Last week I wrote about unexpected joys we experienced last year, in response to Simple Mom's annual "20 Questions for a New Year's Eve Reflection." Another one of the questions she asked was "what was an unexpected obstacle you faced?" and I wanted to share a little bit about my answer to that question.
Last year started out hard, as we were entering the 2nd half of Micah's kindergarten year. He was doing fine in school, but I was struggling with certain aspects of it that affected my health and my emotions in a big way. Some days I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around that situation and why God would have allowed it. I did learn that life is not all about me, but about Him. He put people (adults) in my life through that situation that I feel were divine appointments from Him - these were people who needed to see Jesus in someone's life, and our relationships continue to this day. That year was also fun for Micah. True, he did not learn a lot. But if he started out his education having fun and looking forward to each day, I can be happy about that.
We are now in a new classroom with a new teacher, and we love her. She has been amazing for Micah and I wish we could have her every year! Through that whole experience I also learned that many hard situations are just seasons, and things will change.
Another obstacle we faced last year was from January through March. For two months, our family was extremely sick - we dealt with 2 bouts of pneumonia and I had strep throat twice. For almost 6 weeks I could not talk above a whisper and was laid up in bed. I remember just crying asking God, "Why is this happening?" Those two months held a lot of silence for me, and a lot of listening. They were painful, but God and I had a lot of conversations that I still hold deep in my heart.
In June of 2011, I got the devastating news that my best friend's adoption had fallen through. She and her family had driven from California to Oklahoma, held their adopted newborn baby in their arms for 11 days, and then the birth mother changed her mind and took the baby back. This was one of the biggest shocks she had ever experienced, and I felt helpless from thousands of miles away. My heart ached for her in the deepest way, and every thought was consumed with how she was doing. As they made the long trek home, they were welcomed home by a group of their closest friends. During the time they were gone, we came together and redid the baby's room, putting up a "yarn tree" with colorful leaves that had Scripture promises written for them by their family and friends. We sat in the baby's room and cried together. It was a precious moment that I will never forget. Another unexpected obstacle, but rich with love and mercy.
Also in June, a young single mother came into our life and into our home. We took care of her and her son for a little while, and I worked tirelessly to find her a job and a place to live. The situation felt completely hopeless and got worse every day. One morning I received a phone call that a family at church wanted to take her and her baby in, and she has been living there ever since. She has an amazing full-time job now and is doing well. During those few months that we were helping her, I truly could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once again I was challenged to trust God, and He did not fail us.
All of these obstacles seemed like impossible mountains to climb. None of them felt like they were ever going to end. But again, looking back I see that everything is a season, and God is faithful to carry us through! Why do we doubt Him when He proves Himself over and over again? Even if we feel nothing good came out of a painful situation, we know that God is always working everything together for His good, even if it is a deep, dark corner of our soul that needs healing and repair.
I don't know what obstacles 2012 will hold for us. Yet looking back at last year proves to me again that even if we face trials, they are just for a season, and God is faithful. What is an obstacle you faced last year that taught you about God's faithfulness?