This year has been a difficult one for James and me. In January, we made the gut wrenching decision to start looking for another church. Two of our dear sisters in Christ went home to heaven this year, one in late winter and the other in October. These women had known James since he was a child, and I had known them for over a decade. I learned so much from both of them. I went to Haiti in April. While that was a good trip, it was emotionally exhausting. Then there was the BP oil spill, and our hearts were saddened for our beloved Louisiana as we watched her coastline succomb to the disaster. I broke my leg while vacationing at Yellowstone in June, and I had to have surgery in Montana. The fourteen hour drive back home with a broken leg was not pleasant. James' grandfather has been ill. We thought we had found our daughter, only to have her slip away from us.
We're thankful for God's steadfastness through all of the saddeness this year. It hasn't always felt like He was with us, but we knew He was. He lead us to a new church. We know that the women we had to say goodbye to are healed of the suffering they had faced in this life. God will make all things new. There will be a day when there are no earthquakes. No cholera outbreaks. No environmental disasters. No illness. My leg has healed, and things have pretty much gotten back to normal for me. He will lead us to our daughter one day.
I'm also thankful for what God has done this year in my marriage. James and I are closer than we've ever been. God shows us a lot about himself through marriage. Husbands are called to serve and love their wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. I've seen James step up when I was down for the count. He drove all the way home from Denver in one day, because I couldn't drive. He took off work to take me to doctor's appointments and physical therapy. He took over the household responsibilities this summer while I was recouperating. He did all the cooking, all the grocery shopping, and all the cleaning. I've marveled at his ability to do the hard stuff like that. He's not sick much, and I've never had to help him recover from a serious injury. The few times that he has been under the weather for more than a day or two, I don't handle things well. I feel a heavy pressure that all the work lies upon me and I don't have anyone to help. I get overwhelmed. If he's ever felt like that, he's not shown it at all. Watching him love me and serve me when things were not easy has taught me about God's steadfastness. If this dear redeemed sinner that I'm married to is able to love me through thick and thin, oh how much more God loves us with a perfect, sinless, holy, unending love.