Love Does, My Story, Uncategorized

The soundtrack of my year

I love the New Year.  The close of a year always brings about a time of reflection for me and anticipation of the fresh start for the coming one.  I’m not big on resolutions, I just like the feeling of opening a new chapter.

As I reflect on 2014 there are many things to celebrate but in the midst I also remember the pains of disappointment and growth that have occurred.  I’m not very old, but I think it’s safe to say this has been the hardest year of my life.  Not necessarily bad… just hard.  I know there will be losses in my future that will likely overshadow this year, but to this point 2014 takes the crown.

In the early part of the year I struggled with significant disappointment where I expected God to come through and meet my expectations, but He didn’t.  I don’t think He failed me in any way.  I was just forced to realize that my ways are not His ways yet that does not change His goodness.  I haven’t faced a lot of disappointment in my life so this was incredibly difficult for me to process, yet necessary for my own growth.  There were days when I couldn’t even talk.  My faith cup was so low that when true tests came I had nothing to draw from, just simply praying – please move.  and He did.

I feel like this year has been a sequence of songs.  I was first introduced to the song Oceans by Hillsong United in the spring.  My heart sang, take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.  This quickly turned into a greater realization that grace abounds in deepest waters.  More than once I felt like we had gone in over our heads.

As we jumped into our foster care journey I remember talking with Daniel about how challenging this could potentially be.  Boy did we underestimate that!  Initially we were just going to be licensed for short-term, respite care.  We felt like God was calling us to more, so we accepted a more permanent placement in April.  My heart was officially broken for the pain in this world, what it is costing innocent children and the hopelessness of it all.  I have never seen God so clearly as how I have seen Him move on behalf of these children.  Friends, if you ever wonder where God is, get involved in orphan care.  He is moving.  The pain of our first placement brought me to a desperate place of trusting God like I never knew before.  For the first time I can recall we were making decisions that had huge implications and to avoid the pain would have been the easy way out.  God’s purposes were bigger and I can see from this side that His work in our lives had prepared us for that moment.  His heart for that child was always good and we were just a small part of her story.  As I grieved that loss the song It is Well from Bethel Music carried my heart through.  That CD was on constant replay, with that song repeated endlessly.  It didn’t always feel well, but as I proclaimed it I was able to see God’s faithfulness.

Then came the dream that changed everything.  We were on a break but got a call about twin girls needing a place immediately.  Everything about this situation was outside of my comfort zone and carefully constructed boundaries – but God had prepared us for more.  The song You Make Me Brave also from Bethel Music was instrumental in our Yes.  In the first few weeks of the twins’ arrival, I had this song on repeat as well… trying to grip that courage that is in my essence and be brave for these girls and myself.  Sinking was not an option.

In 2012 and 2013 we had a sense that we were in a season of “rest”.  If I had known what we were being prepared for I probably would have embraced it more 🙂  The past four months have been the most life giving, sleep deprived, grace-filled, baptism by fire, laughter infused, princess permeated, pink months of my life. Our hearts have been stretched to the size of three little girls.  I would have never imagined this being our life. ever. in a million years.  God is funny.

When I was younger, I planned to be an attorney, marry rich, make lots of money and have no kids.  {take a moment to laugh}  I am now happily married to someone in the military, work for a ministry (non-profit) and have 3 kids – that aren’t even mine.

The dictionary defines vulnerable as capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt.  I had a friend ask me recently if I feel like I’m naked on the internet when I share through blogs.  I really hadn’t even thought about it that way.  Really, I just feel honest.  We are in an incredibly vulnerable place.  As our days increase with these girls, our hearts become more knit and our potential for pain grows.  WE covet your prayers.  I don’t want to hold back, from you or them.  I want you to hear our story.  I want you to walk with us because we cannot do this alone.  I want these girls to know a love that’s deep and not reserved just because of potential pain.  As I consider what this next year could bring, I admit there is a bit of fear.  I cannot control this story; I can only trust the one who is writing it.  Deep down I have to believe that the joy of love will be greater than the pain of loss.

Yesterday as the twins joined us in the worship part of our service Prissy stood with hands raised as we sang the verse “I’m gonna lift my hands, til I can reach Heaven.”  I smiled as I dream of her leading worship for the next generation.  I can dream for her.  I might not always be a part of their lives but I can dream that this season will be instrumental in who they become.  I pray for their future, please join with me.  I am thrilled when I ask what they learned in their class and they say “Jesus!  Mommy, I learned Jesus!”  –  that’s all we can do.  Teach them Jesus.  And love.

Thanks for sticking around for this long-winded post.  I just wanted to recap our year and share some of my heart’s thoughts.  I might get something else out before the end of the year.   If not, as you close up 2014 and look into this coming year, please take time to celebrate the good, release the bad and invite God to write your story for what’s next.  It might be drastically different than what you expect things to look like… but sometimes that’s good.

Psalm 65:11   You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.

That’s a wrap!

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Photo credit to http://www.littlemisscreativestudio.com

 

3 thoughts on “The soundtrack of my year”

  1. Oh sweet Abby, how I wish I had such wisdom when I was first introduced to my 3 littles!! I am sure you have never laughed so hard or cried so hard. Isn’t it strange? I am so proud of you. You inspire me to love harder and risk more. I know the potential for heartbreak that you and Daniel are facing…and yet you choose to love. Kind of reminds me of Jesus:). Love never fails my friend. It is hard, but it is so worth it. Thank you for loving these girls. Thank you for giving until it hurts and then giving some more. I love you and am praying for you!!!

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  2. Abby, thanks for sharing your journey. While you do not know what the future holds, I am convinced these little lives will be forever changed by having been with you and Daniel. Blessings on you and them!

    Like

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