God is SOOOOOO good!! I just want to shout it from the rooftops!! He has done so much IN me, THROUGH me, and FOR me....and my family. I was driving home from church this morning with tears of thankfulness in my eyes for all He's done. My husband and I have gone through some very tough times these past few years, and in the process we've made a mess of some things. A few months ago, we sought to clean up the mess. We repented before God and asked for His help, even though we didn't deserve it. The mess was created in disobedience, so the last we thing we deserved was God's help. I am so thankful that He is a gracious and merciful God. We are about to come out the other end of the tunnel and it's all due to His help. If not for His love and blessing, we'd be in the tunnel cleaning up for years. He has been so awesome!!
Another area in which God has so blessed me personally is with my children. I homeschooled my two youngest for five years, and for their whole lives I have poured myself into them. I believed my first calling was to raise godly men and I took that calling seriously. I did all I knew how to do to raise them up in the way they should go. I went through a season this past year in which I basically had a pity party. I felt as though all my efforts were somewhat meaningless because they didn't seem to mean anything to my boys. They didn't even remember half the things we did together while we were home schooling and that hurt. It mostly hurt because those were some of the best memories of my life with them. I was trying to create great memories for them, and they didn't even remember! It turns out that that's okay. A strong foundation was built in them and that's what's really important. I spent all those years reading Scripture to them, teaching them worship songs, helping them memorize the ten commandments, and praying, praying, praying (we did some reading, writing, and rithmetic too). :-) They're teenagers now and attend public school, and I am so proud of them! They bless my heart every day. Today at church I received a sweet confirmation that what I had done was good, and I reaped some reward. As I knelt at the altar praying and worshipping this morning, my youngest "man of God" came and knelt beside me, put his arms around me and prayed for me in the Spirit. I could hear his sweet prayer language like a beautiful song. What more could a mother's heart possibly ask for? It was one of the sweetest moments of my life and I don't think I'll ever forget it. Something really beautiful about that moment was the fact that this son was the one I had been concerned about when he was younger. I geared up to do double-duty on my knees when he hit puberty, and all glory to God, this one is a man after God's own heart and what a blessing he is!
God's faithfulness to me has never failed. Although there have been times of testing, and times of refining and character building that I did not always enjoy, I have enjoyed the benefits. The time when you are freshly out of the fire and you get to see some of the purpose for the trials is just one of the best times in life....every time it happens. I think if we hang on to the memory of what that is like, we can use it to help us get through the next fire. I say "next" because I believe we will continue to be refined until the day we pass into eternity. From fire to fire, our faith is being perfected, as well as from glory to glory. The fire makes the glory all that much sweeter, as God becomes sweeter the more you know Him, as you draw nearer to Him during the fire. It all works together, and it's a glorious working. Only God could orchestrate such perfection. God is SOOOOO good!