Let’s catch up

Since I took a small hiatus from sharing life, I thought maybe a quick catch up was in order. Although many of the things I’m going to share really require their own space here. Because a lot has happened. And very little of it good.

In fact, we found ourselves handed one poop pie after the other over the past year and a half. And in trying to survive it all, well, this blog was just something I couldn’t keep up with. There was too much damage, too much pain, too much…

We started 2019 with the first broken bone…my most careful cautious child fractured her wrist. A few weeks later, my dad has heart failure, flatlines in the hospital a couple times and gets a pacemaker put in. Two weeks after that, my brother-in-law has his 3rd major heart attack, landing himself on a table for triple bypass, which leads to a last minute road trip to Iowa, because you just never know with a surgery like that.

On our way home from that, we find out that our tenants at our beautiful house in Northern New York , where my husband was stationed when he was in the army, missed rent. Only a minor deal, since we live paycheck to paycheck, as long as they catch up. But turns out, they are real bad news. They, and some friends who were AWOL, were selling drugs from our home and committing armed robberies in town, causing enough chaos to lead to a police raid on our home.

That’s what it looks like when the police shoot tear gas through your windows. Seriously, a story I couldn’t even make up in my worst nightmares, which led to losing out on 4 months of rent and paying several thousands of dollars of repairs to get it ready for new tenants (while living paycheck to paycheck).

The strain of financial struggle, which came on the back end of another one I had barely made it through, left me broken, terrified. I cried, a lot. And I faked a lot of smiles.

Behind those glasses, panic, anxiety, and depression fill my eyes. But I knew I couldn’t disappear. I have 5 kids, so I keep pushing through. And I started painting. Because words couldn’t express what I was feeling.

See, in spite of it all, I knew, I know, that God is faithful and He is good, and He uses all things for my good and His glory. As my wedding anniversary came around, God spoke over my heart that this would be a year of Jubilee for us. Even though nothing had changed, I accepted that word and have been trying to declare it as much as my tiny sliver of faith will allow.

But then we had another major change. We also own a house in Houston that we had been renting out. But after unsuccessfully trying to sell it, we moved back into it. Across the city from friends and our church. A move none of us wanted. A move that shredded my heart. But as I asked the Lord why, He reminded me of a season of my life that was marked by deep intimacy and trust in Him. So we moved, with the belief that God was going to do something amazing in our lives because it is who He is.

And while our first few weeks were marked by peace, shortly after the move, the people our whole family considered to be best friends, called to say they wanted nothing to do with me specifically. Which by extension meant my husband and kids. And we wept, hard. I don’t know if you have ever had to break your child’s heart, but we did, and it hurts. But again, God whispered:

So here I am, looking 2020 down, hoping it gives me fewer crap sandwiches, but knowing that is not promised to me. Knowing also, that in spite of whatever may come, Jubilee was promised and my God is still good. Knowing that the end of the story is nothing but good. In the meantime, I’m seeing a counselor. I’m leaning into the Lord. I’m seeking healing and freedom. And I’m writing again, because I’m hoping that sharing my story, might just help you along with yours.