I'm not sure why, but I've been very, very pensive lately -- reflecting on a year ago. Maybe it's the weather -- the changing things in fall, making me think back to everything that was changing in my life this time last year. The other day I heard the song "The Precious Blood", which I used to run to all the time in Illinois, and my memories of running on the track at the YMCA before Homeschool P.E. or running in my little town in Illinois came flooding back to me, so real that it was almost tangible. I was in my fitness class when I heard it, but I could not stop the memories, and I actually began to cry a bit, thinking of the sweet things of the past.
One of those things was my friend Trish's pregnancy. I wrote, asking you all to pray for her here, and the Lord heard those prayers. Gavin is a year old now, hale and hardy and adorable. I remember how intensely I prayed for them. It was a time when we all spoke often about God's sovereignty and goodness. We wept with Trish because she was still sad about Braden, and she was truly walking the road of trust -- putting one foot in front of the other as Gavin grew bigger and bigger inside of her. How blessed it is to look back!
Another person I have been thinking of is my friend Christen. Just about this time last year, I wrote this about her. They were leaving Illinois then. And I knew, and I still know -- which is what brings me to tears so often -- that it can never be the same again. That little Barnabas house that held all those Taylors was so open and familiar to me that it was like an extension of my own home. I always knew Josh and I were on the same terms with these friends -- we both wanted to be with them equally, so it led to some rather late nights with James and Christen, and even Phil a couple times, I recall. I often meet people who remind me of Christen, but usually in just one or two small ways. This is probably because Christen is a bit larger than life to me, a friend in time of need that the Lord gave. You have those friends, too, I'm sure -- friends who you know need you in all the ways you can fill, and you need them as well, in all the ways they can fill. I was thinking today that this exact day (not date) last year, Christen had Jeremiah, and I was so sad I could not be there for her because we had gone to the Ohio State game with Josh's family! Thinking of those golden days is rather bittersweet to me, but good to reflect on, nonetheless.
I have also often thought about 3 years ago (it was just this time of November) when Emily and I went to New York City with Misty and Shea. I have thought over and over how much I'd like to go back again, and have relived the sights we saw and the fun we had. I am amazed when I think about how much Emily has grown and changed since her meltdown before we went to eat at 21 (I don't say that to humble you, Emma, but to honor you). It was so fresh and fun to us all then, because we weren't world travelers yet. . . I'm still not, but the others are! Now Misty is in Morocco and Shea is in Peru. I am at Seminary. We were almost like kids then -- so eager and green. It was great.
I do not know if it is always wise to be so pensive. Perhaps I am heaping on my soul temptation to doubt God's goodness, but I came across something I wrote last November that encourages me greatly:
I will be leaving these precious friends soon (see how I feel about that on my post My Isaac), but the Lord is so good. He has given me fresh insight into one of His perfections, His Immutability. While weeping over how nothing could be the same again, it dawned on me that what I truly love about any wonderful event or tradition is HIM! And He is the Eternal One, the Same yesterday, today and forever! Oh yes, we change! Children grow up, I grow older, homes, and families and relationships ebb and flow. But the Great Unchanging One makes it all bearable as He whispers to me "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Incredibly, I was thinking just the same way last year. . . and preaching the gospel to myself. Only God in His goodness would know how I'd need to hear myself say those things! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Who has been His counselor?