Today I'm participating in a link-up hosted by She Does Justice where each of us share our individual and unique stories. The purpose of the link-up is to share our lives with one another and build a community that is authentic and real and true. Be sure to checkout the many other stories as you read along today.
Lately my cup has been filled, maybe even overflowing, as I've been reflecting on the abundant blessings in our life throughout the past year.
I just stand in awe (mouth gaping open in amazement) looking back and considering all the ways God as directed our paths. He's provided us with safe neighborhoods, wonderful landlords, and affordable apartments. He's given us a vehicle that's safe and reliable to take us on short and long journeys, like our trip to Colorado this summer. He's given us bodies that can run, bike, play sports, and enjoy/utilize all the benefits of physical activity. He's provided healthy food that nourishes our bodies and allows us to have the strength and energy to do our jobs well. He's blessed us with a community that is beyond loving and caring. Giving us friends and family and a community that stands together, supporting one another and doing life together. We've watched in awe as He continues to provide for our ministry, prayerfully and financially, blessing us with many ministry partners who are passionate about seeing the gospel shared. He's directed our marriage, opened the doors to better communication, greater intimacy with one another, continually setting the foundations of our marriage, so that we would be grounded as one in Him.
I remind myself of these blessings because I don't want to forget that we serve an amazingly great God. We've been abundantly blessed this year, but it's my tendency to swerve to the left and see only the challenges. I can look back on this past year and see how difficult it was to leave my position with the architecture firm. It was hard trying to find an apartment that met all of our needs. There have been many ups and downs throughout our transition into full-time ministry and raising our financial support. It's been difficult walking our families through these decisions and our future steps. And some days, it's been painful, stressful, and downright frustrating to see the Lord asking us to wait and be patient in His timing, that we won't (and don't) know all the answers, but we DO know He's asking us to step out in faith and follow.
I seemed to be wired to see the challenges first. I let them overwhelm my thoughts until I'm blind to the numerous blessings. But when I see these two lists together, our blessings and our challenges, I stand in awe. Complete and utter amazement. In every challenge, every change of course, every difficult conversation, every teary eye, He has blessed abundantly. Not always in the ways we envisioned, but He has always cared for us, provided for us, and loved us. That's pretty darn awesome. We truly serve an amazingly great God.
I would love to hear your stories and encourage you to check-out the other bloggers sharing in the link-up. How has the Lord been blessing you this past year? What has been challenging? How has he been caring, providing, and loving you in the midst of life's many ups and downs?