So here we are. We're about to close the books on 2012. Weren't we supposed to have flying cars and teleporting by 2013? I'm pretty sure Tommorowland in Disney World was wrong on that one. As I look back over the letter I wrote last year, I think about how much things have changed but also how very much the same they are.
The Lord has blessed us immensely and has also provided many happy memories this past year. I now have a new job at Children's that I absolutely love. Dustin is still the area director of Atlanta K-Life and God is continuing to do amazing things in this ministry and in our city. These two things are able to co-exist even better now that I work part-time and have a flexible schedule. Because of this, Dustin has signed on to continue with K-Life for the 2013-2014 school year. He is starting to be "the old guy on staff" at the annual conference, but it is very clear that God has him right where he needs to be at this point in time.
We have had some fun times with friends and family this past year. For examples of these, you can look back to these posts (here, here, here and here). In April, we headed east on I-20 and went to a Masters practice round. In June, we were able to spend a week in Hilton Head with the Oprea side of the family. In May, we celebrated five years of marriage and took a trip to New England and Canada in October to celebrate it.
As I think back to all of smiles we've had over this past year, I can't help but think of the tears. Our year started off with a second miscarriage on January 4... which was my original due date with our first little one. After undergoing some testing and bloodwork, all of my results have come back mostly normal... meaning there really is no specific reason that my doctor can find. While it can be very easy for us to dwell on the "why" and the hurt and anger that comes with it. It doesn't change the fact that God is still in control. He is very present even when we don't think He is. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. He knows our pain and every tear we've cried along the way. For more of my thoughts on this throughout this past year, you can read here.
So while this blog has yet to be filled with lighthearted stories of parenthood and pictures of "baby's first Christmas", we will look back to our times of joy and smile. We choose hope, because in between the doctors appointments and tears, God's fingerprints have been there all along. We know that while our "sorrow will last for a night"... no matter how long that night is... we can hold tightly to the truth that our "joy comes in the morning". It is with that hope that we can face whatever may lie ahead and know that God will continue to do great things in 2013.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again" (Jeremiah 31:3)
Merry Christmas, friends.
Love, Dustin and Stephanie