The year of our LORD Two Thousand and Eleven... a HARD year, a stretching year, a year well- lived.... Recapping this year has loomed on the "to do" list - in fact it didn't get done - thus no Christmas Letter.... Here we are - the countdown to a New Year.
Ann Voskamp begins her year's recap with the sentence, "All the moments were hallowed whispers of something other - this crazy grace." Yes - painful moments were simply hallowed whispers of crazy grace!
Michael writes in tomorrow's Misawa Air Base Chapel Protestant News:
Our theme this year has been "Living Faithfully". We have had the opportunity to live faithfully and see God's faithfulness through earthquakes, tsunamis, near-nuclear meltdowns, Operation Tomodachi and Noble Eagle...." voluntary evacuations, illness.....I've walked through crisis of faith with untold numbers of loved ones who asked the tough questions - "Where is God when thousands die in an instant?" "Can this God be trusted?"
I faced two of my biggest fears in one instant: being on a bridge in an earthquake and knowing my children were in danger and not being able to reach them...many of you remember the Facebook post that simply said, "Has anyone heard from my family - are they o.k.?"....and I learned to continue to follow His lead...to dance with Daddy when all around the world was crashing....when I couldn't reach my greatest human support - Michael.
Added to the above, were ministry successes and spectacular ministry failures - which only allowed Him to shine brighter still through the gaps caused by my humanity.
I learned to organize massive shopping trips and volunteers in relief efforts.
I've traveled more than I like. But I've LOVED each and every interaction traveling afforded.
I've learned through near burn-out valleys, rest in Him is always available. HE is my secret place, which I can run to, be anonymous and be refreshed.
We celebrated the graduations of three college aged children in 2011.
We've seen the death of dreams and sensed the gestation of new dreams in their place.
I've continued to "Choose Joy". I've seen that yes, my God can be trusted when nothing else in life seems solid! By choosing to find the joy, by naming the graces, I change my perspective and I continue to live faithfully in the midst of "ugly beauty".
I hope for sunnier paths in 2012. I pray not to repeat the mistakes and hard times of 2011....but I can never regret the deeper levels of intimacy which those moments led to. Abba, Daddy God, never once left.
"Grateful for every pain that was really a peeling away of something - to make me know in new ways that He is enough." Ann Voskamp on FB
Yes - I am thankful to know in gut-level, intimate, ever-deeper ways that He truly is ENOUGH!
|Picture the older girls sent me this summer - Precious!|
Living all of life before the face of God...