I remember thinking, around this time last year, that 2009 would be the year Dan would get a job. That 2008 would be a learning experience...the worst of times...and we would be back to "normal". I am slightly disappointed (okay, maybe a lot disappointed) that things didn't quite work out that way and that 2009 was the year that Dan spent the entire year unemployed.
I still have my moments (if you haven't already caught on) that I throw myself a pity party or get down right depressed about our situation. There are still days that I feel hopeless. Days that I look to Heaven and ask God how much longer...another year has passed and I am still waiting.
I have had many, many months of learning (God is not finished with me yet) that I need to turn my pity party in to a praising party. I have learned to ask myself, often out loud, "Are you lacking anything? Are you taken care of?" And because of God's goodness and grace, my answer is still no to the first question and yes to the latter.
Two thousand nine will be a year that I will never forget. A year that my husband was unemployed for all twelve months. A year that taught me so much. A year that broke me. A hard, hard year...but a year that I have much to be thankful for:
January - I start a job that I had been praying for and three weeks later was able to quit the other job I was working. Dan and I both feel God's calling on us to adopt (we haven't forgotten). God also tells me that 2009 would be the year that I would learn to be still and wait.
February - I read The Gospel of Ruth that seriously gives me strength to go on and leaves me whispering, "God pursue me in my pain." :
Somehow we've convinced ourselves that the more mature we become as Christians - and both Naomi and Job were seasoned believers - the thicker our spiritual skin will become. We'll be resilient in adversity. It's a sign of spiritual failure (so we tell ourselves) when suffering gets the better of us and our faith in God gets shaky. Such notions (which aren't supported by scripture, certainly not by the legacies of Naomi and Job) get in the way of our spiritual growth and block us from engaging the God who pursues us in our pain. To tell the truth, when the full force of our sufferings hit us, no matter how long we've walked with God or how much theology we've mastered, faith in God can take an awful beating. ~ The Gospel of Ruth, Carolyn James (p. 43)
The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands.
He has watched over your journey through this vast desert.
These forty years the LORD your God has been with you,
and you have not lacked anything.
July - Family life is great. We have a family fun night. Collin (at 23 months) learns to ride a two wheeler with training wheels.
August - Celebrate Collin's 2nd birthday and Landon's 4th, Kait learns to ride a two wheeler and goes to kindergarten, I run an awesome CRIM. We are hit with a huge bill to fix the van, but the money is in our savings account.
September - We hit the one year mark and my world was dark for a few days before and after. We found out we had lost our unemployment. I want to quit but God asked me to "believe Him". I finish a half marathon.
October - All three kids are clothed for the fall/winter by others. Food is given to us and during a shopping trip my grocery bill is paid for by someone. Money is given to us at church and comes in the mail.
November - Dan and I go where God leads and while we are there, our unemployment is reinstated. We make a great team. We spend more money than we had planned (or budgeted) and God moves people to give to us an amount that totaled what we spent while we were down there. We spend Thanksgiving in Michigan with my side of the family.
December - God continues to provide our needs and beyond. We get two free date nights. A special Christmas is spent with Dan's side of the family. Two thousand nine comes to an end.
We are lacking nothing.