This is the time when you see all the year in review stories on various television shows or in magazines and newspapers. There are various top 10, 20, etc., lists and such. So, I decided I would try to do my own.
I have to say that I think I am the most happy to see the year 2011 gone, over and done with! To say this has been one of the worst years of my life would not quite be accurate. It has been a pretty awful year, but, if I really sit and think about it, it has actually been one of the best years of my life. I’ll explain that in a bit.
2011 started with my husband and I having high hopes and dreams concerning his job, which would positively affect every other aspect of our lives. In February, those dreams were shattered when he was bypassed for the promotion we felt he deserved, as did many people who have stopped him in the grocery store or various other locations about town to tell him just that. The expressed how they could not understand how he was bypassed, but never-the-less, he was.
Hoping and praying this was just a temporary thing, he went on with the application process for the position full-time, and again, was bypassed. We were devastated to say the least. But, we both decided that apparently, God had something different in mind for my husband and we just didn’t understand what it was yet. We were praying for understanding to come, the sooner the better.
Well, one month later, May 23 to be exact, for no apparent reason, my husband was demoted from his position as second in command to detective. He was demoted two ranks, with no reason given to him other than the statement by his supervisor of “self preservation”. So, again, we were seriously devastated. I no longer work due to some health problems and the loss of income was really going to hurt us!
One really amazing thing happened during all of this though. I had been praying for my husband to return to church with me. I had been praying for him to turn his life back over to God, rededicate his life. He attended with me a few times but just didn’t seem ready to commit. I was struggling to keep from pressuring him, but I wasn’t. I would ask him on Sunday morning if he was going with me. Sometimes the answer would be yes, sometimes no. On April 17, 2011, he said yes, he was going with me.
At the end of the service, our pastor held a response call, inviting anyone who wanted to pray to come to the altar and pray, if they wanted someone to pray with them, one of the deacons would be happy to pray with them, or he ( the pastor) would pray with them as well. As the music played, it had actually barely gotten started, when my wonderful husband stood up and walked up to the front of the church and prayed with our pastor. I have NEVER been more proud of him! At that time, he rededicated his life to Christ. It is for that reason that I believe God had already decided that my husband was not going to get the position he wanted so badly. God knew what was best for us in the big picture! And that position was not in that big picture!
It took me a while to figure that out, but as I look back, it makes perfect sense. Before all the turmoil started, I was rarely able to convince my husband to go to church with me, but once it started, it became a little easier to convince him to go. I made the conscious effort to avoid pressuring him to attend because I knew that would probably just push him farther away. Instead, I used the power of prayer!! I had my church family praying for him, my wonderful Sunday school class,(my YaYa’s) prayed for him regularly, and it is because of all this prayer that my husband was able to realize that he needed God back in his life. He needed to let God have control so that things could be better for him.
Now, I’m no fool and I don’t believe anyone reading this is either. Things didn’t change for us from really horrible to really wonderful over night. They slowly got better, with tough times thrown in for good measure. Money was tight but we discussed tithing. We both agreed that we HAD to tithe. There was just no avoiding that. It was something that God told us to do, so we had to do it!! The hubby’s idea was to take the money out of his paycheck each pay period and then divide it up and give some this week and some next week, (he’s paid bi-weekly). I told him that I felt that we should just go ahead and give it all the first week, because knowing us, if the money was in the pocket, we would find something to spend it on. So, even though we already didn’t know how we were going to be able to pay all our bills on the now reduced salary, we began tithing. Guess what? The bills got paid, and we had enough left over to buy a few groceries!
Slowly, but surely, we adjusted. We cut expenses everywhere we could think of. And, by the grace of God, we made it through the year, getting our bills paid, and actually were able to buy the grandbabies Christmas gifts, which I was concerned about earlier.
Things have not improved at my husbands job, he just has learned to tolerate it. We pray for changes and we trust that God will make the necessary changes, when the time is right, according to HIS SCHEDULE!! Not ours!
During all this turmoil at his job, my husband was also having to put with me having constant back pain, frequent injections for temporary pain relief, unable to do ANYTHING around the house. So, not only was he working at a job he was really unhappy at, but he was having to come home, and then become the wife of the household with cleaning and cooking, etc. I rarely was able to do much more than sit in my recliner. Finally, in August, my dr was agreeable to go ahead with surgery since nothing else was giving me any lengthy relief.
August 19, 2011 I had surgery on my low back, two discs removed and some metal apparatus placed in there. I now have titanium in my back!!! Doc says I shouldn’t every have a problem going through any airport security because it is titanium. Since then, slowly but surely, my back has been getting better. I haven’t yet been able to really start any exercise program of any sort as of yet, but that is about to change.
Now, how do I see all this turmoil we went through, and I didn’t get into all of it!, as something positive? Well, first of all, it brought my husband back to God!! That is the best part!! Also, it has caused both of us to make some changes in our lives. Reading and studying our Bible, prayer, etc. Those are all VERY good things to have come out of something so negative! Isn’t it just amazing how God can take something we see as so horrible, unfair, and devastating, and make something so wonderful out of it, like pulling my husband back into His loving arms!
Our God is an awesome God!! Of that, I am POSITIVE!!
Please remember us in your prayers as we both are starting programs to get ourselves healthy. We are starting with eating right, or at least better, and we will be starting a simple exercise program. I am really excited to see how God is going to work through us with this change in our habits and behavior.
Have a wonderful, and very happy New Year everyone!!