When my husband and I prayed on New Year’s Day 2010, we had no idea that this year would be as busy and as full of change as it has been.
We decided to ask God one last time that we would conceive our second child; if God continued to close my womb, we would take that as a sign and pursue adoption. I was pregnant two weeks later.
We prayed that God would make it clear if I were to host the first Ruth’s Company Conference at the Rochester Radisson. He did, and we had an awesome time in June, being inspired by great teaching and the company of almost 100 like-minded women.
We prayed that God would show us if we were to buy a house. We closed on a lovely home on August 1st. And moved in a week later.
We prayed that God would make it abundantly clear if we were to leave the church where we had been attending and fairly active and seek another. We’ll be going to a New Comers’ class at our new church this Fall.
We prayed that God would lead us to the right preschool for our precious first son. We found one that seems hand-crafted for our Isaac; he starts this month!
We prayed that God would show us if we should try to sell or continue to rent out our home in New Hampshire. He made it clear that we were to rent it and then we sustained two stress-filled months with no renters. God finally filled our home with new, great tenants.
When conventional wisdom says one should have no more than two major changes in one year, we Doyleys embraced six changes or events, each of which came with major financial, emotional or physical stress.
Marvin and I took turns losing sleep and worrying about one or more of these events. At times our lives felt like we were on a fast roller-coaster ride, hanging on with one hand and juggling with the other. Marvin carried a larger portion of the financial burden, plus responsibilities at work, and I carried our second son, with the hormonal ups and downs, exhaustion and relentless nausea. And we had some petty arguments as stress and sleeplessness got the better of us.
At one point we asked the Lord, “Are all of these things from you? Did we run ahead of you in any of these decisions? Are we on track?”
And we felt at peace about it all. We felt that He called us to do all of these things and that He would see us through. We also felt sure that this season of busyness would soon end. After this hectic pace would come a time of rest. Human beings weren’t created to sustain a treadmill pace for very long. Our bodies can’t handle it; our emotions can’t handle it; our children can’t handle it and our marriages can’t handle it. There is a time to work and a time to rest, and we are looking forward to a boring 2011!
There is one scripture in particular that sustained me this year, and continues to sustain me as I look forward to delivering this beautiful baby and then caring for him along side our energetic preschooler:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Cor 12:9)
If you were to ask me at any point of this year how I felt, deep down inside, my response would be “Weak.” Often it was physical weakness. I know some of you have five, six, seven children and could keep going. But for me, being pregnant while caring for our son has been the second hardest thing in my life (the first hardest was giving birth to Isaac!). I’ve been told that I look good pregnant. Well, that’s ironic, because I certainly don’t feel good! And scores of times I asked God to be strong where I was weak.
We asked God to sustain us through His grace and He has. Now as the storm is waning, our marriage is stronger than ever: our love for each other tested and proven. And our love for the Lord has skyrocketed. He has proven Himself faithful, and loving and strong time and time again and we sit and look around at all that He has done, stunned and grateful.