My New Year's Day has been a horrible representation of fresh and new beginnings. It's one of these days that feels like everything that was 'done' in the past year has been undone. This week S. has been knocked flat on his butt with anxiety & feeling lousy like he hasn't been in a long time. It always puts our family into a spin. It's more reminiscent of 2 years ago when he had a bad anxiety attack than what our lives have been like in the past 6 months. It's an "Argh, I thought we were done with this!" day. Our house hasn't sold & our dear friends/renters were blessed to finish building so moved out right before Christmas. As I paid our full mortgage I winced... all the money saved in the past year has officially been 'undone'. We're back to where we started this summer with a vacant house & a chapter in life that won't seem to close. Both cars have had issues this week and we hold our breath each time we turn the key. I've retreated... chosen not to answer the phone, focused on one little step- one load of laundry- one sippy cup of milk- at a time (and 2 cups of coffee at a time for myself).
As I had a quick prayer time between breaking up fights over new toys and reminding Darla one more time that she is not the mother, I vented my frustration in my head (which was not succinct- more like primal growling). Almost immediately I was reminded, "This is not hopeless. I am not without hope."
As we experienced a failed nap time I was able to see that steps back don't mean that we aren't getting anywhere. Just because today's outward circumstances look a lot like they did 6 months ago, a year ago, 2 1/2 years ago, doesn't mean that we haven't grown and changed. I still don't understand the battle of anxiety but I am understanding S. more. I'm flawed & admit that I lack compassion & consistency when he's low. But both of us are learning to give grace, to lay down our lives for each other & our little family.
I am reminded that the last six months have been an incredible blessing. A small setback is nothing compared to how much healthier we are as a family. We guard our family time. S. is working out, has found a love for racquetball, spinning, is reading and asking hard questions...all things that were impossible to do in the past few years.
God has shown me that He is sovereign in spite of my circumstances. He reminds me that even if every day is like this blustery set back of a New Years, He is still worth serving and He still believes I'm worth making holy. If it takes setbacks to remember to run to Him quicker, depend on Him deeper; I won't complain seeing as that is my highest aim.
Our kids are a sweet example of what I learn today. Yes, Darla still acts like Jr. Mom as she did a year ago and I am nearly cross eyed trying to make her understand that it's not okay to boss the world around. But today she helped Everett with all his cars and trucks. She was patient while playing Memory with Hudson. She's reading! She might still have the same struggles but she is not without growth. Her love for the Lord is sincere and she prays "Lord, help me not have any more problems! I want to obey you forever!" I echo her sentiments.
Hudson still doesn't pronounce certain consonants. I am trying not to raise my voice when it takes 5 minutes for him to put on his shoes...and they still are on the wrong feet. Yet he told me an extensive dream he had and I understood it- even with missing consonants! He learned the "G chord" on the guitar this morning. He is physically as large as a 5 year old; a reminder that growth is occurring.
Everett hasn't stopped throwing tantrums in the shopping cart. He hasn't found words to replace screams but he now says "sorry" and "thank you" on his own. He's quick to kiss a sibling that he's wronged and in a year has gone from 2 unsteady steps to an all-out run.
So no, we haven't started 2010 with a party. We've started it just as messy as 2009. But thankfully my Hope isn't an abstract idea that the world has that "maybe by dumb luck 2010 will be better than 2009." My Hope is the person of Jesus Christ and "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us" Romans 5:5
Now I'm going to cling to the Hope that does not disappoint, call today a bit of a wash, and order some cheap tacos for take out dinner. Happy New Year.