And so I am.
Despite the hardships of this year, I am blessed, and I know it. I feel it. I experience it. I am living it!
As I'm sure is evidenced by more frequent writing, I am coming back to life again. I'm thinking and processing all that has happened. I'm beginning to be able to see the blessings.
A few weeks ago, I started composing Christmas letters in my mind. (That's as far as they have gotten. I'm aiming for another New Year's letter this year.) I'm not sure, but I think that I might have experienced a little Post Traumatic Stress. I'd wake up in the night and relive some of the scarier moments, walking thru the event. I usually ended up breathing hard and crying a bit.
I gave myself room, sat with the pain, let myself do that. After all, within a 14 month span of time my son was randomly beaten up and we went thru the police scene and trial, another little son suffered a head-injury in a freak accident, my husband almost died, got another horrible infection, had another surgery, was unemployed for 3 months and had a lengthy recovery, I walked both of my parents thru joint replacement surgeries that did not go well and cared for their physical needs, and thru all of this, I carried our ninth child. The pregnancy was considered high risk because of a rare rh isoimmunization. (Big E, little c, and little n.)
I won't lie. I've gone thru days when it felt like God didn't care. I've barely held my mind and body together at times. I don't know how we held on. I've been angry sometimes, numb sometimes.
And God has handled it....all of it.
As the year wound down, and as I thought about what I wanted to say to everyone, I passed through the angst and God gently began to let me see the blessings.
He was here. He's been here all along. He never did leave. Somewhere along the way I became numb to feeling. I kept going because there was no option. I knew, though, that God was saying, "Do you trust me?" Each event and every time, I knew that was what He was asking.
He was in the car as I drove along and my little Sam flew overhead in the medical helicopter. He was in the courtroom as pictures of my battered son's face flashed on the screen. He was with Jeff and I as we waited to learn the cause of his intense pain. He was with me as I sat alone while Jeff was under the knife, was with me as I waited to hear if the infection had eaten his bone. He was with my father and I as we sat alone pre-surgery - when I noticed how small and vulnerable he seemed on the hospital bed.
He's been with me in every emergency room, every night watch in cold hospital rooms, through every blood draw and ultrasound. He was there, in the birthing room, as our baby emerged and we held him at last.
How I love Him.
How faithful He is.
He's sent His blessing into our lives through our relationships. They've been tested, but they stood and they've been strengthened.
We've been blessed by our friends. By you.
You came out of the woodwork to love us and support us when we were hurting. Your cards, the meals, the practical things - God loved us through you.
There was the blessing of my healthiest pregnancy and recovery of all. I bounced back within a few days, with loads of energy and a beautiful baby son. We got a real person, and for us - that's what it's all about! :)
God is here. He's always here. He's here when we don't know it, don't feel it, can't see how it's possible. He's here when we celebrate, here when we suffer, here even when we are angry and when we don't feel anything at all. He's here when we live, He's here when we die. He's here in ways we can't imagine, but someday, hopefully, we'll know and understand.
I say that, not to make us all feel better - but because it is true. I have experienced it.
He is here.
Emmanuel. God with us.
Merry Christmas, everyone. God be with you.