The difference a year can make

10285258_10205378926856698_7225796448017537297_oChristmas Eve, 2014

I began this blog 14 months ago with the post “How should we respond to the consequences of other people’s choices?” The point of that post was that we often are affected negatively by the decisions other people make. The opposite can be true as well. We can be positively impacted by other’s actions.

This time last year, I was in the midst of a divorce that was the result of repeated devastation. I remember not feeling at all festive as Christmas approached the next day. All I could think of was that my family had fallen apart and that I would be sending my kids to be with their father at 2 p.m. on Christmas. Still, I had joy because I knew that Christmas isn’t really about presents or even about family–it’s about a baby who would grow up to change the world by giving His life for our sins.

During the agonizing process of divorce, several people told me that I would feel so much better after a year had passed. Repeatedly, I heard people say, “I know you don’t believe it now, but it really will get better.” They definitely were right, but even they had no idea what God had in store.

Soon after the divorce was final, I began praying for a “kinsman redeemer,” someone who would love me as Christ loved the church and who also would love my children. Two months later, God answered that prayer. We soon became best friends, then more than friends, and last week, we were married. Not only married, but parents to seven children between us. We are off to a good start for sure, and I look forward to seeing how God uses us in ministry together.

Just as my life seemed to be devastated last Christmas, due to negative choices made by another, my life is absolutely blessed this year, due to positive choices made both by myself and by a man who loves me with a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love. Now I have what I never even knew was possible in human terms.

What a difference a year can make … and I look forward to the year ahead as I learn what further beauty God wants to create from the ashes of the past.

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