I can list a lot of things I am thankful for. But rather than provide a bulleted list, I have something deeper I want to write about this evening.
You see, I sat in my first grade classroom and listened to my teacher talk about accepting Christ as my Savior. How important it was for us to confess that we knew we were sinners and that we believed that Jesus paid the price for those sins on the cross. It was that moment that my heart became convicted and that evening, I accepted Christ along with my mom by my side. I am thankful that my parents sacrificed to send me to a Christian school where my teacher, Ms. Beck, delivered a powerful devotion that morning.
If it weren't for the presence of Christ in my life, I wouldn't be sitting on my sofa in this house right now. I can tell you that I would be far worse. It is because of Christ that I sought out Christian friends while I was a teenager. It is because of Christ that I sought to marry a Christian man. Did I make all the right choices every time as a teenager? Absolutely not? But because of Christ, He led me to the wonderful man he had for me. Because of Christ, I married Paul.
Paul and I were very young when we got married. 21 and 23. We had a lot to learn. And we learned all of those lessons and made all of those mistakes together. God brought many things into our lives that brought us closer together and made our marriage better for it. It's pretty amazing to see how God orchestrates events to fulfill His purposes. When we were married almost 4 years, I sat in a doctors office to listen to her tell me it was all together possible I may never be able to conceive a child. Refusing to believe her, I got the list of tests I would need to have run to prove her wrong. Only I didn't need to do anything... God already had. You see as that doctor sat there and told me that horrible news, God had already started the miracle of Austin... it was just too early to detect. You see, because of Christ, I am the mother of a wonderful, energetic, sweet, and caring four year old boy.
After owning a house that ended up falling apart after we bought it, Paul and I were determined that one day we would become homeowners again. (only this time with a lot more wisdom to boot) We seriously considered buying several different homes while we still lived in Jacksonville. None of them felt like the right move. Paul had an awesome job at a property insurance company, but we never felt like we should stay in Jacksonville. Life went on... Then Paul applied for a promotion in Tampa. His company doesn't exactly move fast on anything... so several months went by and we had no idea he was even being considered at all. Well, he got the position... and it was 2 weeks before school was to start. Moving meant that we not only had to find a place to live in Tampa, but I had to find a job. God orchestrated everything and the move worked without a snag. Because of Christ, we now live in Tampa.
We've been in Tampa for 15 months now. We've grown closer as a family and work together better as a team in everything we do. There's some funky thing with mortgages that you can't just move somewhere and buy a house, regardless of your job being a transfer, new job, relocation, whatever you call it... you have to get 2 months of paystubs under your belt in your new city before you can close on a house in said city. So that's the reason we rented when we moved here. Praise be to God, HE orchestrated events so that we ended up closing on the beautiful home that we now live in on November 10, 2009. Our house is gorgeous. It's big enough for what our family needs. I have dreamed for years of a flat top stove and I now have it. Our kitchen, foyer and bathrooms have 18 inch ceramic tile. I have a side by side fridge. I finally have a washer and dryer that work properly. When I wake up in the mornings and look at my huge kitchen I just thank the Lord. When I get to let our son go out and play in the back yard, I thank the Lord. When I pull my car into the dry and safe garage every evening, I thank the Lord. When I get clothes out of "my" closet and use "my" sink to get ready in the mornings, I thank the Lord. I still feel a sense of disbelief when I look around and think that this home is actually ours.
God has truly blessed me. The road has had it's rough patches, but God put each and every "rough patch" there to refine me to better fulfill His purposes for me. I haven't yet seen the whole big picture that God is showing me and I certainly haven't been fully refined by him. But God is good to me, He always has been and always will be. And I can't be more thankful for the journey He has allowed me to have in this life.