Tuesday, March 5, 2013

new beginnings

it's been an emotional week for me.  and it's only tuesday.  with this month comes fresh recollections of what was happening in our lives last year.  i'm on my third year of writing in my perpetual calendar.  i love looking back at the previous years to see what we were doing.  another lost tooth from one of the kiddos.  countless "firsts."  memories made.  schedules carried out.  life lived.  but re-living the moments of March and April of last year has left my heart in a raw and bittersweet state.  i remember.

today while writing in my calendar, i noticed that a year ago today, March 5, 2012, we first heard the words "Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome."  our world changed considerably after.  there was no diagnosis at the time.  just a suggestion.  a possibility.  prior to that day, we had never heard of such a thing.  and didn't fully understand the beast that it could be.  or the hardship that lied ahead.

the weeks spent in the hospital were traumatic.  we were in full crisis mode.  but the months that followed had their own drowning and suffocating difficulties.  life was thrown upside down.  it was a season of confusion.  insecurity. unknown.  change.  and life in many ways began unraveling at the seams.

but faith is a rope to our true Lifeline.  and the grip on it just tightens and strengthens over time. i've learned this.

when one's heart is confused, she tends to see the world through a lens of confusion.  life is distorted and dismembered.  i remember.

this was a very lonely season.  a lost season.  loss of life as we knew it.  loss of identity.  it caused a lot of re-evaluating, paring back, and replanting.  In God's goodness, He allowed it.  sometimes He yanks out all the unfruitful roots, the harmful seeds that may one day bloom into nothing but misery, or will wildly grow in a direction against His will.  it's painful.  yet He loves us too much to deem it necessary.

sometimes He lets the winds and storms of life to rage through and destroy till it seems you are stripped down so far that you are reduced to nothing but dust.  so that He can change and grow you into what He has intended.  so that He can rebuild and restore.  and replant that which will bloom for Him.  letting beauty rise from the ashes. such is our story.

writing on my calendar today led me to look back on my blog and re-read some of the posts i had written while in the thick of this storm.  it was a very dark and despairing time that God graciously and consistently shed Light into.  enough to keep us from losing hope.  and to keep us reaching and grasping for Him.

most of the old posts i could hardly get through reading today.  it's beautiful.  and it hurts.  since then, some things have been broken and lost, other things healed and found.  i focus on the latter.

i can't even get through reading too heavy without choking back hard thick sobs.  the pain of that moment and that day knocking on the front door of my heart like an unwanted guest, making it all too real.  i remember.

so much has changed since.  i'm not the same woman i once was.  my husband's not the same man.  nor is our family.  it took months of climbing out of pits, hitting rock bottoms, fighting for Truth, surrendering and letting go, to reach a place of acceptance and wholeness.

this new ground and this foundation is Sure. and strong.

our journey isn't finished.  the trials will surely come again.  we haven't yet seen the end of this one. i won't pretend there aren't numerous ways He is still longing for me to change and grow.  but i've a deepened trust in Him.  and i'm willing to walk the path He leads me down.  whatever that may be.  strengthened and encouraged.

this saturday, March 2nd, was the one year date that brayden came down with a "stomach bug" and was hospitalized.  we spent more days in the hospital than out of the hospital in one month's time.  when i told brayden it had been a year, he wanted to bake a cake to celebrate.  i explained to him that it wasn't necessarily one full year of health,  but rather one full year since our journey had begun.  yet this 9 year old boy persisted that yellow cake and chocolate icing were necessary for such an occasion.

so we baked.  and we blew out candle.  and we thanked God, marking that day as a day of "new beginnings."  how appropriate for him to see a reason to celebrate.  our lives are full of reasons to be thankful, sometimes it takes the eyes of a child to make them known.

we have many transitions and unknowns ahead of us.  yet, i am feeling readily equipped for this journey.  this morning i texted my husband and told him that i could see many ways in which God has used these past few years as our battle training.  

months ago at church, a young lady pulled us aside and wanted to pray for us.  she had a vision that God had marked my husband's forehead with the words "mighty warrior."  at the time, he was feeling nothing of the sort.  but since then, God has been wonder-working in his heart and i'm seeing evidence of warrior all over him.  

God used these past few years to train him into the man He always desired for him to be.  these months and years have equipped him to accomplish the good work God has prepared in advance for him to do.  i told him that never before has he led our family like he is leading us now.  never before has his character been so deeply rooted in godliness and righteousness.  never before has our marriage been stronger or healthier or happier.  a year ago today, i would not have been able to say these things.  and i stand here today and humbly say that never before have i ever been more proud to have him as my husband.

God changes hearts.  He uses circumstances and hardship to grow and refine that which He loves and sees valuable.  we are worth far more than the sparrows of the air.  my view is so limited.  i pray daily that He increases my faith and enlightens my heart. that He gives me a spirit of wisdom and revelation. that i fall more and more madly in love with His Son each day.

i don't regret the path that we've walked, nor do i ever wish to go back to where we were.  i'm feeling strengthened and alive today.

thankful that He is a God of "new beginnings."


  1. i felt very blessed to be part of the celebration Saturday. Thank you for letting me be part of it:)

  2. It is amazing what illness can do, to everything. I'm not able to quote the Bible like you, but I do know I have learned to really appreciate and focus on the joy. When darkness is at your door and the only way to survive is to change your whole life, the little joys become so big. The fact that he's home for you to bake him a cake is huge. Two years ago it might have seemed like a chore. The new perspective becomes a gift!