2016 - Year in Review

I think it's safe to say that 2016 was our most eventful year to date. That's saying a lot looking back at the past 5 years especially.

On January 27, we finalized the adoption of our 8th child. God provided everything we needed and more through our family, friends and church.

The next few months were filled with minimal sleep, buckets of tears and multiple days saying "goodbye" to Judah. He had so many brushes with death. Twice his shunt malfunctioned and we were told that we could lose him within hours. He refused to eat for 3 straight days at one point, had multiple respiratory viruses that we were afraid would turn into pneumonia.

The scariest two days were when we put him on a medication for hypertonia and he reacted horribly to it and began seizing uncontrollably, throwing up almost constantly. I planned his funeral every time we had a scare. By the time June rolled around, I felt like I couldn't take much more of the rollercoaster. Just when I thought life couldn't get more traumatic and unpredictable, our house caught on fire.

On June 17, life as we knew it, ended. My beautiful house, that my husband worked so hard on for so many years was gone. Gone to us anyway - it sat there for 4 months, just as the day we left it. Mold growing up the walls, our belongings strewn about, soaked and covered in ashes. Eventually we received compensation for our contents and the entire house was gutted. As of writing this, it is bare - no walls, floors, everything has to be completely redone. We are still waiting, 7 months later, to get a final word on whether they will rebuild or total it.

In the midst of uncertainty and "what if" scenarios, God's sovereignty held strong. I felt overwhelmed, but incredibly at peace, knowing that God was completely in control of the situation. The fire happened upstairs during the day. Judah was upstairs asleep. Had the water pipe not melted and sent the fire the opposite direction of his room, we obviously would have lost him. If my daughter hadn't woken up early from her nap, we would have lost her when the fire went to her room instead of Judah's. If Seth hadn't been home for that 1 hour lunch, I don't think I would have been able to hold my breath long enough to save Judah. I have never felt so much protection from the Lord and His angels than I did that day. My faith is stronger because of this trial. I am thankful for that.

I begged God to give me a reprieve from Judah's health rollercoaster after the fire and He so graciously answered my prayer. Since the fire, Judah has been the healthiest and most content that he has ever been. On September 23, we miraculously celebrated his 1st birthday, which is statistically unheard of.

We have received answers to prayer that have blown us away. In December, multiple dreams came true when we went Florida, while Judah stayed here with family and friends. It was an amazing week and I am so thankful to Jesus for making the impossible happen so many times this year for us.

I jotted down a few goals for this next year, but they can all be summed up into one. I pray that at the end of 2017, I will be more like Jesus than I am today. I don't know what trials I will have to joyfully endure to meet that goal, but I know that He will be there with me every step of the way. Happy New Year friends.

"If life were stable, I’d never need God’s help. Since it’s not, I reach out for Him regularly. I am thankful for the unknowns and that I don’t have control, because it makes me run to God." -Francis Chan

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