At the end of each year, generally in a Christmas card, you will often find the "Holiday Letter." You know the one, it updates everyone on the events of the year. Well this is kind of like that, and yet a bit different... after all with Facebook so many of us are keeping up with those events already, what this is, is a letter from my heart.
As most of you know, 2013 was an eventful year in my family.
January begun filled with prayerful optimism, Glenn's battle against cancer had been going well and Christmas with the family was a joy, and Glenn had played percussion in the Candlelight service. Our precious Cecilia turned 3, so amazing! We were making plans for the year ahead, and the scripture in my heart was Ecclesiastes 3 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven. And I still stand on that. By the end of that month, the doctors reports were changing and the prognosis was not good, that however never changed our faith, God is a big God, and our trust has always been, and mine still is, in Him!
Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And lean not on your own understanding In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.
Psalms 46:10-11 Be still, and know that I am God I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.
February came and we continued to make plans, plans for a garden and plans to meet our grandson that was to arrive in May. Jeremy and Whitney came to visit and we were blessed with a wonderful opportunity to have all the family together and get some family pictures done... Again, I am thankful for the timing of the Lord.
In March the challenges increased, but so did our faith. We continued to plan and enjoy life together, though our sense of humor some may have viewed as a bit weird, but it allowed us to laugh and keep positive through the tough moments. Psa 18:32 It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. We were keenly aware of what was going on in the physical, but our focus remained on the Lord during it all. My love and admiration for Glenn, as a husband, father and man of God continued to grow through every moment of the battle. His faith never wavered, he knew the God of his salvation. We followed the course that the Lord gave us and I continue trusting the Lord to guide my path still.
April brought us Easter, and the reminder of the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus, and the Salvation gift on the cross. It brought us time with family, and the girls Easter Egg Hunt, always fun to watch! Papa loved his grandbabies, even the one he had yet to see. Micah's dedication was in April and we were there, it brought joy to his heart to know that his grandchildren would be raised in the house of the Lord.
May was a month of tears, my heart broken at the loss of my best friend on earth, my lover, my husband, and at the same time tears of joy at the arrival of his namesake, Asher Glenn, who has his Papa's kind eyes. Though we didn't get the healing as we wanted it, the fact that we did get a miracle, became plain to my eyes, the doctors were talking weeks in March of 2012 but we were blessed with 14 months, and quite of few of them good ones! Glenn was able to teach, share and pray for others during that time, and this brought tears of happy memories. And now he is no longer in any pain, but doing what he loved most, worshiping in God's presence. We said 'good-bye' to him at the end of May, a hard time but a proud moment, my children are amazing and they they stepped up with so much strength. In addition to my children are my family and friends who stepped up and helped me through it.
The summer is somewhat of a blur, I began to move forward in a new chapter of life, beginning as I returned to the work-world as an employee, but have kept my business going, the Lord has given me provision to pay my bills each month and I am grateful for that. He is seeing me stretched in ways I am very uncomfortable with, but I trust He has a reason.
Fall arrived, over the months my heart is healing-- there are still some very raw parts but God's love is a balm of healing upon them. I think of the memories of last year and the good holiday season we had and the memories are happy and I will have them forever... that helps me through the low points.
As fall pushed into winter, and the holidays approached I began to reflect on things, and during the month of November I took the time to focus on the things I am thankful for, keeping a thankful heart is crucial to me... it keeps things in perspective, I really am blessed! From there I moved into sharing memories of holiday times, they add smiles to my spirit.
As I close, I would be amiss if I didn't mention one of the things that touched me most of all during this year of challenges- the amount of love shown to me by family, church family and friends from all over. Your prayers, words, thoughts, pictures, and deeds overwhelm me. You are God's hands whether you know it or not, you propped me up, picked me up and have helped me to move forward... And that is what I think of when I think of Christmas... Emanuel, Christ with us, those actions remind me of God's love for each of us, I was just in the position this year to see it, not necessarily more clearly, but in a new way from a different angle. Thank you all for this.
I am doing well, all things considered though yes, I have moments, but the Strength I get from the Lord and the people he has placed in my life continue to help me walk forward. I know He has plans for me and I have faith that He will reveal them when the time is right. So I look to 2014 with optimism and joy in my heart anxious for the year ahead.
My prayers and best wishes for each of you to have an I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and you will have amazing and blessed 2014!!