I had expected our date last night to be hard. I thought we wouldn't be able to have normal conversation at a restaurant. But, thanks be to God, we had a nice, solid time together. We had wonderful conversation reflecting on the past five years, remembering our first years together in our ghetto apartment and really ghetto rental house in Grand Forks. It was good to be reminded of the memories we've made. It was good to reminisce.
Sometimes I think we've had too much suffering in our fives years. Moving to S.C. away from family, then the ectopic pregnancy in 2008 (yes, Maelee isn't our first child in heaven), my great job at CIU being cut, then Maelee... and it's easy, so easy to feel like we deserve something better, an easier life, only good things, only prosperity. And that's when I realize, well heck, that's the prosperity gospel... only believing in Jesus because we will get health and wealth. That's dumb. There's suffering all over the Bible of followers of Jesus. Hard, tough, deep suffering. I'm not at the point where I'm embracing this suffering or having a good attitude about it, and I'm surely never going to seek out suffering, but I do recognize that suffering is a part of life in this sinful world. Why we have been chosen for this, I don't know (it's surely not because we are strong enough for this, we aren't).
So we've suffered and we are suffering one of the hardest things people have to suffer. Every day without Maelee is downright painful. BUT regardless of our deepest pains, God is still good. I won't get into the theology of why I believe that (I certainly don't feel it all the time right now) but if I'm going to think about the bad stuff in our lives, I would be unfair not to mention the good... like getting to experience a whole new culture and new set of friends in S.C., Greg getting a job at BlueCross that provides and allows him to go to school (and that he still has his job), having amazing family, getting to hold our daughter for a few unforgettable hours. We've suffered yet we've been blessed.
Now if I can only remember that during the really, really dark moments.