As with most challenges in life, you tell yourself (or someone else tells you) that these troubles are here for a reason and that you'll look back some day and see the bigger reason. Usually, it takes a pretty good chunk of time for that to happen but the older I've gotten the more I realize it is true.
Sometimes the meaning sneaks up on you and comes to the surface when you least expect it. Other times it hits you in a flash while you are looking up, watching clouds while your children play.
I've already learned thankfulness about our situation the last few years despite sacrifices of time and money, of my marriage and my relationship with my kids, of my husband's job, of health insurance, and having to live on assistance from others. We've seen an outpouring of care, interest, and support unlike anything we've experienced before and have had our faith reinforced in a way we never could have understood otherwise. And, we are VERY grateful because of it.
However, this 3-year refining has gotten us back to basics. And, this is where my little revelation comes in. Had not God taken each and everything little and big thing away in just the manner He did, we could never had really appreciated the beautiful, hyper-present, in-the-moment, vivid, joyful moments we've had in the last week.
The last seven days have been heart-wrenchingly wonderful. And, it's been moments of simplicity...root beer floats at the parade, playing in the rain, riding bikes and scooters, taking hikes, small-town fireworks...but we are doing it together. For the first time in six months, we've all been under the same roof for more than 48 hours.
And, our little one-bedroom apartment that we are in right now? Probably the biggest blessing of all. Because we are all getting to know each other again as a foursome. Just us.
And, that bigger three-bedroom rental house that should be ready for us soon? I've actually thought we should let the deposit and that house go so we can stay here together even longer.
And, those 3 years of learning what is *really* important and what we *really* need to survive and thrive? Training for the joyfulness that is ours now.