This scripture keeps going through my head over and over again these past few months, and let me tell you why. As we have sat in various hospital rooms, and I mean various, I would start to think about all the things in our lives that have happened that were preparing us for the course of events that have been taking place these past few months. The more I thought about it the more in awe I became of our Lord and how beautifully his plan works amongst us. When we think we are just living normal life or when we think we are climbing mountains with no obvious reward at the top it is because he has a bigger plan involved with those things. And in some cases it may not happen until much much later in life, I am just now beginning to realize this. As a Christian I at first felt like a sorry fool when this dawned on me, I felt like I should have known better and should have realized that of course the Lord had been preparing us for this all along, but I truly think that when you are living it you have no other recourse but to ignore the "signs" that he is preparing you for something so much bigger then you can ever imagine.
For us I truly believe that the preparing started way back when Doug became a single father to David, I honestly believe with all my heart that he was meant to be a single father to that sweet boy for a variety of reasons but one of which is because he was once again going to have to be a single father later on in life. I have zero hesitation leaving the kids in his care all week because I know without a doubt he can handle all the day to day activities, meals, and other necessary caring because he has done it before all on his own. This is not to say that other fathers could not to do it as well, but I honestly believe that 18 years ago the Lord was preparing Doug for another time when he would be fathering yet again on his own. He was building up his strength and courage so that he could step up and say, "I can and will do this."
Friendships to me were never a huge part of my life, I have always had friends, but up until about 10 years ago or so I really could have cared less if I had any "great" friends. I was very content with my life being just with Doug and David and had no desire to be around anyone else. I slowly started to build a friendship with 3 other women and we became very close, but honestly even after that I really didn't feel like I needed much more then that. Sometime about 5 years ago, the Lord really placed on my heart that something was missing in my life and through spiritual encouragement Doug and I ventured out and made some more new friends in the community that we were living in at the time. This was a very hard thing for me to do at the time, I was quite content in my bubble with Doug and our other 3 couple friends, but the Lord's voice was loud and very persistent. I am so glad that we followed his promptings because we met and became friends with some of the best people I know, and we were both surprised how easy it was for us to come out of our bubble. Again, the Lord was preparing us... but I will come back to that.
When the Lord moved us away from that community in 2006, it was hard, but it was so easy to slide into new friendships and meet new people. At that time I realized that was why the Lord was prompting us to get out of our bubble before so that our move would be easier on all of us. But I look back now and I know without a doubt that the Lord was preparing us for what we were going through now, for a variety of reasons. Because of all the great people that we have had the opportunity to get to know and love our support system is like a tree that overgrows the entire state. All we have to do is say, "help", and someone is there. We have so many loved ones out there, and it is all because of the Lord and him giving us that push 5 years ago. Without these people in our lives the past 3 months would have been so much harder to contend with emotionally. Not only that being able to learn how to open up and express ourselves has helped in so many ways when dealing with the multitude of medical professionals that we saw and still see on a day to day basis. All inhibitions and fears are gone, and I can thank only the Lord for that, he has prepared me quite well for this time.
It is no secret to those who know and love us that Dave and us had some trying high school years together, but also it is no secret that through his time in the Navy we were brought back together in a loving God filled way. It is through those that the Lord prepared all of us for this time. The Lord softened all of our hearts in the last few years to what really mattered and brought David and I closer, for the two of us did not know that we would be spending so much time together. As painful as some of those moments in the past most of been for the Lord to watch, he knew that this time would be worth it, and I get on my knees everyday and thank him for not giving up on us, and filling my heart with the perseverance that only a mother should have.
The Lord prepared me greatly last fall without me even knowing it when I had to undergo a slight surgery that kept me off my "feet" for almost 12 weeks. I was going stir crazy at home, missed my job, my friends, and my normal life in general. Wouldn't you know it, I was back to my "normal" life for only 2 weeks when all of this happened. I knew right then and there that the Lord was teaching me something those past 12 weeks and was preparing me for the long days of sitting and waiting ahead.
John and Claire have been prepared in such a way that I have been back to work for that past two years so they have gotten used to mom not really being an "active" part of their daily life, except after school and in the evenings. I thank the Lord for that, because if not for that I honestly believe this transition would have been so much harder on them. They have had two years to adjust to me being a "working" mom and have had time to really learn how to love their school, teachers, and classmates.
Lord, I praise you for your works and how they are done through us and most of the time without us ever knowing it. You are masterful and I love you. I know that if I thought hard enough about it I could piece together more times that you have begun preparing us for this remarkable journey. I thank you for your word and the fact that we can openly read the Bible and treasure what it says. I love you dear Lord and I know that even though I do not the plans you have for me, you know the plans and I have great assurance in that.