The year my husband and I met is what I call our Year of Grace—capital letters. We were foolish and did wild things. We sure had fun doing such unadvisable things as sharing a hotel room with a stranger-guy our girlfriend met online.
Both my husband and I were leaving home at a much older-than-normal age and needed to slough off some of the pain and unhealthiness that came from those homes. As we alternated between meticulous research and haphazard choices, we reviewed our identities, priorities, beliefs and world views to see what to keep and what to leave on the side of the road.
But God was there as we discovered each other and rediscovered ourselves that year. He protected us from our brazen fearlessness and cavalier activities. He provided for us home, friends and trusted (and patient) family members. He guided us to a stable Rock on which we could build the new rest-of-our-lives.
That crazy-awful-wonderful year is the only year to which I can apply any sort of theme: our Year of Grace. Until this year. Maybe as time passes, the title will change, but this year is decidedly themed. At first I thought it was the Year of Waiting. As we come near the end (and most of the waiting is over), I see it as a Year of Loss.
The list of what we have lost is too long and depressing for me to remember in one sitting. I have said that I have lost everything. But even as I say it, I am chagrined. It is a lie. I haven’t lost everything. I’m no Job.
While I lost my church, many friends, my home, my business and ministry (as I thought it to be), I maintained—through no credit of my own—my family, true friends and opportunities for new ministries, new experiences, new lessons and new friends. I am humbled and awed by the people who have stood by me through the various losses. I am thankful beyond telling that my husband has been such a steadfast rock in a quaking world. My children have been growing into such fine budding adults that my heart swells to think of them. And friends. I have too many to count!
I don’t know what the next six or so final weeks of 2011 may bring, but I realize as I process the losses—and great they have been—that when I lost ‘everything,’ all that was left was all I ever had in the first place! The dross has been burned off. The gold remains and I am rich! My God, my life, my family, my friends, Truth and Peace that reach into eternity. I am rich.