I started writing my families Christmas letters around the age of twelve. I was asked to keep it to one page if at all possible by my mom, but other than that I had full reign to share whatever I wanted to about our past year. I kept up the tradition for the first ten years of Jon and my marriage, but in the past few years, that tradition has gotten lost in the business of the season. Now that I write my own blog I’d like to start up that tradition more as a New Year letter to reflect on the past year that the Lord has brought us through. This past year had many lows and highs, but God yet again showed his faithfulness through it all.
Jon started his first (in three years) full-time job with PTO and benefits at a financial company in West Des Moines Iowa. Before this, he had been in and out of temporary jobs. This was a huge answer to prayer. He has seen God’s favor through every day he is there. It has been a blessing in many ways.
We got to experience the joys of adulting when our washing machine broke after flooding in our basement, but God provided! Most of Des Moines was affected by this huge flooding incident. Local furniture and appliance started great sales shortly after because so many people lost so much of what they had to flood. We got a new washer for a great deal, and everything else of ours was spared.
Jon was in his first car crash and totaled our car. Praise the Lord that Jon was not hurt and that the insurance company was so easy to work with! The man that hit Jon immediately admitted fault and we had our payout within a week. We started looking for a replacement car a week after. I had done my research for a good used car and had a list of cars to go look at four local car dealerships. At the last dealership, we ended up parking right next to our soon to be new car. We were there to look at another car, but we were both drawn to this car. We drove it and chatted with the owner. We ended getting the car for the exact amount we had from the insurance company! Praise the Lord for no car payments!
In September we went on our first big vacation since our Honeymoon. (By “big vacation” I mean we actually got on a plane to go somewhere.) We flew to Florida and went on our first cruise ever. It was a 7 day Caribbean cruise! We stopped at Bahamas, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. It was a vacation with my entire immediate family. We found it more difficult to keep track of everyone on the ship then we originally thought it would be, but we still had a great time! It was an experience that we won’t soon forget.
We wrapped up the year with one of the scariest experiences we had ever faced. My dad suffered two “widow-maker” heart attacks on Oct. 3rd. We almost lost him. I wrote a blog about it here if you want to go back and read more about that. It is nothing I wish on anyone to experience. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a parent and I nearly did. My dad is forever changed as well. His heart was much damaged in the heart attacks. They are now looking at putting in a defibrillator/pacemaker to help improve his quality of life. He’s in rehab and on lots of medications still. We are praying for complete healing in his heart and for him to get back to feeling 100% again. We are most grateful that he is still here to spend more time with for as long as God allows.
As I said, so many things have happened this year. This was just a highlight of a few, but in each circumstance, I can see God’s hand of provision and grace. When we felt like money was running out of our bank accounts for all the adulting things, God was always making sure we had exactly what we needed. When we were worried about things we had no control over, God always made a way. When we grieved and cried out for help, God heard and spared my dad’s life because He’s not done with my dad yet. He still has more in mind for him and for all of us. We are all here because of God’s great plan. He has a purpose for each of us. We are all important and valuable in His sight. No one is a waste or mistake. I hope you find your purpose in 2019 if you haven’t yet. I hope you find a place for God in your life in 2019 if you haven’t yet. I hope that you find God’s faithfulness in every situation as I have. Be encouraged my friend, God is faithful, He will provide, and He does hear and love you unconditionally.
Have a blessed and Happy 2019!