If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know that my family has gone through a major change this year. But, what you may not realize is that our family has had so many changes over the past 12 months that it’s almost crazy to think about. But as I’ve been sick over the past few months I’ve been reflecting on these changes and what God would have me to learn during this season of “change.”
So, first let me share with you some of the major (and some minor) changes our family has faced the past 12 months.
June 13, 2011– The 3 older kids and I (32 weeks pregnant) were involved in a broadside collision, which totaled our only family vehicle. Praise the Lord no one was seriously injured, just shaken up. We have to watch Miss Smiley to hit all her milestones though, so that has been a little nerve-racking at times. However, I am happy to report she is doing really well. Praise be to God!
Mid Summer 2011 – My youngest brother (he’s 11.5 yrs younger than I am) calls
me to tell me he’s enlisted in the Air Force. Talk about the shock of all shocks!! It took me a few days to wrap my head around that one. He left November 1st for Basic and graduated December 29th. Then, he headed off to tech school, which he just completed about 2 weeks ago.
August 2011 – I delivered a healthy baby girl – our second girl, which is a miracle in my husband’s famiy as this is only the 4th one in 100+ years! Crazy, right?! She weighed in at 10lbs 4oz (we grow ‘em big here in OK).
Jan/Feb 2012 – brought a whole new meaning to the word “change” in our lives.
My Dad was diagnosed with cancer after a week-long stay in the hospital from a collapsed lung. He went home for a week and then was sent back for a partial collapse on the other side. That was the last time he would see the outside world. He died just 11 days later. It was a total of 18 days from diagnosis to his death. Thus, began a year of FIRSTS without my dad.
- 1st Valentine’s Day – actually this is the day he died.
- 1st Easter – he loved hiding eggs for the grandkids and watching them go crazy to find them. He also loved going overboard on their baskets and goodies. He just couldn’t help himself!
- 1st birthday (mine fell on Easter this year) – and it was a “big” one as I turned 35. He would’ve been teasing me about getting “old” and approaching the top of the hill. I sure missed my annual phone call and text from him!
- 1st new grandbaby announcement – my youngest brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby in November this year. My dad loved his grandkids and would’ve been so excited to hear the news of their first one arriving later this year.
- 1st Father’s Day without him here. Read more about that here.
In a few short days, my “baby” brother and his wife, along with their unborn child, will board a plane for their first (of many I’m sure) 3 year assignment. And where are they going???Okinawa,Japan!!! Yep…all the way on the other side of the world! I am so incredibly proud of my brother and all God has allowed him to accomplish this past year, but I still can’t believe he’s moving to Japan!
About a month or so ago, my older-younger brother accepted a promotion with his company and is being relocated to TX!! Now let me tell you how huge that is! We are Okies through and through in my family. My brother and his wife have never lived anywhere but in our local area. This is the only home his kids have ever known. Again, I am so proud of all God has blessed him with this year and I can’t wait to hear about their new home and adventures.
So, why are these big changes? People move all the time, Annette. Yes…yes they do. Just not my family!!! You see I grew up with my grandparents in the area (one lives 3 miles from my parents’ house and the other 15 miles). I was the only one that moved away for college and even then I was only 2 hours away and came home frequently. We’ve been married almost 9 years and 6 ½ of them have been here (we moved back after we finished college). So really, my brothers and I have never lived more than 2 hours apart!!! And now one of them is going across the globe! Talk about CHANGE!!!!
Another big change is the flair-up I’ve been going through. By the grace of God I have not been on any medication for my Crohn’s in nearly 7 years. But, with the stress of my Dad’s passing my body reacted. In a 32 day time period I was in the hospital 15 days. Not my idea of a fun time, believe me. Most of the days I was on a liquid diet too. If I never have Jell-O or chicken broth again I will not be disappointed!! Trust me! Thankfully, I am on the mend and coming off the steroid, so I should be back to my “normal” self soon! Then…it’s on to another change – getting healthy and weight loss!! I am so excited for this phase of my life and have some very attainable goals for myself. I’m ready!!
So, why am I writing about all this today? Well, as I began to think through all the changes that have taken place in my life and my family I wondered what God was up to. What was I to learn from all these changes? And I believe the most important thing I’ve learned is how much I need Him!! Not just in the tough times, but in the little things. In my daily life. He must be my everything! I want him to be my everything. He is teaching me that being comfortable is safe and doesn’t really allow me to trust him and lean on him like I should.
That has been a really tough lesson for me to learn. I’ve always thought of myself as leaning on Him in all times, trusting him with everything. But, as our lives are changing – and pretty rapidly this year – I’m finding that I don’t lean on Him or trust Him nearly as much as I thought and definitely not enough. There is always room for improvement in our Christian lives. Change is inevitable in life, but as the saying goes…”God never changes!” He is always there. Waiting for us. We only need to run to him. And that’s exactly what I plan to do…run to him daily – hourly if need be.