I left with hope. Hope for a new start. Because we had no choice. The life we have chosen doesn't give us much of that at this point. And that's ok. But it doesn't make the goodbyes any easier. And it definitely doesn't ensure a happy new life the minute you move. Or even months later.
Over the last year God has continued to bless me with beautiful sunsets. A reminder that even though the day is over, tomorrow is coming. And He goes before me into it. Regardless of how alone I feel. Today marks one year since we moved into our house. And it has been a year filled with twists and turns and pain and grief and tears and hurt. I literally can not see through the pain sometimes as I have watched my family, my friends, my children and so often myself struggle through it. It's suffocating.
But God keeps sending me those sunsets.
And so today I took the time to look back through the sunsets of the last year. Because honestly what I want to do is bottle the entire 365 days up and throw them into the sea. Instead, I offer them up as encouragement to you. That even in the darkest of days, HE is still there. He is NOT silent. And he is GOOD. So very good.
I spent the months of November and December in what I would call a fog. I'm not sure if I was experiencing post-partum depression, or just depression in general. Regardless, I remember trying to take a picture of myself one day...and I couldn't do it. I couldn't stand to look at the pain in my own eyes. I remember snapping this...thinking that maybe my reflection wouldn't show my feelings. Instead, it serves as a reminder to me of how far I have come. How far HE has carried me.
I snapped this picture today. Confident. Loved. Secure in the knowledge that no matter how hard it gets, I can and I will make it through. Certainly not on my own. But by leaning on Jesus. Constantly. Daily. Moment by moment. He does not leave us or forsake us. And HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD. That verse has become a lifeline for me. Take heart friends. No matter what this world throws at you, He has already won the battle. He is victorious. And we must choose to rest in that when the world around us seems to be spinning out of control.
This was my first Illinois sunset. It spoke to me of promise. That just like in Washington, God would provide. The sun sets in both places. I thought it meant the year would be full of new friendships, laughter, a fun new start. What I didn't know was that He would show me how He can provide like no one else can. Not family. Not friends. Not my children or spouse. He has taken me from a point of brokenness...where I literally had no one to call on for help. And I see now that He was showing me that HE IS ENOUGH.
Isn't it fitting that He lit up the sky for me on Wednesday night. Almost a year to the date of when we got here. And this one just sang to me. See what I am doing in you? See how I have kept my promise? I have carried you. And you are never, ever alone.