And He said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Friday, January 8, 2010

From Connor's Mommy

As 2009 was coming to a close, initially I was over eager for 2010 to begin. After Christmas, we had two more family members (Aunt Pat and a cousin Missy) pass away. That means we have had 7 deaths in our family in 2009. The loss we've experienced this year is more than daunting. At times, it has felt like a burden too large to overcome. I wanted to sprint to the finish line of 2009 and begin 2010 with a fresh start, with a renewed hope that God would restore joy and blessings to our family. I couldn't make the days fly by fast enough.

After speaking with a friend of mine, who also lost her 4 year old (Caden Ledbetter) to cancer this past year, I saw the end of 2009 in a different light. When 2009 comes to a close, that will be the end of the last year we shared with Connor... an end of an era, so to speak. I will always remember 2009 as the last year I was able to hold my ConCon, the year we said "good-bye" for now. Suddenly, my perspective changed, I wanted to cling to 2009 harder than ever - not ready to say good-bye to the last year with Connor. It felt as though the close of 2009 was a closing of a door, never to be opened again. It was pulling me further and further away from Connor.

As the New Year approached, you can see why I had mixed feelings. I wasn't really sure how to look at the ending of 2009. Then, a pastor at our church (Jarrett Stephens) spoke on the topic of Psalm 103, which gave me a blueprint for ushering in the New Year.

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Verse 1 is a personal pep talk. I know I've needed those from time to time. In order to finish my first half marathon, I was giving myself a pep talk the last couple miles. King David obviously didn't feel like praising the Lord at this time in his life, so he had to remind himself to do it. I know how he felt.

"Forget not his benefits." Before I can look forward to the New Year, I need to reflect on my past and remember the blessings and the faithfulness of God. It's so easy to focus on all that I have lost this year, but when I look back, I can also see the many blessings that God has afforded me. I see loss, but I also see many moments of joy, kindness and treasured memories. I'm really trying to focus on those bright spots of 2009.

He forgives us our sins (huge blessing), giving us an opportunity to spend eternity with Him. That is also making it possible for me to see Connor again. God is more concerned with where we spend our eternity, than on the number of days we spend here (although He is concerned about How we spend our days). What a blessing that He has provided a way for our eternal salvation.

I'm counting on the promises of verse 4 and 5. I feel as though I'm in the pit, but I'm waiting on God to redeem this situation. I'm ready for Him to satisfy my desires with good things. I'm praying that 2010 will be a year of redemption and good things!!!

Always believing,

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