Today marks another year of life. And as I told Jonah this morning, I’m reserving the right to turn 29…again. Of course, he asked if that meant I was turning 29 for the second time and I had to admit that no, I had “been 29” for longer than that. (Don’t worry, I told him the truth. I turned my age into a math question and gave him my birth year so he could figure out my true age, which he did very quickly.)
So today, I have been spending some time reflecting over the last year of my life. I knew that my reflection could leave me feeling sad. The last year has definitely not been what I had expected or hoped in many ways. But this morning, I prayed that God would fill me with more of His Spirit. With joy in my reflections. And He has.
I am truly blessed.
There is much that I do not have in my life right now. And God has allowed me to be reminded in the last twenty four hours that I could ignore the things He has taught me, I could ignore the whisperings of my soul, and I could force a situation where I had the stability that I so desperately desire right now.
But to do that, I would have to sacrifice some of what I have now. And I know that I what I have now is better than anything I don’t.
I have an amazing husband who loves me more than I deserve. He loves me more than I thought possible and the more I open myself to him — the more I share those bits of me that I wish weren’t there, the bits that cause me shame and regret and the ones that bring me more joy and pride than I feel I should be allowed — the more he loves me. In my moments of doubt and fear, he reassures me of my worth, and his words of comfort and wisdom draw my heart closer to God.
When we named Jonah, I had no idea how much peace God would bring into my life through him. He teaches me how to care more. He reminds me what it means to truly love life without holding back. He keeps me moving, even when I just want to stay curled in bed. And no matter how frustrated and impatient I can be at times, he forgives as soon as I ask, without holding a grudge.
Sweet Abigail, who lights up the room, brings me joy every day. Her soft smiles and grown-up expressions delight my heart. She curls up next to me, still small enough to fit snugly against me when she crawls into bed with me in the early morning hours. And when she wants me to know that she loves me, she sits in my lap and nuzzles her face against my neck, just under my chin. She tackles me with random hugs or plays with my hair when I’m not feeling good. She seems to know instinctively that her name means joy, and that is what she wants to give.
And I have a Savior who loves me. I don’t always understand His ways. And I can’t deny that I have felt abandoned and neglected at times over the last year. But when I am overwhelmed with those false feelings, He reminds me. Sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small. Sometimes in small ways that impact me in a huge way. Like this past Sunday when I woke feeling overwhelmed, sad and alone. There was nothing that prompted this feeling. I simply woke with my heart and soul feeling heavy. Before I got out of bed, I told God that I didn’t want to go to church, but I would. I just really needed a message of hope. Within the first five minutes of the sermon, I heard the word hope no less than ten times. I’m not exaggerating. The entire sermon was on hope.
How can God love me so much, that He would have a message planned for me, before I even asked for it.
God continues to bless me extravagantly. And I continue to struggle to be grateful for what I have, and content with what I do not have. Our future is currently more clouded than I have ever experienced, but I can honestly say that I look forward to seeing what God does in the next year of my life.
Want to celebrate with me? I would love to read your comments of how God has blessed your life over the past year.