I thought it might be fitting that this be my final post of 2007. It has been on my heart and mind all week and I have spent a lot of time thinking about exactly what I wanted to say so I hope it will all comes out right.
In 2007, I have experienced more events in one year than I probably have in the 9 years prior put together.
It all started in January when Jonathan's father went in for surgery. As he was being wheeled into recovery, his heart stopped for several minutes and although they were able to revive him, we spent the next 6 weeks at St. Thomas hospital. He is alive and doing so amazingly well today. We didn't plan for that to happen, but it did and although it was so scary and hard on the entire family, it changed me. For the first time in my adult life, I truly GOT IT that God was in control. I still remember sitting in the bathroom floor near the J-POD (intensive care) and that song "God is in control" was playing over and over in my mind. It was my prayer and I was grasping to it, because I didn't know if I could face watching my husband lose his father, watching my mother-in-law lose her soul-mate, watching my children lose their Papa Sam and me lose my King (that's what I call Papa Sam). God was in control and he allowed Sam to live.
In March, we went to Disney with some of Jonathan and I's best friends...Kim and Chris Thomas for her 30th birthday. It was there that I felt such a reconnect with my husband...getting to watch him be childlike at Disney was amazing (he had never been before) and what was even better was being able to experience it with some amazing friends that I know God put us with. We didn't plan at the beginning of the year to get to go on an amazing trip with them, but God knew we would go and he knew that it would be Jonathan and I's last trip as a couple before we started on yet another journey: the adoption of Mary Elizabeth.
We started that journey the day after we arrived home from Disney. You've read that journey here. We didn't plan to learn everything that we have, but God knew we would and that is why he allowed us to experience it. He knew that M.E. would need a home at just the right time and he put it on our hearts at just the right time so that we could be her family.
In July, wow, where do I start in July....God blessed us with Maggie! I didn't plan on loving my niece as much as I do, but wow, I can't wait for even more nieces and nephews (if they are this great...can you imagine how awesome grandkids are going to be one day!) God also spared Jonathan's life when some crazy woman ran him off the road and totaled the Yukon XL. He also led us to buy the house we are in. We didn't plan to do any of those things when we started 2007, but God knew we would and he prepared our hearts, minds, finances, etc. to be prepared for those changes that he knew would be coming.
On July 30th, my life as I know it changed in probably the most impactful night of my life. The night Josh died and God gave him back. I'm not sure I can put into words what it was like to see him there and to feel so incredibly helpless. What I can tell you is that while I was on the phone with 911, I remember saying to my sister, "Ali, God is in control" and the operator said, "Yes, HE is" To see a 25 year old man that is strong, healthy, etc. lay there with no life left in him is such a humbling experience and although I wish none of you to ever witness it, I hope my small description will allow you to "see" it enough to know how fragile our life truly is. Josh didn't plan for his heart to stop on July 30th, but God knew it would and he prepared each of us in his own way for that moment. He allowed Jonathan and I to be living there so that Alison wouldn't be alone, he allowed Maggie to be born so that Alison would be up to nurse her; therefore, noticing that Josh was having a seizure, I could go on and on. My point is...God was and is in control.
On October 13th, as we buckled Mary Elizabeth into her car seat and started the drive home from Jackson, TN I was again reminded that I didn't plan on having another child in 2007. Oh how I would have laughed out loud at the suggestion at the beginning of the year! And yet, the precious gift he gave us that day was the best unplanned gift I had ever been given!
I could go on with so many more examples....so many God things (many of which I have posted about here), losing friends to cancer, changing jobs, new friendships formed, etc. but I hope you get the point that I am typing all this because this is the time of year where we make resolutions. We lay out all these things we hope will happen. We will loose weight, start exercising, get organized, return phone calls faster (that's a jab at myself), go to church, etc. but how often do you really follow through? At the end of each year, as you start to pack up your tree, are you left with a feeling that it just flew by again and it's time to start another list that you probably won't keep up with 2 months later?
For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that this year, I allowed God to be in control in my life. It wasn't always easy and I screwed up a ton. BUT I never stopped trusting in him...I really didn't. Even as we drove to the hospital and I just knew Josh might be dead, I had peace that passed any understanding because I knew that my HEAVENLY FATHER was in control. Was I scared? YES! But did I trust in him? YES!
So this year, instead of making your lists of resolutions, how about planning on trusting God. Really digging in and letting go of your own devices and trusting your Daddy instead. If you don't know him in a real and personal way, I would love to sit down with you and share with you how to do that. It has changed my life and all he wants of us is to tell others about the change it has made in our lives.
Sorry this took so long, but I just felt I needed to say it. Before I leave you, I wanted to share this piece of scripture with you from the Old Testament. As I said in the beginning, I've been praying about this for a few days. There is a lady in our adoption group that had been waiting for over 2 years to adopt and got word a few days ago that they had been picked to parent a little boy. Her faithfulness has always impressed me because I don't know if I would be so steadfast if I had been waiting for over 2 years. Anyway, this was the verse she put in her post to let us know she was now a mommy...how funny that God had already laid this on my heart.
But these things I plan won't happen right away, slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!
Happy New Year to all of you! Brea