As you probably know, we returned to Haiti this past Wednesday so we have not even been back for a week yet and things, of course, are already pretty crazy. Just over the past couple of days there are updates and blogs just waiting to be written, but I am still trying to digest everything that is happening here. We also have some really good friends down with us for these next couple of days, and they have helped us more than they know. From watching Sophie so we could get some things accomplished to hanging out with the kids to helping us stay sane when crazy things happen (like the termite swarm that we were a part of last night!) they have been a wonderful blessing to us. While we are still getting situated here physically and mentally, I wanted to write a blog about something that Jess said the other day that brought some things into perspective for me and it is a look back at last year (2015).
We were sitting around just a few days before heading back to Haiti and Jess asked me what my favorite memories from 2015 were (I think for a baby book or something like that). That question made me realize the insane things that happened last year and I wanted to share with you what the top 3 were because many of you were very involved in 2 of the 3 things. I will list them first and then talk about them a little more, so here is my top 3 things of 2015:
- Bringing Sophie home.
- Moving our children and being able to truly care for them for the first time.
- Our 10 year Anniversary.
Any single one of these things would have made our 2015 way more than complete, but they all 3 happened in the same calendar year. I have to tell you, and I am sure you completely understand this, sometimes I can get so busy that I forget how much GOD blesses me (and in turn how much He must love me). This question, as innocent as it was, led me to think about the amazing love GOD has for me, His son. He allowed me to become a father to an incredible baby girl that I do not deserve. I can still remember the first time I saw her when the nurse held her up to the nursery window. There was this feeling like nothing else in the world to know that she was mine and that I would immediately do anything for her. I have only had that feeling one other time, that feeling of true love where nothing could ever make you stop loving that person and I know from experience that it never goes away. He allowed us to live with the children that we have loved and cared for over the past 3 years more than I ever thought I could love and care for a person. I still have no logical explanation for how much I care for each one of those children, but I do know that they are loved. And He blessed me with an incredible wife that I love more and more every passing day. Even when it does not seem like I could love anything more than I love her, I wake up the next morning and I do, and it has been like that for 10 years (11 now, but for the purpose of this blog it was 10 in 2015).
Anyway, the point of this blog is not to brag about how awesome my 2015 was (0k, it was a small point of the blog). My point is to look back at how much GOD must love me to make these things happen, and to encourage you to do the same. I was just reading in Acts 11 about how the Gospel began to spread to Gentiles through a vision and subsequent message from Peter. At the end of chapter 11, Luke writes about how “The Hand of GOD” is on these believers and the church continues to grow. There is really no other explanation as to why the early church would grow…It could only be because the Hand of GOD was upon them. I don’t really know why, but for some reason this is easy for me to forget. I get so caught up in making plans, dealing with the daily problems that arise here (like not having a vehicle for the past 2 days), or even planning the future of All Things New that I forget how great and loving our GOD is. I can get too busy to seek after the Hand of GOD and I rely on the pathetic “hand of matt.” But looking back over 2015 and seeing these incredible things that GOD did for us made me stop. As soon as Jess asked me that question, I was just in awe of GOD and in awe of how He had changed our lives, the kids’ lives, and Sophie’s life and brought together this family and this ministry in an incredible way. I just had to stop and realize that nobody else could have done that!
I am not saying that we should live in the past by any means. What I am saying is that it is important to stop and thank GOD for the wonderful things He has done for us. He is our Father, and if you had a good Dad growing up, then you know that he always wanted good things for you and tried to lead you to those things. If you did not have a good dad growing up, then you know what you wanted your Dad to be and you know that a good Dad is one who loves and wants what is best for his kids. When I thought about 2015 I thought about what a great Father GOD is and how much He must love me to want those things for me and to give those things to me. My challenge for you today:
Think about the things that GOD has done in your life and thank Him!
Thank Him for the trials that brought you closer to Him, the persecution that brings growth, the gifts that only He could give you, and the everyday living of life that is only possible through Him and with Him. Thank Him for everything because He loves you and the things that He is doing in your life will end in an eternal relationship with Him.