Today's the "five-year mark." I can't help but mark these days each year. On May 9th I say to Josh, "Do you know what we were doing five years ago today??" He replies "No." (While thinking to himself that he can't remember what he did five DAYS ago . . .) And I gleefully remind him "We were on an airplane to L.A.!!!" And today I'll say, "Remember what we were doing five years ago today??" And he'll say, "No." And then I'll remind him of his experience with LA public transit when he went off in search of blueberries and strawberries--food I had requested in a drug-induced pre-surgery stupor and later had absolutely no interest in eating . . . Good times. ;o)
Five years is truly another lifetime ago. Another "Janna" ago. I was so incredibly naive. I so incredibly *didn't get it*. Five years ago was when my carefully plotted and planned-out life drastically went off course (ummmm, off-roading it??). ;o) The brain tumor, which at the time was overwhelming enough, was soon followed by a few years of extreme financial difficulty. The stress of everything nearly imploded our marriage. I allowed the trials to suck the joy out of me. I spent a solid two years kind of mad at God . . . "Why aren't you doing anything??!?" And then slowly, I started to *get it*. I grasped onto that word "steadfast" because I wanted that to be true of me--a life lived under pressure. I started to understand that sometimes you can want "good things" but if you aren't getting them and it's making you mad, quite frankly those "good things" have become a god--something you must have for happiness. And you know God and His whole "no other gods" rule? ;o) No wonder He wasn't answering my prayers (probably more like demands . . .) how I wanted.
Can I tell you what an incredible blessing it is to be five years down the road from the surgery that "kick-started" it all? And Josh officially hired to have a "real" career again? It took awhile. Sometimes trials linger (and yet our trial doesn't even compare to the long-term sufferings so many have to endure). But today celebrates so much more than just the removal of a silly old tumor. It reminds me of God's faithfulness. It reminds me that I don't always see how God is working, but that doesn't mean He has forgotten me. It means practicing thankfulness in the "blessed with much" times and practicing thankfulness in the times of need--that one's a bit trickier but just as important. The Lord DOES give and the Lord DOES take away, but blessed be His name. I can say emphatically I am thankful for those trials. They made my faith real.
Five years doesn't just celebrate a successful surgery, but the conclusion of a pretty intense time in our lives. I'm so excited to start the next chapter with my family! If somebody out there is reading and struggling through a hard time, I hope my words might give you a bit of encouragement, and I hope this song might minister to your heart. "Places where grace is . . ." I LOVE that phrase! Nothing is random or by chance, God is orchestrating it and knitting it altogether with unbreakable strands of grace.
I have been so blessed.
5 weeks ago