A very Blessed and Happy New Year everyone! Throughout social media, I’ve seen many opinions of 2017-some good; some bad. Brad and I could say, “Goodbye 2017! It’s been the worst year ever!” We are not. Since we moved, I haven’t posted, so I thought it’s about time to let everyone know what’s been going on since the move. I’m going to do so in the fashion of why we could have complained about 2017, but below that show God’s immediate provision through the trial:
- My body giving out from Fibromyalgia and having to step down from serving at World Horizons with people we treasure
- Having one of the best doctors in Ohio to treat Fibromyalgia, being given a second try on a medicine I had forgotten about, and having the best summer I can remember!
- Packing up and moving so we can be closer to Brad’s side of the family
- Wonderful friends, Carlos and Nora, Mary Beth, and Debbie, coming alongside to help pack and bring/cook food! Thank you, Carlos and Nora, for making the long trip to come and unpack us! We couldn’t have made it without you!
- Visiting the kids and grand kids 3 times since we moved! Thank God for a shorter distance!
- Leaving friends, church and ministry family
- Gaining a beautiful home, wonderful neighbors, and new friends with which to fellowship with and do ministry!
- Brad’s major surgery!
- Having the best surgeon in the country to perform the surgery before his condition worsened!
- The best neighbors looking after Jack and I and cooking wonderful food!
- Encountering strangers on walks to the beach who ministered to me when I was tired and exhausted.
- Seeing two adult children we are trying to help move out and attempt independence on their own
- Trusting God with our children and learning by His grace!
- The van having a big head gasket leak and being a major repair
- A new truck with 4-wheel drive at a great discount and being able to trade a modified van just in time before losing all trade in value! We can now drive anywhere in snow!
- Multiple leaks in the house from a pot filler, garbage disposal, and refrigerator line! The refrigerator resulted in a damaged floor, cabinets, and baseboard while Brad was in rehab after surgery.
- Great insurance and a new floor, baseboard, and cabinet side panels coming in two weeks!
- Wonderful neighbors to help fix the appliances!
What have we learned? That’s it’s easy to complain and be downtrodden, but that God is always present and providing in ways we don’t often expect. I’m always reminded of something Kris Keating, Executive Director/Director of World Horizons/Hillside Missions respectively, said one Friday morning as we were discussing and praying over current events. He said something to the effect that as we pray, pray toward a solution in which you have a role. That struck my heart, because I thought, “How can I have a role in events taking place half way around the world other than to pray?” God has shown me since then how we are active partners with Him. Our holy God, our magnificent Creator, gave up everything to come to earth as a humble baby in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ to die for us. Why? To save us from our sins and to be in relationship with us. Jesus desires to partner with us, through the power of His Holy Spirit, to see His glory made known to the nations-starting from my family, friends, neighbors, community, to every unreached people group around the globe. I marvel at this wonder every day, that God can use such sinful broken vessels as myself that are in constant need of daily repair and renewal by the Potter’s hands! But that’s the beauty. As Paul states so eloquently in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV):
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
So, this 2018, we are looking to better walk by faith daily, trusting in our marvelous Savior to use us for His glory here in this beautiful place. And as we pray, we look for specific ways we can personally have an impact. With problems, we also look inward to see what things God might first change in us (difficult, but learning)! Things you can pray for:
- Brad has a second surgery on Monday, February 19th at 3:00 pm for a full left knee replacement. His knee blew a couple of days before his hernia surgery, but he had to wait 6 months before fixing the knee.
- We are looking at joining a new church, Cornerstone Friends, here in Madison! They need a bass guitar player, and they have both a wonderful praise team and children’s’ program. We visited last Sunday and were genuinely welcomed!
- Our family’s continued growth in the Lord.
- Kathy and Fatimah both graduate in May, two days apart!
- Lynn’s tutoring a friend taking college math
- Our neighbors and community to know and walk with Jesus! Brad is the President of our community association, and I am the treasurer. Pray that God will use these roles to build relationships, and that we serve well in these roles!