The Word That Wrecked My Year

It’s been quite a while since I shared my thoughts with you here.  So why not cut to the chase and share how ONE word left me undone as we close out 2017. You can read my thoughts or watch below in my VLOG.

When we chose WONDER for our word this year we had an idea (some hopes) in mind. It was attached to the scripture in Psalm 40:5,

“Many Lord my God are the WONDERS you have done. “

Marcus and I so anticipated the incredible way God was about to blow our mind. Each passing day turned into week, turned into month. We hung on to the hope that the WONDER moment of awe and amazement must be just around the corner. It had to be. It was our one word. But what we were experiencing from this years earliest moments was pain. Gut wrenching pain. Not the kind that comes from hitting your thumb with a hammer. The kind that cuts straight to your core because of betrayal. The violation of trust that comes out of no where and punches you right in the gut. The wind escapes your soul and you are in such shock your best hope is to simply catch your breathe again. Rejection. Not the middle school bully who doesn’t like the way you dress kind of refusal. The denial that cuts to character. Accusation after accusation of our beliefs, our intentions our passion and compassion. Our parenting our pastoring our business and our church. And when the personal rejection didn’t seem to be enough, slander began. Our name was dragged through the dirt. And to no one’s surprise disappointment quickly followed. Each hit, each blow we would remember WONDER. When is God going to do the “good” thing? This led to even deeper disappointment. The kind that sucks hope from your sails. We began to doubt who we were. What we would become and how the “good thing” would be worked out in the midst of our most painful year since 2004.

2004 is when our oldest daughter Addie was born with Down Syndrome. The year I felt God betrayed me. He broke his end of the bargaining I had set. It was the year I felt rejected by Him. And quickly I projected a life with that as our new name. Parenting a child that was different equals life of rejection. Disappointment led to grief that I could not bare in many moments. Sorrow left me barren of any “good” expectations. Those days were long, but the years have been short. And somewhere along the path of pain my greatest joy was birthed. That’s WONDER. I don’t know when exactly or how. But that is the ‘look and see’ hindsight that leaves you shaking your heat in awe of what God has done. WONDER always occurs in the context of pain. I didn’t see that when we chose our word. But He did. And Addie didn’t end our life. In fact 2004 is when life really began.

And so our year of WONDER has been rich with hardships. I expected months of ending with exciting exclamations! As it comes to an end, I am understanding my deepest calling, my  greatest connections in life come from my deepest pains. These are the things that feel like misery but have set me on mission. That is WONDER. These are the places that feel barren but lead to better. That’s WONDER. These are the fears that cause me to lean in. I can look for a solution or look to the savior. In this acid test of faith I have grown. I have peace beyond my own understanding and joy well beyond my circumstances. That is WONDER.

These are the victories that we will talk about for years to come. Thirteen years to be exact. And so I sit back in awe of a year of unexpected moments and realize it’s not over. It’s just beginning. And that is WONDERful.