Oh 2018 you were full of ups and downs. I feel like 2018 started out strong. My faith felt strong, unwavering, and mountains were being moved quickly. Leaving me to believe my path would be easy as long as I stayed close to God. It’s a mindset I had without really realizing it. God was blessing me and my family, and I was living on a spiritual high. My heart was healing from the loss of my dad, my anxiety was at a low, and my entire family was in church and serving with grateful hearts. What more could a girl ask for?!
Quickly Chris went from not having a job at all, and his student loans were pilling up. We didn’t know what to do, but pray. It was the first time we ever did 21 days of prayer and fasting together, and God blessed us in a way that was so undeserving that it brings tears to my eyes still to this day. God opened a door to exactly what we prayed for. Chris found a small pharmacy that wasn’t part of a chain, was closed on Sunday’s, and truly cared about their customers. Not long after Chris started working for them they offered him full time. God really showed up and showed out, because finding a pharmacist job in small towns is very difficult to find, and when you do find them it’s usually for a chain pharmacy that’s open 24/7 or a hospital. This mountain was moved quickly within a few months. Leaving me again to believe that my trials were going to be lighter, and outcomes were going to be filled with joy, excitement, and full hearts.
The pharmacy he works at is in our home town, and we were currently living an hour away in a much bigger city. Traveling interstate every day for Chris was becoming too much. We decided to move back home.So we booked a showing we had been looking for almost a year with no luck. The pictures to the house we were going to see weren’t the best, but we were desperate. We would look at any home that hit the market at that point. We were driving on the old country road with no expectations. Then we noticed trucks that drove by with drivers that waved with a warm smile on their faces like they knew us. You would never see someone you didn’t know wave in the large city we lived in. It was a charming thing I missed about a small town. We saw green pastors filled with cows and old barns that sang to this country girls soul. Suddenly we both had smiles on our faces and our spirits were lifted. The second I walked into the old farmhouse I knew this house was built for me. It may have been built years ago, (by a baptist preacher) but God knew that one day this would be the house that was built for me. The photos made the house look completely different then what it really was. The house is open and breezy with old original floors that creek when you hit the right spot. Windows that show the beauty of our 8 acres, and were built in the exact right places to see the sun sit and rise. It’s a little large for us now, but we envisioned our babies running down the stairs to the living room on lazy Saturdays, and dinners on the screened in porch. We made an offer, and found out that the owners were about to take it off the market, until we made the offer.
Yet again a mountain moved that made me believe all outcomes with God would be picture perfect.
Then leaving our old town was the start of lessons God would teach me that for the first time made me realize that it wouldn’t always have a picture perfect ending. We were trying to make it to our church every Sunday, and we were serving just about every other Sunday. Between the drive, the service, the serving, and the fellowshipping Chris’s only real day of rest was becoming exhausting. Waking up to worship and serve started to turn to hardness truthfully. While we knew that there are times in your spiritual journey you don’t “feel” like worshiping or serving, there was something that felt off. So with council from our pastors and leaders of the church we realized that maybe God was calling us to find a new home church closer to our home. We were putting God in a box and believing He could only move our souls at one certain church.
We were putting more faith into that specific church than we were God.
It’s been such a hard transition and it allowed the enemy to take a dig at my faith. We weren’t finding a home church, and frankly still haven’t. We’ve tried almost every church in our town and we haven’t found God moving our souls in a certain church just yet. We know what it feels like when God let’s us know that we’ve found a home church, and sadly we haven’t felt that movement yet. We will keep trying! Though this journey of finding a new church hasn’t had a happy ending yet, I know that God is testing us. Waiting on us to find the path that He has laid out for us. Pushing us to not give up, and to see that even if it takes a long time it is worth it. I am learning about His timing more and more each day. We went to visit our old church for Christmas, and I felt ashamed to let them know that we hadn’t found a church yet, but God used and spoke through those friends to let me know that sometimes these things take time. What’s important is that we stay strong, we keep looking, and keep praying. 2018 you were filled with doubt. I was filled with despair of not finding the right fit, but God used this to show me that not everything happens over night. This is the first lesson on waiting (a long time) that He taught me since I started walking with Him faithfully. God taught me how to turn my living room into church, and my car into a solo worship service. While watching preaching online doesn’t replace the community of church, God showed His faithfulness in the search of a new church, and that I can take church outside of four walls.
2018 you made me bitter in many ways. Our desire for kids grew and our excitement was over-whelming, but we would only be met with heartache. Instead of two pink lines I would only see one line month after devastating month. Doctors would lead to tell me that I have Endometriosis, and with my type of Endometriosis surgery was too risky. Later I would also be told that I have the characteristics of PCOS, and I needed to prepare myself for the medications, infertility, and new lifestyle that was coming my way. Stress and heartache would over take me, and pull me to a deep place I hadn’t been since April of 2017 when I lost my dad. You were tough on me 2018, you broke my heart and laughed at my hope and dreams, but my maker would pick up what the enemy tried to ruin.
God showed me in 2018 that my anxiety would deepen but so would my walk with Him. I learned that going through the hardest storm would also show me the biggest miracles. My faith in God and His miracles have grown leaps and bounds. I’m learning to rest in Him, and to let my body rest as well. 2018 showed me that man’s diagnosis isn’t God’s. My God is Jehovah-Rapha The God who heals. He will heal me of my heartache, anxiety, and depression. He will heal my body and the damage I have caused it. If He chooses to do so He will also heal me of infertility. And if not, God is still good, he has already fought my battle and won. He will provide ways, miracles, and healing in ways I may not understand, but He will be faithful.
My faith has grown strong and by God’s grace released most of bitterness 2018 brought my way, and in time He will take all the bitterness. His grace has allowed me to love everything that has been brought my way, because it lead me exactly where God intended. It showed me though I am down, He will not let me be broken to the point of unfixable. He will make beauty out of my ashes.
He loves my ashes, and He will use them for His glory.
2018 thank you. Thank you for the joy, the laughs, and thank you God for the blessings. Thank you God for this year that made me grow my faith through my despair, and teaching me I can still have joy in brokenness. Thank you for a husband that loves me unconditionally, and that encourages my walk with you. Thank you for a home that blesses my soul every day because it reminds me of your timing not mine. Thank you for the supportive family that now lives close, and I can lean on during tough times. Thank you for supporting us and providing Chris with such an amazing work place. Thank you for new and old friends that give me hope, trust, comfort, and laughter, but thank you most importantly for YOU. For your love, hope, sovereignty, joy, peace, and blessings. Thank you for the lessons learned in 2018, and help me to grow in you even more in 2019. 2019 is your’s God not mine.