This year has held a lot for me. Happiness and sadness.
2012 started off with a bang! It seems like just yesterday and yet here I am...sitting in the first day of 2013. Adam and I took some of the college kids to Passion in Atlanta. It is one of my favorite things in the world. That was followed by time with my family and then a vacation in the mountains with friends. We even got snow-lots of it! A rare thing to see for us from Florida. February was filled with preparation for our new baby and Matthew's 2nd birthday. March brought us another sweet little blessing named Andrew Caleb. April brought much sadness and praise in the death of my Grandpa. Sadness because I was CRAZY about my Grandpa. And much praise for the ability to celebrate with assurance that my Grandpa is now at the feet of Jesus, praising Him for the rest of eternity! I have had countless moments since April 20th that refocus my mind on an eternity of crying out, "Holy! Holy! Holy! Is the Lord God Almighty! Who was, and who is, and who is to come!" and the fact that Grandpa is already experiencing that. I am SO grateful for the quickness of the journey of Parkinson's for him. I know it can be so much longer than it was. The summer was a hard time. Adam was gone a lot. We did gain two sweet friends in those months though, Nate and Laura. Adam's interns and now a part of our family. We also had to say goodbye to good friends, the Potters, as they moved to Naples. We miss them lots. September brought the time I had planned to start researching adoption. WOW! Overwhelming, discouraging, lonely, confusing, exciting, sad, happy, impatient, urgent...there are too many emotions that flow through me concerning this topic to even type out. God is so gracious to me. The two countries we had felt God was leading us to for adoption were Ethiopia and Uganda. Two little boys came to Jacksonville with Samaritans Purse from Uganda. They needed life saving heart surgery. They and their moms were here for a little over a month. They also had a translator from Uganda who works at an orphanage and has such a personal heart for orphans. My heart fell head over heels in love with Enimi. He was 6 years old with dark skin, big eyes, sweet smile, skinny little body, tight hugs, infections giggles, fingers that fit perfectly between mine, and a sick physical heart, but a larger than life, loving heart. Matthew and Enimi became fast friends whose hugs were precious and the bond they had was amazing even though they didn't speak the same language at all! Helen is now the avenue we are using to pursue adoption from Uganda. So many gifts that God provided to me in what would seem a trip to benefit many others. I feel most blessed out of the whole thing! He is MUCH TOO GOOD TO ME! In the beginning of December Enimi also went to the feet of Jesus and is now worshipping our Savior with my Grandpa and a few other saints I knew that passed away this year. The hurt my heart felt and the tears I cried the morning Enimi died are unlike anything I've ever felt. Complications of his disease were too much for his little body to handle. Enimi was a vessel for Jesus though. He ministered to many in his short 6 years. The night before he went home to Heaven his mom and dad entered into a relationship with Jesus. Once again...I was standing in the doorway smack dab between praise and sadness, just as I had been at my Grandpa's death. I am SO grateful that I have a hope for eternity, and that I can mourn in such a way.
This year has been home to a lot of recognition of my MASSIVE sin before a sinless Savior. I am a proud person, and am learning the ugliness of that daily. I am thankful that God softened my heart to that, and taught me to realize that. Others that know me may be thinking, "Duh! You're just now learning this?!" but it is true. I thought pride was an attribute of people who brag etc... and that is not me. But pride is when I don't want to apologize or admit I am wrong. Pride is when I view myself as anything other than NOTHING without JESUS. There is not one day that goes by (maybe because I am now a mom of a 2- almost 3 year old) that I think I can survive the day in my own power. I am in need of His patience, grace, forgiveness, mercy, wisdom, strength...the list is endless. I am this year, more than ever, thankful that Jesus is MY PERSONAL SAVIOR. That I can have an intimate relationship with Him.
In 2013 I really do just want more of Jesus. I want a more consistent relationship with Jesus so that His glory would be made more known through my life. I do not want to distract with myself. I want to gain confidence in verbally sharing the Gospel with those that desperately need Jesus. I want to be committed to prayer in a way that rubs my knees raw, and causes me to lose sleep. All of these things sound scary and hard, but I know that this is the purpose I survive by His grace, and to not live in that is a waste. I do not want to know there are 364 days that lie ahead of me that will just be a waste. I want to know that in 364 more days that God's name will be more famous, not mine. I want to know that others will know the hope that I cling to.
The other thing I desire for 2013 is that I would be able to see the face of my next child. Adoption is slow moving and scary. I know that God WILL do more than I can ever ask or imagine. To me, the idea that I would know the face of my 3rd child by this time next year seems impossible. BUT GOD! He can have a child in my arms if that is HIS will. That is my little desire, but I am excited to see what He makes reality in this next year.
I pray that your focus for the next year would not be a better body, more money, nicer things, or happiness. Don't seek happiness...it will always fail. Seek Jesus. Seek joy. Jesus fulfills- it may look different than what you would imagine- but you will be filled. Resolve to seek Jesus EARNESTLY (dictionary.com: serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous). Let those be the words that others would use to describe the way you pursue Jesus. I pray that for my life.