Monday, January 7, 2013

DEAR 2012,

I am so glad to see you go.
You were a tough year.
There were several months that I literally thought I wouldn't make it.
You were filled with trials, frustrations and transitions.
My goal each day was to just survive.

When you live each day just trying to keep treading water so you won't drown,

it's not real pretty.  But, the decisions you're faced with making in those moments, can prove to be life changing.

The biggest decision we were faced with was our schedule.

My days were controlled by Miles' therapy schedule and it was wearing on me.
Big time.
In the past 23 months, Miles did over 598 hours of therapy and I drove 9,114.2 miles taking him to and from his appointments.

To say that we were tired is an understatement!

Although Miles was making progress, we really needed help with his lack of social skills.  So, Keith and I started looking into all of our options back in April and spent the summer praying about what was next for Miles.  We looked into every school/program from Farmington to Bentonville.  At first, we were looking at preschools with typical functioning children that he could attend part time and continue his therapy services at CTT.  We quickly realized that there were not enough hours in the day to do both.  After talking to and touring one of the special needs preschools, we knew that was where we were suppose to be.  In August, Miles started preschool at the Benton County Sunshine School and we LOVE it.  He is enrolled in their day habilitation program and receives all of his therapy services there as well.  His schedule is the exact same everyday which provides a lot a consistency and predictability.  His teachers, Mrs. Sandy and Mrs. Dianna, are the absolute best.  He has made so much progress in the last 4 months it is pretty amazing!  He is talking in four/five word sentences, taking naps, eating independently and making great eye contact.  Best of all, he is having so much fun!

Another decision Keith and I made in 2012 was to start marriage counseling.

Yes, we are in counseling.
We go once a month and love it so much, we will probably go forever.

People go to counseling for many different reasons.

When people find out that we are in counseling, the responses are quite comical.
The responses range from being confused, to shocked, to feeling sorry for us.

Most of you have heard the statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce.

But, did you know that about 80% of marriages with a special needs child don't make it?


When we heard that, we were not surprised.
It's tough stuff.

We made a decision that we didn't want the stress of caring for a child with special needs to take a toll on our marriage.  Instead, we wanted it to make us better.  Stronger.

But, great marriages don't happen by accident.

And we know that.
Marriage is hard work and it is worth fighting for.

We want our boys to know that when you enter into a convent relationship with the Lord, it is permanent.  It is meant to last a lifetime.  It is a forever and ever relationship.  A 'for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part' relationship.

People hire personal trainers all the time because they want to get into shape.

Their trainer is knowledgeable of the human body and how it works.
They guide you, teach you, motivate you and hold you accountable.

The role of a counselor is very similar.

Our counselor is a Godly man with a vast knowledge of scripture.

He speaks truth into our lives and breaks down different foundational topics for us (praying together, guarding our hearts, standing in the gap for our spouses' weaknesses, submitting to each other out of reverence to Christ, etc.) that encourage and motivate us to take responsibility for ourselves and make sure our hearts and attitudes are right before the Lord.

It is, by far, the best investment we've ever made in our marriage!

The trials and frustrations of this last year are too numerous to discuss.

The details don't even matter.
It's the lessons.
The lessons that I wouldn't trade for anything.

While I was doing my best to survive, I ended up in a dark and lonely pit.

Satan wanted nothing more than for me to believe that I was all alone.
That God is nowhere to be found.
That I wasn't worth being rescued.

But, he's a liar.

I am worth it.

God has a purpose and a plan for my life.
He was actually waiting to rescue me the whole time.
All I had to do is look up.

The last several months, God, in His infinite grace and mercy, has been reminding me of how much He loves me.  Every lie that satan has spoken has been met with the truth of God's Word.  God is love and He is perfectly fair and just.  God is a purposeful creator who's very voice can speak life into existence.  Everything He makes is on purpose and good.  If we graciously rest in God, God will graciously work for us and work all for good.  God knows those that are His and does not overlook them.  God is NEVER at a loss about ways and means to deliver His people.  God is not detached from His creation, He is emotionally invested.  Even though God said He was sorry He made man (Genesis 6:6), He NEVER said he was sorry for redeeming man!


So 2012,

I may have been a little hard on you.
I am actually a little sad to see you go.
I am better because of all that you threw at me.
Because of all that God has done, I wouldn't want to be me before you.

"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
He is my God, and I trust Him."
{Psalm 91:1-2}

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