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I thought this year was going to be a lot different than it has turned out. I thought that this summer we would be so excited because our house had sold and we were moving into our dream house. I thought that we would be planning for my husband to transfer to a 4 year university. I thought I would be researching private schools for Malachi or discussing whether to homeschool. I thought my 3 year old daughter would have been potty trained.So many plans. And these weren’t greedy plans. They were simple plans and thoughts that I had for my family.
(This was our house when we bought it 4 years ago. I thought that we would sell it this year and move into our dream home....)
Yet none of those plans have come to pass. None of the things I thought would happen have taken place. Instead of putting our house up for sale and instead of excitingly preparing for my husband to transfer to a 4 year university we have spent this entire year in and out of hospitals. Every plan and every desire I had came crashing to a halt when my husband was diagnosed with cancer in December. The vacation we had planned for months to take turned into a nightmare when we saw ourselves ringing in the New Year in a hospital far away from home because my husband was diagnosed with cancer. And we are faced with 8 cycles of chemotherapy this year and almost 200 days of hospital stays.
And I have spent a long time wondering why this had to happen to my family. Why did my husband have to get cancer? Why do my 3 year old daughter and 4 year old son have to spend nights separated from their dad because he is hospitalized? My husband is such a hard worker. He would work 60 hour weeks, attend school full time, get to church early for practice since he is a musician and still put his children first. And so it hurts so much that my husband has been hospitalized 6 times this year. It hurts to see an IV dripping chemotherapy into his body.
(I had so many thoughts and plans for my children this year. I didn't think that instead of my thoughts coming to pass they would have spent so much time visiting their daddy in the hospital)
And every thought I had for the year seems to be discarded. It seems as though someone ripped the thoughts and plans from my hand, crumbled them up, threw them in the trash and then decided that wasn’t enough and then burned the thoughts and plans. My plans and my thoughts for this year have not come to pass. And it hurts. I have cried so many tears. I have felt alone. I have been overwhelmed and exhausted. I have hurt beyond description. And I have hated the situation we are in.But I take comfort in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ saith the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” I take comfort in knowing that the scriptures still ring true today. I take comfort knowing that God speaks to us through them. I take comfort knowing that even though every single plan and thought I had for this year has not come to pass, God has a plan for our life and our family that is greater than anything I can conceive. I take comfort in knowing that even though so many doors have closed for us and so much heartache has been felt this year, God has a purpose for our life. I take comfort in knowing that even though this road is lonely, I am not alone. And it doesn’t matter if the plans and thoughts I had for our life don’t come to pass, God’s plans are greater than my own. And even though we are experiencing what seems like such a dark time, God’s light can shine through us. So it does hurt that my plans haven't come to pass, but I have so much encouragement because I know God has not left us. I know He is right there giving us the comfort and the peace and the joy we so desperately need. And I know that even though my life seems out of control, God is in control. I know that even though many more tears will most likely be shed, God can turn this situation around.
The night Mel was diagnosed with cancer the HGTV show Fixer Upper played in the background of the emergency room. I love that show and I watch it every time Mel goes back to the hospital hoping that they have a marathon on. I like this show for many different reasons but one thing that stands out is that the couple can take a home that is falling apart and transform it into something beautiful. They take what doesn’t look very nice and they make it into something amazing. And I can’t help but think that is what God is doing in this situation. He is taking what seems like a very bleak situation and He is letting us know it won't be like this for long. God is letting us know that no matter how bad the situation may seem He can transform that situation.
And so in the midst of our storm, we will still praise God. Even though we are hurting, our love for God has not diminished. Our trust is still in Him.