I just need to brag on my God today. Because, y'all, He is awesome. He knows exactly what I need and provides at just the perfect time. It's during times like this when I kick myself for doubting or wanting to taking control -- when I feel pretty foolish for going about things my own way.
My pastor frequently says that you are always in one of three places in your life: you're either going into a storm, in a storm, or coming out of a storm. When I look back on my life, I can certainly see that cycle. Those storms aren't fun, but praise God He always leads me out!
I don't want to presume that I know all about God's plan (usually when I think that I do, He throws me a curve ball), but I really feel like a storm is passing. I can see the beginnings of blue skies and rainbows and all that other cliche stuff. Wait, is that a bird chirping?
My storm began brewing around this time last year -- with the birth of my son. I have loved that boy from the beginning, but his arrival also brought some challenges I wasn't prepared for. Like my inability to leave him when it was time to return to work. Personal relationships were also strained -- to the point where they would eventually break.
The first part of this year was difficult. Financially, we were doing very well, but I was an emotional wreck. Life was crumbling all around me, and I didn't care to do anything about it. After a few months, when things weren't getting any better, my husband and I made the decision that I would take a year's leave of absence from the school where I taught so that I could stay home with Cohen.
I will always be forever grateful that my husband entertained and later accepted that idea. It has taken a lot (more than I even know) of sacrifice on his part for me to stay home with my son, but it was the first step in healing for me. Through the summer, I began to feel positive again. I was spending more time with the Lord, and He revealed truths to me that I needed to hear. He gave me new friendships that I desperately needed -- at the perfect time when I was ready to allow people in my life again. He deepened relationships I had with Godly people -- people who prayed for me and genuinely cared for me.
There's one family in particular who I have grown to love over this last year. It is not uncommon for them to pray for something in my life before I even ask them to pray. They are Godly people -- the kind of people I want to be. They listen and are obedient when God moves them. They have blessed our family many times over the last few months. I thank God every day for them and for showing me the kind of person I want to be.
And now, as we begin to close out the year, I'm feeling the rain subside. The sun is peeking through the clouds, and I welcome its warmth. There were so many times this year when I would have done anything to be where I am today, but I am so thankful it has taken this long to get here.
Because without the storm, I wouldn't be able to appreciate the sun.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Linking up with Call Me Blessed for We Encourage Tuesday.