Over the past few weeks, I've been reflecting on how different this holiday season has been in comparison to last year.
Last year we were jobless - this year Ben and I both have great jobs.
Last year we were inexperienced parents taking care of a barely three month old baby - this year we're getting the hang of this parenting thing and chasing after a very, very active toddler.
Last year we were living wth my parents - this year we were able to celebrate the holidays in our home with my family visiting us.
Last year we had no idea where 2008 was going to take us - this year we can't wait to see what 2009 will bring.
Last year we needed help making ends meet - this year we were able to help someone else make ends meet.
God taught us so much during the time when Ben was laid off...it was a LONG time. Ben got laid off September 15, 2007 and didnt start his new job until June 16, 2008. Maybe it doesn't seem like long to some people but to us it was an eternity. I'm so thankful to be where we are right now.
There are always positives to any story...there were plenty of positives to the time when Ben was laid off. We were blessed with amazing family and friends who took care of us the entire time. We never went hungry, we always had a place to live (living in my parents house while it was for sale was such a blessing) and God kept steady with his promise to never forsake us. Jackson NEVER got sick when we didnt have insurance. Not.one.time. We got to spend so much time together as a new family - that part was truly amazing. I even refer to the time that Ben was laid off as a gift from God because it was. There is something very precious about being overly aware of just how desparate we are for God. We are always just as desparate - we just aren't as aware of it until we are in a dire situation. I find myself missing that overwhelming surrender that I felt daily during our storm. Ben and I are completely different people now. We are better at managing our money, we're on our way to becoming completely debt free, we don't take any blessing for granted and we are above all else so thankful for everything we have...we know it can all be gone in an instant.
At one point I could not wait for 2008 to be over but now, as I think back, I'll be sad to see it go. 2008 will always hold fond memories in my mind and I can only hope that 2009 can beat it.
Here's wishing each of you a very Happy New Year.