"I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten..."
This has always been one of my favorite verses. To me, it meant, no matter the strife we face, the hardships we endure, the trials we undergo, they would someday be worth it. We would be rewarded. We would be restored.
This quickly became one of my least favorite verses after last summer.
What had happened was unimaginable and the aftermath that followed was nothing short of complete devastation. I didn't want to go through what I was going through. I didn't want Haleigh Raye or my family to suffer through this unthinkable loss. I remember vividly crying out, "please God don't ask this of me, don't ask this of my family." To this day, I can remember calling my dad from the ER trying to tell him to come to the hospital and I have imagined him a hundred times just setting there enjoying his July 4 and then my call came....
After a few months my mind kept coming back to this verse and I couldn't even fathom how, what had been taken from us, Noah, could be restored. There would never be a replacement for him. There would never be a restoration that could take place.
Reflecting over this past year I feel I have come full circle on so many details about life and have so much to be grateful for.
I have learned what true friendship means. The friends I have gained during this both near and far, the relationships that have been strengthened, the encouragement I have received. They renew me.
Slowly and daily I feel more confident in myself. In my ability to "make it" especially when there were those days I just want to "end it." My life. I have made it my own and accepted what it is and what it will be and still have hopes to what it can be. I have reclaimed it.
My love for Haleigh Raye. Seeing her each day, knowing that she has a full life ahead of her, she needs me, she loves me and I love her and how if I can't be strong for any other reason, I need to be strong for her. I owe it to her. Having her revives me.
His grace. It saves and redeems me. Simple as that.
And His promise of eternity. That...is what will restore the years.