Monday, January 4, 2010

Decade.

The bonus of having a birthday at the end of the year, is that I get to look ahead at the new year not just as another year, but MY new year. Yes I am one of those who looks back at my last year and reminisces about all the things that went on, good and bad. I also like to look ahead at my new year and try to make some goals and dream new dreams...or the same ones :)
This birthday I turned 30. I took some time to look back on the last 10 years of my life and needed to write down some of my thoughts and experiences from my last decade...(beware, this might be a long post so better grab some coffee.)
When I turned 20, I had not been married for a full year yet. In fact, just 3 days shy of my 20Th birthday, Nate and I spent our first Christmas in the ER miscarrying our first baby. It was a hard way to start my 20's. I had dreamed of being a wife and mother. This was devastating for me. But as I look back, I can see God's hand through that time. He helped Nate and I grow very close as a couple. Throughout my 20's, God gave me 9 pregnancies. Peace, Patience, Constance, Hope and Faith are with the Lord! These times were hard, emotional and draining. I named each of my babies I miscarried because I believe at the moment of conception, there is a life! And every mother knows that when you see that first glimpse of 2 pink lines, you already have a list of names to discuss with your hubby, you are starting to pick out colors for the nursery, you have a good estimate of the due date, and you even know how old you will be when this baby graduates high school! The Lord walked Nate and I through these times. Some of them were harder than others, but each time I mourned the loss of this just started life inside me.
The Lord did hear my cry. He gave Nate and I Luke, Melissa, Micah and Hallie! These were times of joy and extreme amounts of love that is so unexplainable! The baby stage is so wonderful and exhausting! With carrying 4 babies and nursing each till a year, this took up a lot of my time and had it's times of learning. God taught me a lot about myself. He has used my children to help me grow closer to Him!
Another big life-changing impact in my 20's was when my church had a split. The church I was born and raised. I had many close friendships and relationships here. I loved my church! This split affected my whole life! This was very painful. I lost my friends, I lost my church family, I lost my security for my faith, I lost dreams of raising my kids there. Nate and I had felt the Lord leading us to step away and with His strength, side by side, we followed the Lord. That was the hardest and the best thing we ever did! This experience has taught Nate and I to find our identity in the Lord and Him alone! It's been a tough path but well worth it! He led us to a smaller church for a year where He allowed us to find some healing, then ultimately He led us to the church where we call home, Grace Bible. Here, God has taught me about worship, faith, stronger relationship with the Lord, importance of raising your kids in a Godly home, living daily, hour by hour, minute by minute for the Lord, Love, forgiveness, selflessness, serving, support of others in the ministry outside of your local church, and much, much more!
I remember one Pastor that I still highly respect sent me a letter after Nate and I stepped away, saying that He was praying for Godly friends for me. God answered that prayer. Two friends in particular left a huge impact in my life at that time and continue to be my great friends today. I learned a lot through a girls Bible study that I attended and still do when we have a session. (We are all mommies now so it's a little harder to get together) The gal who led that group has left her mark in my life! When I was at one of my lowest points in life, God used her to lift me up, to teach me, to heal me. She has a gift of teaching and opening your heart up for the Lord in new and awesome ways! God uses her to make me search my heart and to open up to God and His leading. She has also taught me that being a mom does not mean you have to stop life! She has 5 kids and keeps going with the things that she enjoys! I love her honesty and the way she can make me laugh with her stories! I am inspired with the way she teaches her children and shepherds them in a Godly way! I still think she needs to write a book! I thank the Lord for her continuing impact in my life!
The other friend has been that walk beside you in everything friend who can call and talk for an hour or two on the phone and it feels like it was only 10 minutes. We can bounce ideas off of each other, exchange recipes, dream dreams together, vent about the kids, share about our victories in the Lord and encourage each other in our weaknesses. She is the friend who I have to talk to at least every few days before I go in withdrawal! We've watched each other go through pregnancies, nursing babies, sleepless nights, baby clothes, maternity clothes, going on health kicks and then know that sometimes the healthiest thing for our sanity is going on a late night run to What's for dessert! She is stronger in my weaker areas and can inspire me with a 2 minute conversation. I feel so blessed that God allowed her to be a part of my life!
I hope and pray that the Lord will allow these two friends to be a part of my life as long as He tarries!
I have also enjoyed a group of couples that Nate and I are friends with. These are from our church and we have so much fun together! We act like big kids and just enjoy hanging out whether we are together with all our kids or we actually get to get out with just us couples! This group has been a huge blessing of pure joy!
There are MANY more friends that the Lord has put in my life this last decade too. Friends at MOPS, church, school moms, sport moms, neighbors, facebook friends, and friends from the past that I have been able to reconnect with. I wish I had more time to connect with each of these women on a personal level. But I'm so thankful that I have them in my life no matter how short the time is that we spend together!
Looking at my family, I have grown closer to all of them, Nate's family as well. I've had to say goodbye to my Grandpa Price and Grandma Price who are now with the Lord. I've had to except the aging of my Grandma B. I see my parents and Nate's parents more as friends then parents. Yet I still feel their unconditional "parent love!" I feel more close to my brothers and their families. I'm not sure that I will ever feel like I am at their level because I am the little sister. But that just makes me still feel young! I love them more and more!
There is so much I'm missing, but these are the memories that have engraved themselves the most to my heart these last 10 years!
I look forward to the next 10 years and pray for growth in the Lord for myself, family and Friends, good health, protection, love and much JOY!





2 comments:

Valerie Hunter said...

Wow, what a decade long rollercoaster! You are an amazing woman, Julie...and God uses you for amazing things!

The Jungeberg's said...

Thanks Val, when I was writing this I went from tearing up to smiling to contentment! The Lord's mercy and grace have been so overwhelming! Especially when you have the time to reflect back.