On December 31, 2013, Husband-Man fell asleep while we watched the Lion King. We had planned on going to a friend’s house to ring in the new year, but his stomach hurt so we stayed home. That stomach ache turned into months of pain, weight loss, visits to doctor’s offices, and eventually a diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis. It heralded high medical bills, sleepless nights, and a year of waiting for changes and developments.
On December 31, 2014, Husband-Man and I watched four hours of Crocodile Dundee, ate pizza, and went to be early. As we lay in bed before falling asleep, we talked through this unexpected year that stretched us farther than we could ever have imagined, we talked about our hopes and dreams for the new year. We have big plans, and we’re looking forward to another year together of learning how God uses our rough spots to continue to point us to Him.
I am thrilled to see 2014 come to a close, but as we prayed last night and this morning and thanked God for our blessings that sprang to mind easily, I couldn’t help but think about the blessings that hurt the most. We thanked God not because of what we have, but because of who He is. We thanked Him not for what makes us feel comfortable, but that which makes us draw closer to Him. I praise God that we had the year that we had. We often comfort ourselves with Philippians 4:13, but often fail to take the verse in full context. In Philippians 4:10-13, Paul says:
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
The hopes that I held in my heart for 2014 we not all met. In fact, most of them were answered with “wait”. Most of 2014 found us in great need of the Lord, and we were able to walk though the experience because God gave us the strength. God is good. God provides every day, and blessed my little family by leading us through pain and uncertainty. As you plan for 2015, know that God sees the plans that you hold dearly in your heart. And He loves you so much that He won’t give you everything that you want.