It has been almost an entire year since I have blogged. Well, actually since I have made a post public. I get on here and go through the motions, upload photos, reminisce and my mind goes to unhealthy places. Many times I get bitter and angry all over. So, I leave the post here, hiding feelings and photos of the life I am living. It has been a year of an intense, swirling soup of emotions. At the beginning of last year after our home invasion and the realization that our pictures could not be recovered, I tried very hard to make myself bypass the grieving process. Then when that did not work, I tried to move faster than my heart was willing. That is just human nature. Pain and suffering is not fun. We do not like it. We try in every way to avoid it. We try to pray against it. Often we do not see the need for it. I stayed frustrated for a long while. I cannot say that I am over it now, not completely. But, through pain and suffering comes growth...the good, healthy kind. The kind that stays with you. The kind that brings a death of something unneeded, then renewal.
Marcus and I were looking back with our children on New Year's Eve, discussing what 2016 brought. I initially wanted to believe that it was not a good year. 2016 was a hard year for me. Just plain ol' hard, man. Then, he begins listing all of the beautiful blessings God brought and I felt truly ungrateful, like a first world brat. God brought Lottie home in 2016, without a single shred of debt. God promoted Marcus, thus radically changing His provision for our family in 2016. God delivered Clementine into our family in 2016. Those are some major highlights. We were warm, fed, loved, healthy and protected in 2016, just like we always have been. In 2016 we again, found favor with God, again undeservedly. It was a good year.
God had had me in His hand even when I did not feel like he did. Through those circumstances, when we feel God is far from us, but we trust that he is still as near as ever, we grow. He fills cracks and even gashes in our hearts. Our soul is stretched, and though we groan with pain, we grow. We are being sanctified. Sanctification is serious business. It is preparation for eternity. If you are in the midst of a season that is dry, lonely, excruciating, exhausting, or mundane; trust that He has you here for a beautiful reason. The enemy is always near. He would have us to believe that we are unloved, useless, invaluable and that we suffer in vain. Those are untruths. These moments do not feel so beautiful by our standards, but we will stand in a new place one day, where these manmade standards are no more, and see how beautiful this really was. We have to believe that. "Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19. We must stay vigilantly in the Word and in prayer, less we fall or become ensnared again.
Now I feel like it is time to get back to this blog. I have been beckoned and I oblige. To whomever this blog means enough to encourage me, I do so appreciate it more than you know. Sometime we need a little nudge. We need encouragement...to know this is not all futile...to know we are making a difference even a tiny one. So, I have gone back and posted a lot from time past. I will continue to do so, until it is done. Much of what we have salvaged is not great quality, but sometimes we must appreciate what we have and not get sidetracked by what we desire.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
1 Peter 2:9