can you believe God did this?

Sometimes I get frustrated. I get wrapped up in my own little world of chaos.

And then I stop on a photo like this...

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And this.

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And then I remember how crazy life is. How good and funny and creative God is.

I mean quite honestly, remember...I never wanted kids.

And now we're this??

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Anyone else out there find that humorous? Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller?

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But He has. And we're genuinely happy.

These smiles you see aren't for the camera, they're real-life, honest to goodness happy-go-lucky grins.

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Has it always been this way?

No.

Is it like this every second of every day?

Hah.

But the Lord is so gracious and so good and loving. He has brought us through hell and placed us gently on the other side. I mention it here and there, but because I want to be respectful of our children, I'm cautious on where those boundaries lie.

I promise you though, at times it's not pretty.

Like, at all.

Have you ever felt that? Felt as if a storm swirled around, whipping your hair violently as it blew your entire being, threatening to overtake you?

I've certainly felt the darkness drifting in as an elusive and volatile enemy.

Let me tell you, my friend...I've been there.

And you know what? I prayed a prayer years ago that God use me. REALLY use me.

And funny thing is...Ben prayed that same prayer.

So here we are, living a life out of the ordinary...overcoming struggles we never expected to face. Being fluent in desperate phrases such as, "God help me, I don't know how to do this!"

And He not only listens, He answers.

You, Lord, are my lamp;the Lord turns my darkness into light.30 With your help I can advance against a troop;with my God I can scale a wall.

As for God, his way is perfect:The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him

2 Samuel 22:29-31

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I am amazed at all Christ has taught me through our struggles, through the darkness and the storms. Things I wouldn't have been able to learn any other way.

We must let Him teach us rather than allowing trials to consume.

We are not our trials.

We are not our sins and temptations and struggles.

We are children of God. Period.

Embrace the promises He's given. Cling to hope. Pray for joy.

Remember, He listens. And answers. He may allow less than perfect circumstances to surround you for a time...but He will also see you through.

Let Him.

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In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faithβ€”of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fireβ€”may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-10a

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