Very few things in life are planned. This past year has been proof positive of that for us. We have been on the roller coaster of our life this year. If you compared it to some of the previous years, this year would be the Viper where as other years might be the Serpent (those of you that grew up in the Houston area and went to Astroworld know what I'm talking about).
I usually wait till the last day of the year to write a recap, but I felt strongly about doing it tonight even though there is several weeks left in the year.
We started the year off like many others. Stu at work. I was at church praying in the new year (new tradition). We were both so excited about this year. We had big plans. You know that joke-Ever want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. Well He had other plans for us.
We bought a house in March. Biggest step in our married lives thus far. It was an awesome feeling. It was not where I wanted it to be, but God gave us something so much better than what I had planned. We have a beautiful neighborhood, Jesus loving neighbors, small town feel, etc. God had set us in the place He wanted us.
We knew houses were work, but this was some serious labor. We may now be qualified as contractors (so joking). We have had roots in our guest bathroom toilet pipes, a kitchen that took FOOOOORRRREEEEEVVVVEEEEERRRR to make it usable, rodents in the attic, dead rodents in the wall a few weeks later, and not one single room in the house is complete. We wouldn't trade it for the world. God has taught us so much through this process and we have been growing in skills and spiritual gifts because of this house. My husband is a regular handyman now. He was good before, but he is now honing his skills.
In August we decided we would TTC. It was alot of prayer, indecision, and fear that got us to that point. God had put it on our hearts that now was the time. So we timidly stepped forward into the possibility of growing our family. Within two weeks we were pregnant! Completely unexpected. We thought it would be months, but no, the Lord is good.
Two and a half months into the pregnancy, we found out the baby passed away. We were heartbroken, but we have leaned on God for strength. He has taught us so many things about His perfect will for our lives. We are 100% certain that His judgements are perfect. He has healed our hearts and helped us walk into a new understanding of His love and grace.
Another thing that has cropped up in this last week, which is another part of the road we are on. Doctors found a shadow on my mother's mammogram results. She went back in today for some more testing and should get the results and the diagnosis whether she needs a biopsy on Wednesday. (Please pray if you feel lead to pray.)
I have just scratched the surface as to the plethora of things that happened this last year. So many birthdays, holidays, births, deaths, joyous occassions, sadness, arguments, laughter that make up the everyday. I have just chosen these specific ones because they are the ones with the strongest emotions attached to them.
It seems that everything that has happened to us this year has been perfect for us. That feels totally weird to type. God has our lives planned and we don't need to worry about any of the details. Everything has happened for a reason. Just because the path isn't always pretty with tulips and roses lining the road, doesn't mean it's not a good path. Our path this year has had it's share of jagged rocks and slippery stones, but we have someone who has held our hands every step of the way. I think you learn the most from the rocky, narrow path.
If you would have told us a few years ago that any of this would have happened, especially how we have come through this year, we would have laughed in your face. A few years ago, we did not have Jesus in our lives and would not have dealt with this year very well. God knew when we could handle this year. He planned it all this way. He is so gentle and faithful like that. We have found in ourselves reactions, words, thoughts, and actions that are completely unexpected to even us. We have tangible evidence of who we were then and who we are now. That transforming power is only through Jesus. We wouldn't have been able to get through any of this without Him. I guess that's the thing about Jesus, always expect the unexpected.