O how abundant is your goodness that you have laid up for those who fear you, and accomplished for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of everyone. Psalm 31:19
Can God’s redemption and restoration reveal itself in a 34 year old RV parked in a dusty, Texas ghost town? As I sit outside that RV camper fondly named “Betty,” I wholeheartedly cheer “Yes!” And count my blessings.
My first blessing. As I write this, I’m on family vacation with Gary, Meredith, and one of her dear friends, Samantha. It’s not about where I’m at and it’s not about the vacation.
It’s about who I’m with. My hubby of 31+ years. My daughter. Her friend.
God’s redemption wraps this vacation with good conversation, our brand of “nerdy” queries as we drive the back roads of west Texas, and lots of laughter erupting from “Betty.”
God provided faith as the glue to my marriage and family. My friends, that’s the second blessing I count. Though our pride and selfishness blinded Gary and me during the difficult years of our marriage, I’m thankful that we both truly meant “I do” when we nervously made that vow over 31 years ago. In those challenging dark times, it would’ve been easy to leave, but neither of us did. Thank you, God, for your glue called faith, even when we failed to recognize it.
Five years ago, this would not have happened. Yesterday, this did.
…in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
I’m blessed that God chose me to be Meredith’s mom and we’re blessed that she intentionally continues to share her time and her friends with us. As I struggled internally with accepting I would have only one child, Meredith was at that stage of openly questioning why she didn’t have any siblings. Gary and I never planned to have only one child; life just happened that way.
This was a challenging stage of parenting, but God answered my question and hers.
While God only gave me one biological child, He gave me a heart to love many children and, Meredith, that includes your friends. As I wrapped Meredith in hugs filled with all my love, I assured her of those words time and time again. I assured myself, too.
We tucked them in our hearts and she’s lived them out. As an independent, self-reliant, responsible young adult, she continues to share her friends with us. And those friends, in turn, they share with us. Gary and I love that. Laughter erupting from “Betty” just last night is proof of that. And, yes, I love Meredith’s friends. I’m proud of them and I’m in awe of their faith. Just as with Meredith, I hurt when they hurt; I’m elated when they’re happy and on top of the world. I love cheering them on as they pursue goals and dreams. I pray for them. And I hug them as tightly as they’ll let me.
God had a plan all along. Meredith is surrounded by believers, friends strong in their faith, seeking God first in all they do. All in different stages of their faith journeys, they openly witness and share their belief in God and their struggles. They’ve modeled obedience and we’ve learned from them. Meredith’s friends’ willingness to share their time with us has been like salve to wounds that refused to heal. I have no doubt they’re part of God’s redemption and restoration plan for Gary and me, our marriage, and our family.
Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
Yes, twenty-somethings can teach a lot to fifty-somethings!
I truly have more blessings than I can count. I give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever.
I’m grateful for His redemption and restoration work in my marriage and my family.
I’m thankful for my parents and all my family, each love me and encourage me in their own special way.
I’m grateful for friends, both near and far, old and new, who listen and inspire me to study God’s word. Thank you for challenging me to trust in His plan for my life and live it out in daily obedience.
Thank you for sticking with me. I love you all.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I pray you are wrapped in God’s love, that you trust His plan of redemption and restoration, and that you’re surrounded by friends and family, overwhelmed with blessings—too many to count!
Hugs and blessings from Terlingua,