[I wrote this to share with the GCPC ladies at my baby shower today. May it be a blessing to all as my church family is to me.]
I am so grateful for the many blessings I have seen over the course of my life. Things I didn’t recognize at the time, but see clearly in the rearview mirror. Things that I knew were pretty big time right then and there.
Some of those things have happened in the past year. I am here to tell you that big things happen when you least expect it. Though in your heart you always wish for good things, the hope we have is that something only God can do will be done, and when you least expect it.
I’m also here to tell you that God never stops working on our behalf. In the beginning of 2012, I had made a commitment before God to be 100% ok with being single for the rest of my life. I had really wrestled with the idea that I was turning 39 and being generally unenthused about dating or even thinking about dating. I had never been in a huge rush to get married and never felt the need to have a man in my life at all times.
And then there was Rob. He came into my life in the least likely place I would have ever expected a potential spouse to show up in – in our church pulpit. I was skeptical. I’ll admit it. Our courtship was not without challenges. He had kids, an ex-wife to deal with, lived an hour away without tunnel traffic, and a really big dog. I knew that marrying him would not always be easy. I knew that there would be some difficulties, some heartache, frustration, and it would be uphill battles for some of the time. I wasn’t wrong. I won’t lie and say it has been all peaches and cream. There are nights we sit and cry together. There are times the future looks so grey and bleak, it is all we can do to hold each other’s hands and keep each other from the edge of despair.
But with every new morning, we see the hope. We know that God has not forsaken us. We know that if we wake up, it means God is still working on us. He isn’t finished yet and the story didn’t end yesterday. Our hope is found in the gift of each other that God has seen fit to not leave us alone.
And with this baby God gave us, we see ever more clearly a sign of hope. With every new life, we see God’s blessings to us – they are reminding us of His promise – “I am still working and creating and showing you how to love better, how to care for each other, how to be a family that I intended you to be.” And like He is forming this little one inside me, He is working in the dark places in ways we cannot see. Sometimes we feel it. We really really feel it and it doesn’t always feel good, but we remind ourselves that it’s a sign of life and growth and good things to come. Sometimes we don’t feel it, and we worry that there’s something wrong. We need to be reassured by our doctors and friends and our dear husband that everything is ok and it’s all normal. We hear the countless testimonies of many who have also been through the same things we have and come out the other side. We hear the advice, the stories, the encouragement and we learn something – maybe more than we wanted to know, but all good nonetheless. And all the waiting, the discomfort and sleepless nights, aches and pains, worries and scares, we learn more of God’s goodness to us and more of trusting Him with everything we have.
And so I am here to tell you that there is hope for you too. Not just that you will be provided a spouse if you are single, or a friend if you feel alone, or a child if you long for a baby, or whatever it is you are longing for most. But there is hope that the God of all comfort will deepen your capacity to be filled with His love and acceptance of you through your pain and sadness. That He will keep sending small signs, and sometimes really big signs, of His love for you – oh how He loves you! Look for His love in every face you see, every place you go, every situation you find yourself in no matter how difficult. He is working and He is preparing you, like a baby growing, maturing, and learning, and walking ever closer to Jesus.
“None who wait for You shall be put to shame.” – Ps 25:3