I know this is quite lengthy...but, bear with me...many said they couldn't wait for the more detailed version of my reflections of 2008. I wanted to divide it up in several posts...but it was flowing to good to break it up.
I posted my "brief" reflection of 2008 on my Thankful Thursday post...Looking Back. Now, I want to elaborate on that a little more, ok...a lot more :-)
I have blogged numerous post throughout this year (my first year of blogging, yeah!) of the trial, struggles, battles and sometimes, all out war that took a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual toll on me, my family, my children and my marriage. Only through the grace, mercy and sovereignty of God were we able to endure, survive and have complete victory in each and every attack of the enemy.
God is still working on our behalf, even though, it is now 2009 to continue to bring complete healing in each and every area of our lives.
I said in my post on 1/1/09 that we remained faithful to God and that is the truth. We never stopped loving God, believing that He could intervene, bring victory to the situations that we caving in on top of us and we never stopped attending church, paying our tithes or praying.
Now...let's get one thing straight...I said "we remained faithful"...I didn't say flawless, perfect and without fault.
I battled with major depression and anxiety because of all the attacks that came one right after the other and at times, there would be multiple attacks on top of each other. There were very few people who knew what we were going through during those horrendous years...yes, YEARS! My best friends knew most of the attacks but, we didn't even tell them some of the ones that were so personal until after the victory came. I have to say that there was only one person that knew EVERYTHING...I left no stone left unturned, kept no secrets, exposed every raw, ugly thought, emotion and truth was revealed and confessed in the privacy of his office...that person was my "earthly" savior...sent by God to us in our time of need...Pastor Rusty Blann.
What a man of God, full of wisdom, direction, discernment, my confidant and he is full of compassion and love! If he stilled loved me after all that I told him and didn't judge me...wow, he was a God send and a true man of God!
Pastor Rusty...we owe you so much. We love you with all our heart and appreciate you more that words will ever say or express. You stood by us through it all, you were there on every trial date...all day long, listening and praying, agreeing with us through that 3 year process. But, you have been there for us more than just the lawsuit but you stood with us through every attack of the enemy...helping to lead, guide and direction us through godly wisdom...every step of the way. We can't thank you enough. We love you!
That brings to mind, yet another time when God knew what we (our family) would need more than we did. I won't go into any detail that surrounded Pastor Rusty becoming our pastor but, God knew that I/we would need PR (Pastor Rusty) and no one else in the years to come. I have never confided in a pastor and don't know that I would have ever if it had been anyone other than PR. I am so thankful that God doesn't give us what we want but He gives us what we need.
There were numerous times that I wanted to give up, quit, run away from God and my family...but, God never let go of me...even, when I let go of His hand. When I would realize that I needed God and I couldn't do it on my own...God was right where I walked away from Him...He never moved...He was still standing right there waiting for me to return to Him. These periods of time never lasted long...couple of days to a week.
I learned more and more to cling to Him, depend on Him and dig deep into His Word for every promise I could find to stand on. During the lawsuit, God orchestrated every detail, every delay and ruled and reigned in the judge's heart to make the right decision (even though, she wanted to rule against us so bad). That alone was a 3 year and 5 days battle. Once again, God proved His faithfulness to us. There were times that it seemed like my prayers weren't getting beyond the ceiling. There were many times that I would get angry and frustated with God because they answers were coming...well, at least, I didn't think they were coming...but, they were...in His time and right on time.
With all the attacks of the enemy on my family and within my family...we nearly divorced several times, even to the point that we separated. God restored our marriage and our relationship...we are stronger now than we have ever been in nearly 18 years of marriage.
With the attacks in our family with our son, Brandon, not knowing where he was for 6 months...God moved on his heart to call his little brother on his birthday 3 years ago. We have never been out of contact since. God is still working in that situation that needs divine intervention and only God can do the work that needs to be done. There has been so much healing in my heart, Roger's heart and Brandon's heart toward each other. God is working in Brandon's life and heart right now, whether he knows it or not.
This Christmas was the most enjoyable, precious and happiest time that I can ever remember with Brandon since Roger and I married...18 years ago. Everyday, every week...it was a battle in our home with his biological father instigating so much strife in Brandon toward both of us.
The enemy sets things in motion, but when God intervenes...it blows up in the enemies face and the person who was physically behind it. Brandon hasn't spoken to his father in over 3 years. He finally saw his father for what he was and he has finally seen Roger...his Dad, for the godly, loving father that he is. Brandon has felt so much sorrow for allowing his father to manipulate him all those years and cheating him out of having a real father in his life, but Roger loves him just the same. It wasn't an easy time for any of us, but God is a God of restoration. He is working to bring complete healing in every area of our relationship and in Brandon's life. This Christmas was a testimony of God's faithfulness. What a story that will be when it is completed!
As most of you know, my mother broke her hip, December 16th and I have quoted what she has said several times about her "accident". She says that Christians don't have accidents because God know what is going to happen and He allows it for a reason. She says that He knew that morning when she got up that she would fall out the back door on the ice.
I hadn't ever really thought about it before but I can testify today that...I am a complete, 100% believer in that statement...it just might become my new quote...my famous quote...from my mom!
During these many years of "torture"...I became increasing distance from one of my sisters and 2 years ago...we became completely estranged. During the past couple of years, I haven't spoken to her except on Thanksgiving and Christmas...we were polite but it was nothing like we used to be. She used to be my best friend. I have mourned the loss of our relationship for a long time now...even, before the events of 2 years ago.
I was determined to forgive, not be angry and to pray for my sister and her family. It was during my mother's hospital stay that she came to see my mom from out of town...she was here for several days. We were placed in a situation to be around each other. I am one who would rather avoid a person than have a confrontation with them. I wasn't given the opportunity any long to avoid her. We spent several days together in the hospital room, talking, eating together, she walked me to my car late one night so I wouldn't have to go out alone and I drove her back around to the front entrance of the hospital..it felt like old times. Christians don't have accidents...God is a God of restoration...and I have my sister back. I can't type this for crying...what a Christmas gift this was along with all the other blessings He has given us this year. (I talked to her for 2 hours last night on the phone...something, I haven't done in over 18 years...talked that long, that is)
We were battling with our investment property business going under and taking us down with it financially. God provided a way out for us in this too. It wasn't the way that we had been praying for but if it is God's way...then, it is the only way.
As I said in my post on 1/1/09, God gave me the promise of Isaiah 61...The Year of the Lord's Favor for our household for 2008.
We were believing for several things in 2008, they were:
- Financial Peace: Done...Roger and I neither one have missed a check this year
- Roger's Job Situation: Done...God gave him a job 4 miles from home working for a wonderful Christian man, who isn't afraid to quote scripture and tell his employees about Christ.
- Brandon's Deliverance: In The Process...we have seen so much change...completion is just around the corner
- Restoration In Relationships: Done...I have my son and I have my sister back
- Real Estate: In The Process...will be completely out of it by end of 2009
2008 has truly been one of the best years of my life...only through Jesus Christ was this possible.
I am going to post the emails that Dorinda and I exchanged one year ago...December 13th, 2007 that confirmed my own personal, special delivery...Promise From My Heavenly Father...Isaiah 61 next.