God's Unexpected Gifts in 2012

A new year is exactly that, the dawn of something new. As the calendar turns over we are filled with expectation over what will come in the days ahead. But we are also drawn to think back at the year that just went away. A new year is a time for reflection. We look back at the old and anticipate the new. Many are making their lists of resolutions and goals for 2013. Some are eager over all that the year holds. While some are weighed down with the prospect of another year filled with suffering and sorrow. Some are thankful that the turmoil of 2012 is behind them and thus hopeful for a brighter future.

Regardless of your circumstances coming into 2013, God has not changed. He is the same in 2013 as he was in 2012. He is working in abundant ways for our good this year, even if we can't always see clearly through the smoke and clouds of this sin-cursed life.

It's easy for me to believe that he is good at this point in my life. After years of heartache and longing, he has given us the desires of our hearts by giving us these twin boys. And we are in the expectant and eager category this new year. 2013 is the year our twins will be born, and we are anxious for that joyous day. But as I reflect on 2012, I am thankful for all that God did in the unseen ways this year, too. The most obvious gift for us was this pregnancy, but there is so much more wrapped up in this kind answer to our prayers.

I told Daniel yesterday morning that at the close of 2012 I am thankful not only for God giving us what we wanted, but more importantly giving us what we needed. Getting pregnant with twins would have been in vain if we never saw him as more glorious as a result. God was kind to give us the deepest desires of our hearts, but he did so much more than that. He saw into our hearts and gave us what our hearts needed but couldn't even think to ask for--namely, more of himself. In the overwhelming sadness and difficulty of 2012, God showed up. We started the year unsure of the outcome. We started the year with a long six months of treatment ahead (i.e. more waiting). We started the year with an empty womb and ended with a womb more full than we could have imagined. But through every tear-filled night and nauseated morning God never left our side. He sustained us. He made us love him more. He carried us and changed us. He gave our marriage renewed hope and strength. And all of this was not contingent on whether or not we ever could have gotten pregnant. The twins are just icing on the cake. We needed the darkness before we could ever see and appreciate the light.

So we are thankful this new year, obviously for our precious Zach and Luke. But even more than that we are thankful for the God who is there. He didn't just give us children. He gave us joy that will last for eternity. And that is a good way to start this 2013.