Saturday, December 31, 2011

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around

Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
(Beautiful Things, Gungor)

If I had to put the year 2011 in a song, this would be it. This year has brought joy immeasurable and so much pain that I felt I couldn't take a breath. And in the midst, there was God.





In this year, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about spiritual warfare. But I also learned and experienced more than I ever fathomed the Presence of Jesus, my comforter. Here I am, on the cusp of a new year, and I feel a bit like Mary, holding these things in my heart and pondering the goodness of God. But I'd be remiss if I didn't testify to the faithfulness of my Savior.

In this year, a battle raged for our son. Satan thought he had won, and if truth be told, there were moments that I believed it too. It was a hard time, for lack of a better description. I cried until the tears would come no more. I hurt. I felt like my heart had been ripped from within me. The bleakest days of my life were during that time. Jeff and I spent a week at home, mourning the decisions that Bryan had made that caused him to be placed outside of this home. And in that moment of him leaving here, the lies came flying into my mind: "You weren't good enough, or he wouldn't be struggling like this". I wanted to believe it. To blame myself seemed better than admitting that my son had made decisions that went against everything this family believes in. But that's not the end of the story.

I can't tell you how beautiful redemption is when you witness it in your child. Jeff and I often say how incredible it is to have our son back. It's not been easy, but he's home and he smiles again. God is speaking to him, and he is learning to listen again. God is daily redeeming him and using his story. You see, what was meant to harm him, God intended for good, and we see the good coming from that time. We've hugged more, laughed more, cried more, prayed more in the past few months than I can ever remember. It's beautiful, and I feel more proud of him than I can describe here.

A few weeks ago, our sweet Ellie asked Jesus to come into her heart. We've witnessed her redemption too. It's been three years this week since we said "yes" to adopting her, and the transformation in her life is unbelievable. She has literally come to life before our very eyes, and we are so thankful for her!

I have no idea what 2012 has in store. I'm sure there will be days of incredible joy, and I'm sure there will be days where my heart will feel torn apart. If I've learned anything in this year, it's that my feelings cannot be trusted. They change like the wind. But God- oh my, He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He hands out HOPE in abundance, and my cup surely is overflowing with it. I can't wait to see what 2012 holds- all of it. For nothing comes to me that He is unaware or unprepared for.

How about you? What did God teach you this year?