When I'm tempted to do that, I remind myself of year's hard-fought battles and I count the victories won.

Losing a job isn't the worst thing that can happen. I remember saying this to R on that very first day. Meaningless words at the time.  A mere platitude.  Today I realize how much my identity and security was tied into R's job, into the mill itself. I am convicted of how much more my identity and security should be tied to Christ.

Prayer hasn't changed the circumstance, but it is changing me.  Once content to rest in my abilities, I am learning to lean on God with everything in me.  On the days when I crash, He is there.

Tears are the mark of a warrior.  I've battled harder and cried more than any other time in my life. 

Life is living, not just surviving.  I (mostly) savor the days instead of just going through the motions.  I've developed a new appreciation for being home with my family.

God is bigger, stronger, more loving, more powerful, and more compassionate than I ever imagined. I've seen Him in ways I could not have predicted.  I'm glad I didn't miss it.

The year has not been a cake walk. I struggle with wanting to go back to the old life. I want to put my hands on my hips and tell God that I've learned the lessons already, so He can just give me the reward now. I want to crawl under the covers and hide, and wake up finding this was all a dream.

It is.

It's the dream of a new life. A stronger relationship with my family and my Lord. A deeper understanding of the cost of being a disciple.

One year later I stand here and see that although I am low, I'm no longer in the valley. We're moving uphill and it's so very hard.

But I can't wait to see what's on the other side of this mountain.