2011, oh 2011, you were the year that blindsided us.
on the night that Scott lost his job, I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. That high, high master bedroom ceiling. The very room where I nursed little 4 month old Ada on the night that we knew the house would be ours. I stared at the ceiling, and then at the already sleeping Scott, and I reach over and grabbed on to his arm as he kept sleeping. And I thought, this is what the vows are for. This is where we hold on tight--to each other, to Ada, to John. We hold on for dear life, and then when all are accounted for, we face this thing head on and we walk to the other side. Right through it to the other side.
I had grabbed onto that same arm in the bathroom of the Scottish Rite ER, when we prayed like crazy for Ada to go tee-tee. Just a little bit of tee-tee so we could avoid adding a catheter to the escalating nightmare. We prayed for tee-tee and no brain tumour and held on tight in that cold, echoing hospital bathroom.
And we held on through other endless things--the endless things that plague every marriage. Every life. The daily grind, we call it. The car trouble upon car trouble upon car trouble. The routine eye procedure that finally cleared up that pink eye. The messes and the potty training and the weaning and the endless plight to get my John to eat something. Anything. We hold on tight and cautiously put one foot in front of the other and we move forward into a life that looks nothing like we imagined.
And last night, I stumbled upon a cd that I lost several years ago. When Ada was still an only child and there was no little John growing inside of me. The seeds of courage cd. I found it last night in the midst of boxes and bags stored in our shed--leftovers from the past house. There is no room for those things here. I have been looking for that cd for years. And there it sat, unscratched, on top of a pile of books in a bag. I snatched it up, and I took it inside, and last night after dinner and baths and pajamas, we hit play on Ada and John's cd player, and the healing words played loud and strong.
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Jeremiah 33:3. (track 1)
In 2011, Scott and I called to him, and we asked for specific things. We asked for freedom from debt and more savings and a better job. We asked Him to do things more than we could ask or imagine. And he answered us and told us hidden things. He told us of his sufficient grace and his strength made perfect in our weakness. He told us that He will never leave us or forsake us and that He will hold on to us. That He will hold on tight.
The things that we experienced in 2011 (and beginning in 2010, really, with John's birth), only scratch the surface of the heartache and pain and suffering that so many people are experiencing even now. Ada could have had a brain tumor. John could have had heart and brain trouble. Scott could still be unemployed. We could be homeless. We could be homeless!!! So many people are.
And the thing is, even if that was what God has chosen for us. If he had chosen much greater heartache and much harder things to walk through, his Grace would still be sufficient. He would still be sovereign and good. Always sovereign and good.
Last night, that cd played, and I danced and sang and laughed and even cried just a bit. And I thought, bring it on 2012. Bring it on.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7. (track 2)
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. Psalm 62: 1-2 (track 8)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.
Psalm 46: 1-2 (track 11)
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (track 12)