Hope in 2008

Tuesday, January 01, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

"rejoice in your suffering, suffering produces perserverance, perserverance - character, and character-hope..."


My sister, Christine, gave me this beautifully framed tile, with the above insription on it, for Christmas. How appropriate for 2007 and 2008; and how appropriate to be given by Christine. 2007 was a hard year... very, very hard. True, there were many blessings (the birth of our son, the gifts of a new house and van, my husband's promotion, the meeting of new friends, etc.) but I'm afraid to say that the trials we were given far outnumbered the blessings. And I'm ok with that, God taught us MANY things through those trials. I turned a corner this past year with my faith, one that I might not have turned otherwise without those trials. And so, I will rejoice in our sufferings.

There was one event that touched me, far more than the others, that I have not been able to write about until now. Many of you will remember a post I wrote in August regarding infertility and how close it has touched my life through my sister. Some of you will remember that I had to remove another post because the pain was too new, too fresh for my sister and her husband. And that is the event that I'm referring to.

On my 28th birthday, Christine and Caleb announced the news of their pregnancy via a birthday card. We rejoiced in their news, only it wasn't to be a happy ending and they lost the baby a week later. I was told about their loss while on vacation in Florida and the magnitude of that loss will reverberate through the rest of my life. Their baby, however short its life, was wanted... very, very badly.

I watched, in awe I might add, as Christine and Caleb came together to deal with their loss. There were moments of anger, of bitterness, of despair, but they have picked up their "cross" and continued on. They named their child Jordan; not only did naming their child bring closure but that name was ordained by God. The day before Christine's miscarriage, our mother sent all four girls (us sisters) a text message with a scripture, a scripture with a promise for Christine's baby. Weeks later, Christine and Caleb were in a local Christian bookstore and came upon a display of bookmarks. The kind of bookmarks that have specific scriptures and names listed on them. Christine and Caleb had been contemplating naming their child for a while now and looked for the name Jordan, the name they'd been considering. Sure enough, next to Jordan's name was the scripture Mom had sent us in that text. I still get goosebumps when I think about it. And so the child's name became Jordan.

I don't know what 2008 holds for us but I do know that it involves hope. I have so much hope for this coming year. I hold on strong to the promise God has for His children; I have hope that God will answer our prayers for Christine and Caleb; I have hope that God will come alongside us and walk this year with us. I already see God at work in the lives around us; I can't begin to tell you how many of our friends are expecting new bundles of joy this coming year, couples that have struggled with infertility in one way or another. We are adding another brother-in-law to the family this year; I have uncles returning to the states after their tours in Afghanistan; my parents are celebrating 30 years of marriage this year; and the list goes on. 2008 is going to be a good year, I feel it deep inside me.

Hope... such a small word, but one that holds so much promise!

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

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8:04 PM delete

I'll be praying that 2008 is a year full of blessings for you and your family, and that no matter what happens, it is a year full of knowing God more and more :) Happy New Year!

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Rachelle
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8:08 PM delete

Hi Jenn and happy new year. Wanted to give you a heads up -- I have a book giveaway going on at my blog. Stop by if you're interested in free books:
Seek First His Kingdom

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Elise
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9:52 PM delete

Oh, the ache. I'm praying for Christine and Caleb...
Your post is full of such joys and sadness! Such is life, yes? I'm thankful for you, Jenn, and your sweet heart. I love coming over here and just reading. (((hugs))) Happy new year!

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Lange Mom :o)
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9:27 AM delete

Your reflections, your way with words, your empathy and your unique way of reflecting an incident are so unique!!!! I pray that your 2008 is blessed along with all of my dear nieces. All of you make me smile. Gold Bless you my dear Jenn.

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Sarah
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10:06 AM delete

I love the optimism of this post Jenn! I'm right there with you, praying for a blessed 2008, even when that blessing and growth and fruit might come through suffering.
Love you!
Sarah

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Christina
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11:24 AM delete

Beautiful post!

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Melody
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9:47 PM delete

I just wanted to tell you that this post blessed me tonight. I have struggled with infertility now for a little over 8 years. We've lost 9 babies over the years. I know the heartache you speak of very well. I know how difficult it is to be the one with empty arms while everyone around us is having children. My heart goes out to your sister and husband.

( A bit of inspiration for you...) A little over a year ago, I was in a revival and the minister brought up the number 8 in his message. He explained that the number 8 (or year 8 in the case) is the number for renewal and rebirth. If you think about it, it makes sense...God taught us to rest on the 7th day and start fresh again on the next day (the 8th day, becomes the 1st day again).

This year 2008 marks our 8th year of marriage. I'm hoping for renewal this year and the expectacy of the child we've been waiting on.

~*Melody*~

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