This time of year, it's only natural to start looking at what has transpired in the past year. I was doing this, and I am ashamed at how little I have thought about all that the Lord has done for me and my family in the past year. Don't get me wrong. Obviously, I'm thinking about these things as I go along, but it's been a while since I looked at a big picture view of how God has moved in the last year.
My heart overflows thinking about all the ways that we have been provided for, or how prayers have been answered, or for all that we have been given.
A year ago this Thanksgiving, my husband didn't have a job. I was working as much as I could to earn as much as I could for our family. I was very divided in my heart, trying to balance work, home and supporting Casey in finishing his degree. The burden was heavy, and many tears were shed. It was a very trying time, but the Lord always gave comfort. He always provided.
Casey was finishing up his degree. He had worked hard for about four years, and finally, it was the end. He did it! In the spring, he was done. And he finished his Masters in Biblical Studies with straight A's. We made it through the long hours of study and writing to get to the end with minimal debt!
Also, about this time last year, Casey wrote and submitted his book. In this last year, the proposal was accepted, the book was written, and it was published. It is one of my favorite books, and I am really overjoyed to know that I am married to the man who wrote such an encouraging and gospel-filled book. To read the reviews that followed its publication, and hear the compliments and testimonies of it being a blessing, has been so encouraging to me. I am beyond grateful that my husband has had this experience, and I pray that he can do more and more like this.
In January my niece came home from Ethiopia. It was a long and wonderful journey to watch. Knowing that my own adoption in a little way inspired the adoption of this little girl thrills me to the core of my existence. She is beautiful. Her story is beautiful. God has poured out his most abundant grace on her life, and He gets all the glory!
About this time last year, we received the news that my mom was going to start a long health journey. Cancer was discovered, and although it looked very good, there was still a bit of a gnawing fear. No one wants to hear those words. No one wants to fight that fight. What followed in this year has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs of health-related issues. My mom went through 3 surgeries, was on several absences from work, and had medical bills piling one on top of another. The stress of getting well, and paying for the privilege of treatment to get well took a toll. But God always provided. He always gave her strength and faith. This Thanksgiving she is healthy and cancer free. Hallelujah! Our God is a good, good God!
This Thanksgiving, I am only working one day a week. My husband has a job that isn't the best, but we have health insurance. We have been able to get off of assistance, and I am home most of the time. I still need to be creative in how to support our family, but the stress and the burden of our situation a year ago is much much different.
That brings me to my last blessing, and that is hope for the future. We always have hope in Christ. He has gone before us. As a new year begins, so will a long awaited journey to add another to our family. God has been actively working in our hearts to bring us to where we are, and I believe with all my heart that His work isn't done. It won't be done til I see him in glory.