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From Beginning to End... A Good and Gracious God

I’ve clung to one simple quote (from my wise mother) this year:

“I know a few things about my good and gracious God. He is faithful, He is enough, and He is wise.”

These words have carried me through the two things I will remember the most from this year.

In the beginning of 2023, I laid a baby girl in the arms of my husband.

In the end of the year, I laid another baby in the arms of our Heavenly Father.

Good. Gracious. Faithful. Enough. Wise.

These characteristics have brought me into a deeper and more intimate walk with the Lord as each day of this year presents itself to me. In the wonder of His goodness and blessing, and in the sorrows of a world devastated by The Fall.

In faithfulness, the Lord started the year walking us through the transition into toddlerhood and the adjustment to a new baby. As we come to the end, he has faithfully carried us through the grief of a child we never got to hold.

Several weeks ago, as we drove to the emergency room, the sun was setting and the entire sky was lit up like a rainbow. I could almost hear the whisper of God saying, "I am faithful."

"Faithful in what?" I wanted to say.

I have been around long enough to know he doesn't promise the life of my baby in the womb or out. I know to love the Lord is to know suffering. Why remind me of your faithfulness now?

Over the next week the rainbow was a reminder of what was to come. In the wake of our loss, friends and family were standing at my door with arms of flowers. Meals provided for us for the first week following our loss. The open arms that took me in so willingly to comfort.

The Lord knows my pain. He knows my grief. He has been faithful to bring me comfort, remind me of the eternal hope, and sat with me in my tears.

He has been enough in my loneliness.

He has been enough in the exhaustion of ministry.

He was enough when I thought there was no way I’d have the strength to deliver Aurelia earthside.

He has been enough when motherhood overwhelms me.

He has been enough when my sorrow overcomes me.

This Christmas, I have been reminded in a much deeper way than Christmas past: Jesus came for the exact reason I sat in mourning. For the hope of the future. For me. For my children. For my children's children.

He has been wise. He brings the psalms to my mind in the joys and sorrows of life. Psalms 91:4 plays over in my head again and again.

He will cover with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

He brings the proverbs into mind as I navigate an energetic toddler. When I feel blind to what the next right thing is, he uses my husband, family, and friends to speak wisdom into my life. In my joy there is a remembrance of what He has done. In my sorrow, there is gratitude for what He is doing.

And in all of this, He has been good and gracious. In a year where we were guessing our way down a dark road, He was our light. He guided us, though we far from deserved it, and shone light on what was before us.

I know we carry the sorrow from 2023 into the New Year, but we will carry the joys too. The birth of our daughter, the sweet conversations with our son. (This was the first year we heard Isaiah say, “I love you" and "Mama"!)

These beautiful moments are a kindness of the Lord and in the sorrow He is faithful.

And so, I step into 2024 with these words close to my heart:

"I know a few things about my good and gracious God.

He is faithful, He is enough. He is wise."

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (JOHN 1:5)


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