“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thes. 5:16-18
My kiddos began this year virtual learning and living in what seems like an alternative dimension of life with “COVID -19”. I was not ready for school to begin this fall and yet here we are about to celebrate Christmas. In trying to find something positive about learning to live within the realms of Covid- 19, I realized we were forced to press “pause”, catch our breath and get off the “Merry Go Round” that we voluntarily get on with having multiple kids in multiple activities. We don’t know how to get off that ride, once on. So you hold on tight and try to make as many memories as possible and survive. I’ve found joy during this time and fighting the urge to be fearful. However, this fall and “new virtual school” year was not something I signed up for. Especially, since I am not a teacher and never imagined I’d be semi-homeschooling. I definitely didn't sign up for this!
From the outside looking in, my life looks picture perfect. The fact of the matter is IT IS pretty great. First, I have this incredible relationship with Jesus Christ. I remember the first time I felt his presence in my life, I was 7 and I’ve never stopped clinging to Him. Then, I have this husband, whom I’ve adored for over 23 years. He is literally the life of the party, people are drawn to him. He has this amazing way of stepping into the spotlight and engaging people. He is driven, prioritizes family memory making moments, and is incredibly generous. He’s pretty much my ticket to this fun ride, called life! Next in line are my three kiddos, and I’m blown away by their existence. I am humbled that I get to be part of their lives and watch them grow and become who they are meant to be. I have the blessing of both my parents who have been married over 50 years, still living as well as my in-laws who are also approaching their 50th Anniversary. I love my family, brother, sis-in-loves, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins... genuinely love them and each time we get to be together. We have friends that stop everything to come to each other's needs. And, I have my health, right now, it’s a good life and I thank God for these gifts.
However, we’ve had our trials too and some pretty deep valley’s. Valley’s I didn’t sign up for. As one of my pastor's once said, “we each are either going into a storm, in the middle of a storm, or leaving a storm.” This verse in 1 Thessalonians became an anchor for me 13 years ago, when Aaron and I found ourselves in marriage counseling. At the time the twins were 2 ½ years old. I remember that time like it was yesterday, it is only by the grace of God and really good counseling, we made it through that dark storm. It’s not the only storm we’ve had… not that you came here today to dig through my dirty laundry… We’ve experienced infertility issues, a miscarriage, job stresses, my husband has Hossimoto’s an auto immune disorder, struggles in raising our kids, and just regular life disappointments and stresses that seem to come in waves. And, I didn't sign up for any of them, but It’s called Life! "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
As I type this, we are living in the strangest of times, disconnected, separated, masked, uncertain. Regardless of our circumstances we have the choice to live in fear of the storms or we can strengthen our faith, choose, joy, and find gratitude. I will choose joy, I will keep praying, and giving thanks, it’s because of the things that I didn’t sign up for, in my life that have strengthened me.
You may not have “signed up” for what you are going through. Whether it’s a sickness, divorce, financial stresses, pain of watching a child struggle, infertility, the loss of a loved one, loneliness, or even virtual school. Yet, the secret of a joy-filled life is to appreciate when times are good and know that we can get through the hard times by turning to God for help. "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Romans 12:12
My prayer is for the Holy Spirit to use this “Truth’s” page as encouragement for you, today.
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
Peace and Grace,
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