I originally started this letter with a laundry list of the most exciting events that occurred, but Brian vetoed it. "If they want to know what we've been up to they can skim the blog, honey." No need to be redundant, I suppose. I appreciate my partner, the Voice of Reason, and his input. So instead of regaling you with a play-by-play of the last year, it would be a joy to share the two things that have been most meaningful.
Family Time. It seems as if Brian was never gone; the time we share together as a family is so stinkin' sweet, so cherished, so valuable that we have amnesia when it comes to the rough separation we endured for a year. I ask Brian time and again, "How can I make home life better for you? Are you happy? How can I meet your needs?" and he always answers, "Just the normal stuff is enough for me. Dinner with my family, time together -nothing extra special. That's special enough for me." Having been without the comfort of home, the pitter-pat (or stomp-and-tromp) of Wilder's feet, the cozy warmth of snuggling up on the couch together, normal family life feels like heaven to him -and having him home is all I could ever want. I love seeing my guys play together, wrestle, snuggle and bond. The way Brian steps in and meets Wilder's needs; he is such an active father, totally devoted to us. It's not uncommon for Brian and I to bust out with a cheer, "I love 'Us'!" Family time is highly coveted in our household and we've never been happier in our lives.
Fresh Beginnings. This category is mainly -okay, rather exclusively- mine, but I had to include it because it has been so significant. After my father passed away in January 2001 I gave up my faith and completely rejected God. Oh, I still believed in his existence, but I felt I could no longer trust his character or the scriptures. It was the classic, "If God is loving, how can he let bad things happen to good people?" I went on my (un)merry way living according to my own desires and rejecting all of the godly principles I was brought up with. It's a heck of a long story, but the point is that this summer I experienced a major change.
I knew that during those years of rejecting God he never left me, but I could not face those questions nor his true character because of the hurt and walls I put up. Finally this June I found myself sitting in my living room faced with reality.
The reality was I had a beautiful home, a beautiful family, a quiet and very enjoyable little life but I felt completely empty. I was pointless, purposeless, living selfishly and I ached for more to live for. I reached out to God, finally opening my heart fully to him and asked him to truly use me, to show me how to live a purposeful life. In that time of searching and submission Uncommon Women was born -a calling to empower women of all ages to be confident, godly, beautiful inside and out while pursuing lives of passion and greater purpose. The organization started up and has been building ever since, but God didn't stop with just the birth of this vision. He took me back to the place where I rejected him nearly a decade ago and healed my very broken spirit.
Having 9 years to grieve the early loss of my dad, I wasn't still holding on to that pain. Instead I was still aching from feeling abandoned by my heavenly Father. It was only a few months ago after an evening church event that I was brought back to that pivotal place where I fully and whole-heartedly rejected God. With arms wide open I embraced him and his true character -the one of an Almighty, Ever Faithful, Always Present Father. The healing that occurred was life-changing. I am at peace; I am confident in my God, his character and his amazing abilities. I am restored. I am whole. I am home.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with swelling.Psalm 46:1-3The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.Psalm 18:2
He never promised us a rose garden. Sometimes it seems like we've been handed a briar patch, thick with thorns and hip-deep in weeds. But we can be confident that he never intended us to walk this life alone. We have him, we have others and we have the resources he provided us with at birth -our spunk, spirit and initiative. We may not always succeed, but we must keep trying because giving up is a dead end. How blessed are we that we can hold on to the promises written above and challenge God to amaze us with his faithfulness?
With this new year and all the adventures I know lay ahead I am excited to see what God will do. My goals are to live in daily submission to him, to love my family and others with all my heart, to seek the greater things instead of settling for the good, and to be committed to my relationship with Christ. I feel that Christmas has already happened, the gift of his love drapes my heart -as undeserving as I am of it, I am blessed beyond imagining.
We expect great things for 2010 and so should you. I encourage you to reflect on the past year; as you think forward to this time of new beginnings, what do you want -out of life, out of love, from God, from yourself? Let's reach for those desires and seek to live full lives, ones without regret, ones of wholeness and most importantly, ones of hope and love.
Many, many blessings to you and your families during this beautiful season of promise. May God do wondrous things in your heart today.
Kelly, Brian, Wilder (& -soon- Waverley)