On the first Sunday of the new year, we sang “Blessed Be Your Name,” which neatly captured some of my reflections on 2010.
Every blessing You pour out, I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
2010 – what a doozy. Full of tests of adversity and tests of prosperity. Darkness and blessing stirred up together, so that most of my praises for God’s gifts were also pleas for endurance.
Pregnancy, after so many years of waiting. Then that pregnancy ended abruptly and frighteningly. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
A baby, oh, a sweet, tiny baby. A baby who came too early, who almost died, who spent seven long weeks in the hospital learning to breathe. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
That baby came home, at last. But that baby still needed special medical care round the clock. Then that baby developed colic. He cried, cried, cried; I paced, swayed, bounced, prayed, despaired. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Aaron started grad school, a decisive step towards a better work and home life. Meanwhile, weekly classes and hours of homework on top of the demands of his full-time job take him away from us more than ever. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
I started to pursue my dream vocation of motherhood at home. Unexpected bills leave quite the gap between the ends we thought would just barely meet on Aaron’s salary. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Part-time teaching, which I had planned to continue for the sheer enjoyment of it, provided a way to close that gap. Attempting to read and plan lessons and grade around the demands of a high-needs, poorly sleeping infant became a consistent temptation to anxiety. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Amidst it all – the birth, the hospital, the colic, the demands of work and school, the financial worries – I often felt more aware of the troubles. But looking back at the year, I am overwhelmed by grace.
2010. Swamped in blessing, swamped in trial. Under it all, Christ the solid rock.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.