Thursday, November 27, 2014

real talk | there is always something to be thankful for


these past few months have been a little intense for Thomas & i. i haven't blogged about it because i haven't really had the words to say plus a lot of it is Thomas's story to tell so i wasn't sure what he would want me to share. but in order for me to write a post about what i'm thankful for, i want to lay out our reality right now. it sheds a whole new light on what being thankful really means, to me at least.

plus, i really do think it's therapeutic to get things out & i want to be transparent and real on this blog. i never want someone to read through my blog & think that i never have any hardships or hard days. because that just isn't true! i don't want every post i write to be about the hard days, but i do think it's healthy to share & that it could help someone going through a similar situation. you only get to know a person on the internet by what they choose to share... and while it's fun to share good things, i also don't want to pretend that the hard things aren't there. this may be a bit lengthy, so brace yourselves & i think you are brave if you stick it out to the end! :)

o1 my job started a new system in April and things are still a pretty big mess. we are all behind, working overtime, analyzing data, correcting data, and still not sure that what's in the system is correct. when you work in accounting, if the data is incorrect then you are in trouble. it's a big deal. so we've been given deadlines of December 31 to get things fixed... which you'll notice is in 5 weeks & we really only have 4 weeks because of Christmas. it looks & feels impossible right now so the stress levels are very high. we have all worked like crazy since January anticipating this new system. that involved a lot of 50-60 hour weeks all the way through June. we are all still working over each week, but not that much because we just can't do it anymore. so it's been a very long year & everyone really needs a break from it all. 

o2 Thomas's company announced that they are moving to Iowa which means the SC location is closing. they announced this earlier this year but dates were tentative and unsure. a few months ago, they gave everyone tentative end dates & Thomas's was in March 2015. then, a few weeks ago they changed the dates & Thomas's is now midway through January 2015 - 2 1/2 months sooner than we thought. so now he is busy applying for jobs during the already stressful holiday season & January is getting closer with each day that passes. 

o3 in September, Thomas got taken to the ER during the work day. his boss called me & i left work to meet him at the ER. they tested him and concluded that it was a panic attack. come to find out some people in his family struggle with anxiety & panic attacks so it is likely something that will stick around. he has had a fit with it for the past few months & without going into details, some days it affects his daily life. we are hoping it is worse right now because of all of the job unknowns... & that once Thomas gets a new job and settles in that it will calm down. he has been to a lot of doctors to figure things out. all of the bills are coming in at the same time now & we owe a hefty chunk of change for everything. which is just adding to the stress and anxiety of finding another job so our income situation can sustain us.

o4 we both are close to our families & have grandparents that are aging. between the two of us, we've gone to more funerals in the past few years than we would have liked. my grandfather died while i was at the beach with Thomas's family the summer before we got engaged & my uncle died just two months before we got married. my grandmother had a stroke a few months ago & is now paralyzed on her left side. she is in assisted living and it is most likely permanent. Thomas's grandfather had a stroke earlier this year & had signs of dementia so he has permanently moved to assisted living. then just last month, his wife (Thomas's step grandmother) had a stroke & shattered her elbow so now she is in a nursing home recovering and we aren't sure how temporary it is. it is hard to see people you care about go through this & especially when it's all at the same time.

o5 our entire engagement/marriage so far has been pretty crazy to where we aren't really sure what "normal" means anyways. right after we got engaged, i had to have major emergency surgery which led to almost not graduating college & months of recovery. a few months after we got married, Thomas had a horrible fit with mono & was really sick for months. once he finally started feeling better, i started the job i have now which had me travel twice for business trips & working crazy hours for 6 months. once my work slowed down just a bit, Thomas found out his job was ending. so we have had a roller coaster marriage & it has been tough to be intentional with each other and nurture our marriage. adjusting to marriage is hard work already & we weren't really expecting to be hit with so many things back to back in the process. so it has been a huge adjustment for us.


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all of that to say... it would be really easy to dwell on these things because the unknown is hard & when the unknown is directly related to your financial situation it is very scary. but i don't want to dwell on these things, i want to dwell on the Lord because i know He is in control. 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

i know that He will work things out for our good... and hear me when i say this - that does not mean that he will give Thomas a great job right away or that our finances will not be tight for a while. FOR OUR GOOD means for our sanctification... it means that God will work things out in His timing and through His plan. His plan has always been to draw people to Him. FOR OUR GOOD means that no matter what circumstances we are in, that God will continue drawing us closer to Him. if a situation will push us closer to the Lord & shape our hearts to be more like Jesus, then God will allow it to happen.

FOR OUR GOOD doesn't mean that Thomas won't be out of work for a while or that we won't still struggle with anxiety or stress. but it does mean that through God we can have hope in the midst of the unknown. that we can take our burdens to God and He will carry them for us. it means that we don't face hardship alone... the Lord will fight for us.

it's easy to stay focused on my own life & start to believe that i'm big or important. but when things happen that i can't do anything about... it really forces me to realize just how BIG our God is and how small our problems are in comparison.

with all of that, i want to list out what i'm especially thankful for this year.


this year...

i'm thankful that i'm married to my best friend.

i'm thankful that Thomas was given notice of his job ending & that he has a few months to look for something.

i'm thankful that we have enough to pay bills, student loans, & still have some left over to save.

i'm thankful that i have grandparents who are still around to spend time with.

i'm thankful for a job where i am gaining experience & using my degree.

i'm thankful that we have families who enjoy spending time together.

i'm thankful for our nephew that's on the way. (and the one that's already here!)

i'm thankful for the ability to craft & do things with my hands.

i'm thankful for our furry little pets who have nothing but love to give us.

i'm thankful for best friends who surprise you with a letter in the mail.

i'm thankful for a church family who encourages us through our tears and anxiety.

& most of all, i'm thankful for a Savior who counts His righteousness towards us and erases our transgressions.

i'm thankful that my salvation depends on His goodness instead of my works. because i would never be good enough on my own.

i'm thankful the Lord gave us scripture and the privilege to pray directly to Him.

i'm thankful that the gospel gives us a hope and a future.



what are you thankful for this year?


15 comments:

  1. Praying for you!! You're right, we do always have something to be thankful for.

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  2. Robyn, thank you for sharing all of these things with us!!! Your perspective through it all is so encouraging to me! I'll be praying with you and for you! You know, Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite passages, and it's verse 29 that really got my attention! Go check it out and keep them together as you go over them again and again over the next few months! :)


    Whatever life looks like, we have a treasure in knowing God that is a constant source of life and joy and gladness even when what we really want to do is be done with all of this.


    Hugs to you and Thomas, dear friend!!!

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  3. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing this! You have such a wonderful outlook, despite things being really difficult...and for so long! Losing my job when my school closed was one of the hardest things I've had to go through, but it was because of God that I had strength to keep going. He will lead y'all to where He needs you to be, but it seems like you already know that. :) I love your faith in Christ! You are an inspiration!

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  4. This is beautiful, Robyn.

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  5. I did read all of this, and I appreciate you sharing. I'm so sorry you've had so many things come up. The financial situation can be extremely stressful. I've had my moments about that as well for a few things in our lives. I am so thankful to have a God who is bigger than all of that. Blessings to you this December with everything you have going on!

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  6. i appreciate you reading :) thanks for the encouragement! it means a lot coming from someone who went through a similar situation. i am thankful the Lord is bigger too!

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  7. thanks for your words, Jenna! i know you just recently went through this with your job situation as well so it means a lot! i am so thankful He has strength when ours fails! :)

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  8. thank you so much!! you're right verse 29 really brings the point home :) thanks for your encouragement, friend!! :)

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  9. The encouragement goes both ways! I'm so glad we're friends. :)

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  10. me too!!! :) and hopefully real life friends next month!! :)

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  11. 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

    ~ Victoria

    www.myjourneyforhim.blogspot.com

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