It is very early on this New Year's morning, around four in the morning to be exact, but I am fully rested. Oh I am more than fully rested, my soul has been fed, and it doesn't hurt that neither John nor I could keep our eyes open past 8:15 last night.
Oh we are the party people you know.
This post has been crafting itself in my mind for the last week. My blog here, my place to capture my thoughts, to hopefully inspire others, well.....it has been neglected for most of 2013. Oh how thankful I am for this open space to have been able to store such a miraculous Thanksgiving, because our Christmas did NOT have such a wonderful outcome.
Why has this blog been so very neglected for the past year?
We have struggled.
We have struggled so much as parents, our kids have really had a tough time, and we have come to many humbling breaking points. There have been many many days in 2013 where we just floundered, tears came, and we wondered how it is that we could possibly go on. It seemed that hope was lost on many occasions, but God is so faithful, because we would wake up and have another day. He gives us a new chance to change every single day.
So while we have had many hopeless thoughts, I am not without hope. In fact over the last week, I have had many reassuring messages from the Lord. One of those being a reflection from my own marriage. A lot of people don't see marriage like adoption, but I think they are very similar. We meet someone who is not a blood relative (therefore not an "obligation" to love), we marry that person, in effect making them our family. Then comes the work. We have to learn to love one another in a way that makes a cohesive unit.
That ain't easy folks.
In fact, John and I had years 6 and 7 of our marriage be a complete disaster. I remember having weeks where I would cry and beg the Lord to change things. Two years of tears, thinking the Lord had forsaken me, thinking He didn't hear me, two years of Him changing me ever so slowly.
Do you know what happened?
The Lord changed me, and then He changed John, and now at year 12, we are so much in love it's just not even comprehensible for words to describe. I feel as though we really are one person, each of us giving one hundred percent to the other, we are a team, best friends, partners, and I stand in awe of this man I married every day. Our years of struggle really make our marriage stronger, they make me appreciate it more, and so....
How am I to know that this isn't what is happening in our lives as parents?
I know God has a purpose for these days where I feel like I can't go on, where I feel like the ultimate failure as a mother, where life feels like there is no escape and it will be a lasting misery.
I know that if I do not give up hope, if I keep my eyes on the Lord through this test, we will come through much better. Both John and I have a family history of dysfunctional and unhappy homes as far back as we can investigate. There's alcoholism, broken marriages, abuse, mental illness, and the whole gamut on both sides of both of our families.
Oh satan loooooooves that.
It's a chain of brokenness. Chains that are very hard to breaks, that keep people shackled to a life of hopeless living, that keep people in sin unable to see the glory of God.
We have sinned. We have been humbled by our sin as both people and parents. I feel like we are on the edge of breaking those chains and satan is trying to dig his heels in. If we break that chain of brokenness, our family has a new legacy, one that lives on to glorify God. Our children will know that we have come taken two lives built from frail pieces of glass, and through God only, created a rock solid foundation on which to build the rest of the generations.
We have effectively done this with our marriage, and now we WILL do this as parents. Our struggles have come due to our choices in making our family, but I still firmly believe that God called us to make those choices. Choices that may have us suffer for a while, but in the end will be the best thing to every happen to us and future generations of our family.
Ezekiel 36:26 says
I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit, and I will take from you your heart of stone, and give you a new heart.
Is this not powerful?
The people of Israel are exiled, they have sinned against God so many times, and yet when all hope seems lost, and God seems to have forsaken them, He tells them He will save them again. But not for themselves. He will save them for His glory. He will save them so that all know He is God.
Our family will be saved and built stronger so that our children know God is good. Our children's children will know the power of God, and hopefully all generations to come will be firmly planted in their faith to Him.....so these struggles they do have purpose. We must keep our eyes on the Lord and never lose heart.