Celebrating GRACE {On This Day}

The last couple of days have been rough. We're all okay, and no big, bad major event has happened (in fact, there's been some good, happy stuff in the mix!:)), just a whole lot of general life yuck and then Satan hurling some fiery darts into the whole mess. Yesterday was the worst for me. I fought a lot of tears and lapsed into extreme survival mode.

Between those struggles and a busy schedule this week, I hadn't even really thought about the date itself...until I clicked over to my TimeHop early this morning and saw this status from two years ago:

Nine years ago today was the worst day of my life. As the status above says, our world shattered into a million pieces.

The intervening years have been hard. There were times during the first few years especially that I wasn't sure any of us were going to make it. Trauma issues in our children and in ourselves, concern for the safety of our family, life-altering decisions we weren't really prepared to make, and countless sleepless nights were just a few of the issues with which we struggled during those years.

The last few years have been a bit like the calm in the eye of the storm. God has worked much, much healing and growth in our lives. We have seen His glory in ways we could never have dreamed. In those very early days nine years ago, we began to pray, "Please just make the path so totally crystal clear that there is no question possible about the right direction." We have seen Him do exactly that over and over and over again.

As I shared here,we've dreaded 2015 for a long time. And yet, as we enter the second half of this year, we have already seen God answer prayers we didn't even know how to pray, and provide for needs in ways we would never have imagined.

My TimeHop this morning is full of reminders of God's faithfulness from this date in years past. I love that! I love that those "standing stones" are there to remind us how far He has brought us and how much He has shown us of Himself even in the darkest of days.

I'm also reminded today how blessed we've been in the people God has provided over the years to support and encourage and pray for us. Out of necessity, only a handful of people were aware of the situation in our lives 9 years ago. Those people spent much time in the trenches with us...and unlike us, they made a choice to be there, because they loved us and were fulfilling God's call to help bear our burdens. That is true friendship, and I can't imagine these last nine years without them.

Others had no idea what was going on, but God called them to pray for and encourage us anyway. How thankful I am for those people, who listened to the still, small voice and obeyed, and who impacted our lives in ways they will never completely realize. And how thankful I am for those who have since heard our story and supported and prayed and encouraged. We have an amazing array of friends who have invested in and loved and prayed for and encouraged all of us in so many ways, and that blessing is tremendous (to use a favorite word of a certain music minister *grin*)

Psalm 40:1-5 have long been favorite verses of mine, and this morning I cried all over again when I got to verse 5:

Many, O Lord my God,
    are the wonders You have done,
    the things You planned for us.
None can compare with You;
    were I to speak and tell of Your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

He has shown that verse to be true in our lives over and over again. He has done many wonders, and His deeds have truly been too many to declare. Through that He has shown us beyond a shadow of a doubt that none can compare with Him. It has certainly not always been easy, it has certainly not always been the way we would have chosen, and we know that there is more difficulty and uncertainty ahead as we move closer and closer to this fall. But this is as true today as it was two years ago:

Nothing but His grace could explain the fact that on this day, I can rejoice in His sovereignty, have peace in His plan, and be more sure than ever of His goodness.

How have you seen His grace at work in your life? I'd love to hear in the comments! Are you struggling right now, or facing a dark situation? I'd love to pray for you. You can message me via the "contact me" box in the sidebar, or leave a comment below.

[Scripture Journaling notes: Superquick entry (as shown by the super-messy lettering...ACK!...but I wanted to get it finished this morning and didn't have much time) on Psalm 40:5 using Anita's Acrylic Craft paint, Pilot G-2 pens, and washi tape and stickers from various sources.]

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