I’ve written this sort of state-of-our-family address each January 5th since 2010 and this one feels a bit different. Maybe when I find my way to the end of pushing these keys it will be a bit clearer. It tends to work that way for me.

One thing I know has carried over each year is how I try to minimize my feelings leading up to “the day”. I try to convince myself it’s just another date on the calendar. What’s it matter?

It just does. Never mind how I try to compartmentalize, rationalize, or -ize it away, it always ends up mattering. Dates carry weight. They give context to events and cause people to connect to where they were (or weren’t) when dates are mentioned.

December 8, 1941

September 11, 2001

January 5, 2009

Depending on the proximity of yourself or loved ones to these dates it matters very differently. And each time the date rolls around again we remember. My timeline has other dates important to me and, Lord willing, I predict there will be more of those to come. But the one that flipped everything I thought I knew to be true is the 1/5/09 one.

The new normal I was forced to work through reverberates to this day. The ability to reconcile “God is good all of the time” and my husband dying before getting to meet our second child was critical to our little family’s future.

And it’s a part of our story. How His grace really does reach me, the way He lifts me from the ashes with new mercies every morning, and the overwhelming urgency I have to tell others about our loving God.

It’s not that I’m “healed” from what happened to me. I still grieve, fear, worry, and have many questions left unanswered, but I’m learning to use those feelings as a catalyst to pray. Continually.

Before this date 7 years ago I didn’t appreciate daily comings and goings like I do now. I look at life differently. It is a gift to be alive, free to make choices. And as I study Jesus I find not death, but life. In abundance.

I am crazy grateful for all the support our family has been given. I am praying today this post will be a reminder of what a good Father we have. And to remember this earth wasn’t ever meant to be heaven, or our final destination, but there is a lots of joy to be found here while we fulfill our purposes and finally get called home!

Christmas 2015

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