Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Year of Celebration and Loss

Where has the last year gone? As I sat rocking Lily Ana yesterday, I wondered that. She turned one almost three weeks ago, and as I sat looking at her sweet little cheeks, I thought about all that has transpired in the last year. Our family has experienced more ups and downs in the past year than I think we did in the four years prior.

Lily's birthday is of course an obvious reminder of the heartache that my family felt when my grandpa passed away. You may remember that he fell and broke his hip when Lily was just one week old. For the next month, we watched and waited, celebrated small improvements, and gathered together for his last hours here on Earth. It was one of those times in my life that I didn't know how low I was until I had been lifted back up months later.

Then in December, we were told that I would be losing my job! The news that our school was closing came as no real shock, but it took some time to process the great impact our family would feel. We thought that maybe God was giving me the opportunity to do something different--perhaps even get to stay home full-time. We prayed continually that if He wanted me to do that, that He would provide a way financially.

As time went on, we realized that God was answering that prayer with a "no." But like God does, He provided something we weren't expecting. Three years ago a teaching opportunity came to me that seemed like it was everything I could ever ask for. It was a substantial pay increase, benefits, and so much more! The one draw-back was that Emma Leigh wouldn't have been able to attend preschool, and I wanted very much for her to have that experience. I turned the job down and just knew something like that would never come along again.

When school was out this past year, I had interviewed at a local Christian school that seemed the ideal place to be, but then someone else was hired for the position. All hope of me finding a job that would be good for my family seemed lost. Bryan gently reminded me that I needed to find something as it seemed that God was not making a way for me to stay home. One Tuesday evening I finally logged onto the Conroe ISD Job Line, and marveled at what I found. The same position I had turned down three years earlier was posted at a different school but by the same principal who happened to be a friend of mine.

After an e-mail and several missed and returned phone calls, I had an interview and was offered the job! God has provided for us immensely through this job. It's very different from anything I've ever done, but I know that God is going to give me the knowledge that I need to carry it out.

As I sat rocking Lily the other day, I was reminded of God's provision and that hand of providence that I wrote about in June. He has brought us joy in the midst of sadness; provision during a time of uncertainty; and He has given me two beautiful daughters to call my own. He has been with us during the celebrations and the losses. What a year it's been!