It’s rather typical to list off all of the things that we are grateful for at this time of year. But this time around, I am grateful for more, and in a deeper way, than I could have ever imagined at this time a year ago.
I am unwaveringly grateful for the incredible journey that the last year has taken me on. Coming out on the other side, it’s easier to say so; there were moments of great sorrow, deep disappointment, and bitter tears that I thought at times would never stop flowing. And nonetheless, there were moments of hope and joy, and the dawning of new friendships that would renew a part of my faith that had forgotten that God truly does care about the little things. And when the weight was too heavy to bear, there was my husband. My precious, God-seeking, devoted partner, softly speaking truth and hope. I couldn’t imagine a better companion on the dusty trails of this life.
This year has taught me to never be led by just my heart, but to be led by Truth confirmed in my heart. With the ups and downs of life, my heart keeps up pace, bouncing up and down in the tidal wave of emotion. But Truth does not change. This year I was reminded that the goodness of God is pursuing me, and no matter how long and exhausting the journey has seemed, God has been waiting to be good to me (Isaiah 30:18, the Message).
Less than three months ago, I was introduced to Evelyn. She was just three days old when I met her. Any newborn has the power to melt my heart, but Evelyn is something special. Evelyn’s life catapulted my faith in God in a way I didn’t even realize until the day I first held her in my arms. You see, Evelyn’s mommy was given the same diagnosis that I had been given during this past year… It involved a mass growing on the brain, and even with proper treatment, one of the many common side-effects was infertility. And yet, on a sparkling late-summer afternoon, there in my arms lay baby Evelyn. The fruit of God’s faithfulness.
In recent months, I stumbled upon another young and miraculous life, swadled in the arms of an old friend and sister in Christ. Her name is Olive Hope. For the last two months my husband and I have prayed for Olive and her parents thousands of miles away, as they bear the weight of the world on their shoulders and watch their little one fight for life on a daily basis. As the world joins with us in prayer, we have seen miracle after miracle, and yet the journey is far from over. Olive has reminded me again that God is faithful, and that God sees a picture that is much larger than the canvas of our own lives. She reminds me that ultimately, God will be glorified, and that alone is reason enough to be grateful for life, in any form or condition.
And here, in the midst of these very miracles, tangled up in prayers for Evelyn and Olive Hope, a new life was created… and this time, against all odds, the life was created and formed within ME.
"For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of Him." 1 Samuel 1:27
Your love Lord, truly does reach to the heavens. Your faithfulness leaps beyond the horizon and into the forgotten corners of my heart. You have pierced my heart with your goodness this year, and to you alone be the glory.
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations."