Well, that’s it for 2013! Tomorrow it’s time to start a new file for GTWO. What an amazing year! I personally would call 2013 a really bad year, but the fact that God saw our family through some really tough times actually makes this a really good year! (Only God can do that!)
My husband got bacterial meningitis (the deadly kind) in late January of 2013 followed by a long week in the hospital, ridiculous amounts of intravenous antibiotics at home for two more weeks after that, and a 4 month recovery beyond that. It was scary and sad at first especially in the hospital when he was unconscious for so long. (He was unconscious with his eyes open and involuntary muscle movements - very creepy to watch!)
*But then he woke up from unconsciousness and knew who we were. (God did that!)
*The medicine he received worked. (God did that too!)
*Our families were in a position to meet our needs: Rob’s dad was traveling with him and got him some awesome medical attention. Rob’s sister flew out with me to San Jose be where they were with only our purses in hand. My parents cancelled a trip to Hawaii and kept our kids, and my sister and her family also kept our kids - and kept them entertained and comforted most importantly. And literally thousands of people (many we don’t even know) prayed for us constantly and continually. (Only God prompts hearts like that!)
*We got to come home to our kids and finish his treatment at home. (God made that work out!)
*Our church family raised funds for our hospital bills - every single bit of it was paid for us. (God certainly did that!) Side note: Did you know an air lift chopper from hospital to another hospital is $34K?
*Rob stayed home with us while off work and enriched our school time and morning devotions. (God blessed that time so preciously!)
*Many wonderful people stepped in at church to help with Rob’s duties so he could stay home and recover. (God arranged all of that!)
*Rob made a full recovery - something his follow up infectious disease doctor said he’d never seen before. (God healed him miraculously!)
*We finished our school year on time, enjoyed a fabulous summer together, attended family reunions on both sides of our family this year making it possible to catch up with almost everyone we are related to in one summer! (God arranged that!)
*Rob returned to work and continues to thrive at his job encouraging many people each week with teaching and leading worship, keeping the facility up, and maintaining his influence on our school subjects at home. (God sustains him daily to do all that!)
*Rob and our 14 year old son, Josiah, were talking about how fun it would be to work on an old car together and a guy from church just gave them one out of the blue without even knowing they were in the market for one! (God!)
*We enjoy a beautiful home, warm beds, running water, a garden, cars that run, appliances that work, family close by, food on the table every day, clean clothes, and good health. (God, God, God, God, God, God, God, God, God, God!)
The list of provision and protection is numerous and phenomenal. God has certainly outweighed any bad that may have happened with an overwhelming amount of good! And only God can do that! Usually bad is followed by more bad. But for the ones who love and trust the Lord He promises this: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33)
And He promises this: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)
And this: Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
I would love to encourage ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE, Believers or not, to find out how God wants you to live and live that way and watch him give you everything you need (Matthew 6:33). I want everyone to know that God makes really good things happen out of bad situations causing everything to work together for good and not for more bad (Romans 8:28). And the good things that happen are not a coincidence or just luck but the fact that everything that is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father on purpose (James 1:17).
Lastly, I found this to be true - and I do believe this with all my heart because God showed me in 2013 that everything I believed about Him to be true is really really true - Even if Rob hadn’t been healed or made a full recovery, I would still be able to look back and call 2013 a good year because I know God would have worked out any other scenario for good too. He can’t help it! It’s who He is, it’s what He does!
You see, when Rob was not conscious the doctors told us that some people stay like that for weeks and some even don’t wake up at all. That’s a horrible thought as we have 4 young kids at home. But the truth is this, I believe God’s Word. I believe Philippians 4:6-7 that says, Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. And then promises, Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. I found that to be true in the hospital - FOR REALS. I was given really bad news but had peace at the same time. How is that possible? (God does that! He has done it before for me and he did it again when I REALLY REALLY needed him to!)
Please feel free to share my experience with anyone who needs encouragement. If something bad happens in your life what is your plan? What can you rely on? In my experience, God was the ONLY option! Most people in Rob’s situation DON’T respond to medication, so I couldn’t rely on that. Most people out of work fall into financial hardships and we didn’t experience that. What we did experience was just like what God promised: Peace that exceeds anything we can understand. I can’t explain it, I won’t even try. But I want everyone to know it was not my imagination; it is real and really worth delving into a relationship with a loving Heavenly Father who promises and delivers GOOD to what should be a bad situation. (God does that! He REALLY does!)
I know that 2014 (and every year) will be a good year for all who trust in the Lord. He has no other kind of year in mind for us but GOOD!
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Thank you! Thank you so much!!!
(The posted picture is one of the first pictures we took of Rob after his recovery about 4 months after he got sick. Looks pretty good!)