“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” – Hebrews 6:19a
Seven years ago today, my wife said yes to my marriage proposal. She said yes to unforeseeable future events that would rip most families apart. She said yes to our joys, pains, trials, and errors. She said yes to the 2,555 consecutive days that would bring us to where we are today. The words strength, grace, fortitude, and courage have never been more relevant than they are now.
The following is a glimpse of some of the “less sensitive” major events that we would experience in our family and that I have permission to share, not particularly in order.
– We worked seven part-time jobs between the two of us to make ends meet in low-income housing our first two years of marriage, saying “yes” together to the call of ministry.
– Moved to Arizona to serve as the Youth Director for the Arizona Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God (a challenging, yet incredible privilege in our early twenties.)
– I was hospitalized for a week with a severe infection that nearly took my life, but God spared me.
– Bethany would have six miscarriages/early pregnancy losses, which involved three trips to the ER.
– I was diagnosed with an aggressive case of Hashimotos (auto-immune disease).
– My sister-in-law divorced my brother and walked away from her faith.
– My college roommate died serving our country in Afghanistan.
– Bethany’s father had his thyroid removed due to cancer, followed by three additional emergency surgeries.
– Both of Bethany’s maternal grandparents died months apart.
– My step-dad and mom lost their home and engineering business due to bankruptcy following the recession.
– My step-dad had a procedure to remove cancer, and my mom was also diagnosed with Hashimotos.
– Bethany’s sister had a miscarriage at 18 weeks.
– Bethany’s mom had surgery to remove her thyroid due to cancer.
– My other sister-in-law left my other brother and filed for divorce.
If we were to take just two or three of these events, that would be challenging enough. We realize the culmination of these events is not your typical family drama. We know our Redeemer lives, He’s still on the throne, and He has proven to be good in our lives. Our “yes” to His call is constant and more confident now than ever.
A New Year brings new possibilities, new goals, and new challenges. No matter how your 2016 looked, you can be sure that 2017 will be different in one way or another. Bethany is now 38 weeks pregnant with our healthy, miracle baby boy! The irony is, with all this tragedy, our hope is not in 2017, nor is our hope in the blessing of our son. Our hope is in the only begotten Son, the author and finisher of every chapter in our story.
For the follower of Jesus Christ, one thing does not change. We have the same hope; that is Jesus. Whatever 2017 may bring, may we keep proclaiming this hope we’ve found in Jesus to yet another generation.
Thank you for following our story. May every nation and every generation find this same hope we have in Christ our Savior.
*Pictures by Erica Torgeson Photography