Or so it seemed to me at the time.
Somehow now, with middle age rapidly advancing over the horizon (yeah, sad but true, even my hairline knows it), it has become the part I enjoy more. Maybe I have grown enough in Christ now that I am realizing how much I truly have received from God. I hope so. It's so easy to pray for things, so much easier to forget to praise and thank the God who gives answers. So in honor of God (and my aunt Nita!), here's my list for 2010:
- God saved me by His grace a long time ago, and by His grace He is keeping me, staying faithful to me even after a long, often checkered and indifferent level of faithfulness to Him.
- God gave me the woman who, while not perfect, perfectly completes me and loves me in spite of me. Who can find such an incredible woman as the one I married? I couldn't and didn't. She is God's gift.
- God gave me 4 children, 2 sons and 2 daughters, who still think that they have the best Daddy in the world. Though I'm sure there will be times when that opinion changes, I am still blessed that they are part of my world. They are my pride and joy every day.
- God has given me a pastorate with a flock I love deeply and am deeply loved by. I get to do what I love and am called to and get paid for it. Who can ask for more than that in their job?
- God has watched over my health. He gave me Crohn's disease 21 years ago, and it has been a hard gift to know what to do with, but He has led me, shaped me, and taught me a lot of lessons with it. All the while, through a multitude of tests (and more to come in January and afterward), God has protected me. I haven't gotten any of the really bad side effects or related conditions (colon cancer, surgery, colostomy, and so on), even though my odds of one of those theoretically keep increasing each year. Somehow I know that, even if one of them should come, God will still be there, watching over and going through it with me.
- God provided for all our bills, our repairs, some wonderful new furniture and decorations for our house, and kept us warm, well fed, and healthy.
- God paid our church's bills while expanding its ministry, gave us people to share the Gospel with, used us to change other people's lives for good, and led us deeper into fellowship with one another and with Him.