Once again, I find myself coming to you after months of being silent. I apologize for not being here more often. Life just seems to slip through my fingers and while I love and cherish my writing moments and sharing my passions and thoughts here with you all, I have come to learn this past year that living life is most important. So, if I have to choose between moments of living in the moment with my family or writing about those moments instead, I choose my family every time.
What a beautiful thing that is indeed.
This past year brought many answered prayers, many changes, some brokenness and some big news. As I have shared of course, some of the big changes were when Miss M came to live with us full time last Spring after school had ended. What a rejoicing it was for this mother’s heart. But as we have so often learned, seasons change and with that rejoicing, we quickly, just seven short months later, found ourselves grieving as we had to say goodbye to Miss M once again after her making the choice to move back to our hometown. A decision that was so hard for us to hear but one that we knew she had fully reflected before making. It was a moment that taught me much about my ability to once again trust in God’s perfect plan and not my own designs.
And in the midst of our grief, the Lord brought us miracles and more answered prayers. As we looked to Him and wondered what His plan was, He chose to reveal another small glimpse: the blessing of a child. Just before we went home to visit family for Thanksgiving and say our goodbyes, we found out we were expecting our fourth child. I would say our final child but we are keeping our futures open to adoption down the road if that is a part of God’s plan also. It was such a bittersweet and beautiful time indeed.
In December, it was revealed that our little one would be a beautiful baby girl. A girl. Another precious daughter. A chance for redemption and restoration of the things in my life that the enemy has tried so long to take from me. There are not enough words to describe my feelings of gratitude and sincere awe at God’s goodness, faithfulness and perfection.
So, in June of this year, we will welcome our littlest Miss M and we could not be more full of joy. With all of the changes, I have learned to draw closer back to my Savior. I have learned that I do have breaking points. That I cannot always be the strong one. Sometimes, I am the weak one. Sometimes, I can’t be there for the world because I need someone to be there for me. I learned that I make mistakes, that sometimes I let people down, even when I don’t mean to; that I doubt, that I often question but that God never makes mistakes and every detail of our lives that He knits together serves a much greater purpose than we see. While it was hard to have to have goodbyes and journeys end so soon, God used the times I had before them to bring healing, to bring restoration and to work wonders within our family and my own heart and mind.
Miss M is flourishing back at home. Public school is definitely where she needed to be and with all of our moving coming up and the changes, she just really needed to back with her familiar routines and her learning styles outside of how we operate. Not to mention, she was incredibly homesick and that was hard to watch her journey through. She is full speed into her junior year and while I know she misses us and our moments here, she is happy to be back home with her Dad and step mom, her siblings and all of our families. Her time here brought them all closer together as well and she is making decisions that make us all so proud.
As for us, we are flourishing too. The Lord once again moved us to a new place of worship and His timing, though odd, was perfect. After working through many things these last three years, I found myself returning to a spirit filled church. A place where the miracles and love of God abound and there is much freedom and yet at the same time, a reverence to God’s freedom and not our own. It has been such a joy for us and Mister M has fallen in love with church all over again. Something he has not cared for much since leaving our home church three years ago.
We are flourishing with our faith, with our studies and as a family. God has brought a wholeness and a determination to our hearts that brings me to tears when I reflect upon it. I finally have a balance I have worked to find since coming to my Father 7 years ago and I have begun to discover things about myself that I never could grasp until this place. This wilderness experience.
And as with all wilderness experiences, God is moving us out and into a land of Promise. Our next big change is coming in March as we prepare to move to a new state with the Navy once again. A new land of hope and promise that God has designed for us. A new land that will hold many more lessons and faith building moments I am certain and a land that will bring further fulfillment of the many promises God has made over the years since we found Him and surrendered our lives to Him.
I have learned so many things in 2016 but the most important of them all is that 2017 is our greatest year yet. It is our year of fulfillment and it is a year of HOPE. It is a year of new birth and new faith. It is going to be a year that we will remember for a lifetime. I am more certain of that than anything else.
I pray your year came to a beautiful close and that your new year has brought a beautiful new beginning. A fresh start and a fresh fire for your Father and His kingdom. We have so much to be thankful for and much to anticipate. I look forward to sharing it all with you in the months to come.
In Christ’s Love,