For the past five months I've been trudging through the process of editing my manuscript, it is the story of my life with Emma and how God has grown me, refined my faith and how I finally found my true identity, not in things or people - but in Christ.
At times I've had to stop and take a break. I have an amazing editor who has walked with me through this process and has been a source of encouragement, and reminder of truth. Revisiting the memories of Emma's life and death have been good, but incredibly difficult. I feel finally telling my story is what God has been leading me to all these years. Pouring words to paper is a closure that needed to happen.
Emma's life on earth ended 11 years ago.
11 years ago. Time has seemingly moved too quickly yet managed to stay still.
Every year since her death, May 21st is the most difficult day. The day filled with the most intense, raw emotions. It was her last full day here on earth.
The longest day.
Every year prior to this one, I would spend May 21st wrestling with anxiety and tears. Yes, you can still love God, have faith and be filled with anxiety. I certainly have had a troubled spirit on May 21st all these years. But God says to "cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22
This year, I felt no anxiety. May 21st was a beautiful, full, joyful day. May 22nd came, the anniversary of Emma's death, and there was peace. This year was different.
I know God is still working in me and through me to teach me more of His character. I know finishing up Emma's story is more than just my journey with Emma - it is a testimony to my father in Heaven and how He has been faithful and loves me, even when I have been a disobedient child.
"If we are faithless, He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself." 2 Timothy 2:13
Our family has recently embarked on a very unplanned journey. It is a journey that the devil does not want to see happen. When you hear from God and follow where He is leading you you will encounter attacks from every direction. The enemy does NOT want to see God's plan for your life succeed. The enemy wants to steal your JOY.
The devil does not want to see Emma's story, which is truly a God story, come to fruition. The enemy does not want the changes coming to our family to succeed.
Knowing this we can put on the full armor of God and I know I will continue to stumble, to fall, but will get back up, not because of anything I can do on my own, but because God is faithful.
As I have learned where my true identity is, I have finally begun to understand joy.
Go forward in faith friends, whatever you may be walking in, God has you in His hand. He doesn't promise happiness but oh how He wants you to experience JOY.