I have to say, however, that through it all, I am so very grateful to a forever loving Savior who allowed the highs to far outweigh the lows. In Ecclesiastes it talks about there being a season for everything and I think I covered them all in the last 12 months!
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)
A Time for Everything. There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
The thing about hard times, for me anyway, is that they always make me that much more aware of all the good things, the blessings, in my life. The hard times are also a constant reminder of God's unending faithfulness in my life to see me through every situation.
The last 6 months have been hard, to say the least. Very wearisome, and yet God's strength has sustained me, His grace has been sufficient, and His answers to my fervent prayers have surpassed that which man thought possible.
As this Christmas season is now upon us, I choose to rejoice! I rejoice that the Creator of this universe chose to send His very own Son to this earth to be born in the most humble of ways. Though His Son be a King, He offered Him as a sacrifice, for my sake. I rejoice that Jesus chose His Father's will and not His own, because now I am able to have underserved grace, immeasurable peace, and the confidence that whatever circumstances I face, my Heavenly Father walks before me, gives me strength and guides me each step of the way.
I rejoice that God blessed my life 22 years ago with a man that I would call my husband. A Godly man that would lead, encourage and challenge me to be the Godly woman that God intends for me to be. The man that would be right by my side through each and every low moment in my life. A man that has been my best friend for 22 years and has shown me love, even when I was unloveable. A man that has protected me and provided for me. A man that I would enjoy growing old with, through laughter and tears, through dreams that came true or even the ones that didn't, no matter what, we make the most of every moment that God allows us to have together!
I rejoice that I have the most amazing children! Being barren for 8 years, I can't help but rejoice every time I look at my five beautiful blessings and can't wait to gaze into the eyes of our sixth blessing in May! Our house abounds with laughter and love! What more could I ask for?!?!
I rejoice that 41 years ago, God blessed my life with giving me the most amazing parents a girl could ask for. They have loved me unconditionally all my days. They have faithfully instilled in me the teachings of God's word, and even more importantly they have been an example of God's love and His characteristics. As we spend the Christmas holidays together this Christmas, I rejoice evermore that God has chosen to allow us this time! I know now, more than ever, that life is a fragile thing! As I posted before, you never know what a day holds and I'd love to encourage you with just a few things that I have recently learned about this life:
*Live every day as if it were your last.
*If you have been blessed with children, remember you have them only for a short time. Before you know it they will be grown. Live a Godly example before them and know that time with them is the most important gift you could give.
*Don't waste your life away complaining about all the things you don't have, but be thankful for each and every blessing that you do have!
*Love those around you and don't be afraid to let them know that you love them by your words and your actions!
*Choose to forgive and live in peace with others. Bitterness will eat your life away!
*Every day that God choses to breathe life into your very lungs, live it for Him and for His glory!
I have always been "aware" of these things, but any time you face losing someone you love, God gently reminds us of the things that are most important.
I am so blessed and I pray that you and your family are enjoying this holiday season and that you will be blessed beyond measure!