As I sit here reflecting on the holidays and all of the warm and fuzzy feelings I’m supposed to have, my mind keeps veering off to that dark, sad place when this time last year I lost my daddy to lung cancer. Christmas carols and Publix commercials now make me cry. My sadness becomes all consuming if I think of the many other family members who are no longer with us. God’s word does say that He gives and takes away (Job 1:21). I’m fine with the “giving” part but the “taking away” part not so much.
The Lord, as merciful as He is, reminded me that, in the midst of losing my father to cancer, He had also blessed us with a new son last year. Our new son, Oleg, was a child that my husband Robert and I had been trying to adopt from Latvia for 5 years. Five long years we waited and anguished over why God would allow this child to grow up in an orphanage rather than be adopted by our family. Then, just a few weeks before his 16th birthday (which those familiar with international adoption know is the age when adoption to the U.S. is no longer possible), Oleg became free and God miraculously removed all obstacles so we could adopt him. It still gives me chills just to think about it. It was in HIS time!!
Then there was the year 2007 which was one of the most painful years in our lives. We lost 4 close family members, including Robert’s mom and my stepmom, that year. Yet 2007 was also the year that the Lord blessed us with a beautiful 12-year old daughter named Christina, also adopted from Latvia. Do you see a pattern here? He gives and takes away. In His time!!
Our path to adoption came after heartbreak years earlier when Robert and I realized we could not have biological children. We endured many painful infertility treatments, shots, etc. Month after month we’d get our hopes up only to be disappointed. It was a time of real despair and doubt. One day doctors told me I WAS pregnant!! Oh the joy, the excitement, the plans to make. Then a few days later, I was told the pregnancy was a tubal pregnancy and was not viable. At this point, I’d had enough of life. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was angry with God, my husband, everyone! I said many bad words normally reserved for cussing sailors!! After some time had passed, the Lord showed me that those few moments of being pregnant and that joy I felt was a gift. No, it didn’t last, but for those few days I experienced the overwhelming joy that an expecting mother feels. Wow! God is good even in the storms of life!
Sometimes it’s difficult to see the big picture when we’re in the midst of our storm. As I emerge from my pity party and reflect on the events in my own life, I can’t help but see that the Lord was there all along. It’s all too easy to slip into that downward spiral when we focus on our circumstances and the people and the things we’ve lost. Why not reflect on those gifts you may have overlooked while in the midst of your storm and remember the Lord’s greatest gift of all…His Son!! Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Latvian Angel Project
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