January Recap.


It is okay to write a January recap two days before it's through? I hope so. 

Before you read any of my words, one article that has been an absolutely deep encouragement to me is this one posted below. I encourage you to read it (even over reading this. It's worth your time): 

One of the things I've always loved about photography is its ability to allow us to put aside the hard bits and remember the things that were bright. 

January was a brutal month for us. We suffered from the death of a dear friend, home ownership woes, major sickness, double ear infections from said sickness, canceled airlines, lost phones, and other trivial circumstances mixed in. There were tears from all five of us.

It all added up to moments of looking up and wondering if God was hearing anything we were asking him for. Of weeping in church at songs we did not believe amidst our grief, and at the very least, concluding these prayers we were slinging up to the Almighty were being left unanswered...or perhaps on a more hopeful note, we were being told a resounding no.

I'd like to say when trials and suffering come I shore up well. Let me be a female version of Job; my life mantra quickly being "shall we accept only the good?"  But I don't and I'm not.  I question God's goodness as quickly as the next. I'm closer to a wife of Job, or maybe his annoying friends-just trying to figure it out. "How can we figure this out so it doesn't happen more? What did you do to deserve this?" 

It's a frusterating condition, this chronic forgetfulness/need for control. If I were to remember the times he has showed up so clearly I cannot deny it, perhaps I'd fair better. 

But, I'm grateful he's patient with me still. 

 I cried a lot of tears this month. Tears of grief, of fear, of dissapointment. While I don't shore up well, I'm grateful my anchor does. He holds us fast.

But as we tuck this month away, I'm grateful for the photos. Grateful for the reminders of beautiful flowers and sunshine days spent with family. Of laughter with my mom and sister, Of lemon meringue cake, and silly boys and birthday parties. Laughter filled moments at the zoo, and watching a boy absolutely delighted by how deeply he is loved...

Praise God for the sunshine, for modern medicine (ear infections for three of us after a major illness is no bueno. Praise God for antibiotics before a plane,) for a family who sees, and financial stability enough to buy the 8th bottle of dimeatap and to pay for Urgent Care Visits. 

As we close out this month, I'm grateful we're now closer to being fully well. I'm grateful life keeps moving, even in its weirdness. and I'm grateful for the way grief makes us kinder. I'm noticing none of my friends are exempt from drinking a cup that has woes mixed in. I used to think it was purely a sign of the fall, but I take a great deal of hope we're more like Joseph-and God is really working all these things for our good.  I've come to realize many of my dear friends who have drank from the cup they've been given have grown more grace-filled and more joy-filled. While I've seen some who drink it bitter and turn out bitter,  It's incredible to see how so many of my dear friends rise from their hardships more beautiful. They've taken on that 'long obedience in the same direction.'

It is my hope t as we face hard days and find we overcame them, we'll continue to grow softer, slower to speak, and quicker to be confident that if we can be seen through this, then we can encourage each other  dawn will come for them too- Even when night feels so awful and dark. 

Perhaps thats the gift, by seeing the contrast, we understand the brightness of the light.

Looking forward to February and whatever cup she may bring.

33 “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.”

I'm glad we know how the story ends.

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