2015, A look back…

I can hardly believe that as I am writing this post, it is already 10 days into the new year. Each year seems to come and go faster and faster each year. Before you know it, Spring will be here for a few days and then Summer for seemingly months and months. Once Fall arrives, its our trip to Pigeon Forge, Thanksgiving, Christmas and then I will be once again looking back at the previous year.
It seems like we were just saying this time last year, as we do each year, “This is going to be our year!”
In some ways, it has been an amazing year. In other ways, not so much.
Around the turn of the year from 2014 in to 2015, Stephanie and I were going through the paperwork and training to become foster parents through the DFAC’s system. The paperwork was almost overwhelming but we knew that it would be worth it.
And it was…
Shortly after the first of the year, we went to pick up what we believed would be our answered prayer. When those 2 smiling faces walked into that room, we just knew that was it.
We were wrong. We had so many struggles with the kids that it put a huge strain on our lives. When the youngest attacked Steph after only a few weeks, it was over and they had to go. We have always said that we come first and we stayed true to that not knowing if we would ever go through this process again.
Then a few weeks later, we get another call asking could we host a couple of boys, 8 & 9, just for the weekend. As those 2 boys walked in to our lives, I told Steph “Don’t fall in love with those boys, they are not available to us.”
Now, as we are what we hope to be just a few days away from those 2 boys legally becoming our sons, Franklin Joseph White and Jason James White, (named after 2 GREAT men, their grandfathers) they have come in to our hearts and lives and changed our lives like nothing before. They have captured not only our hearts, but also the hearts of their new extended family.
As great as the boys made last year, it was not a year without trial, and tragedy.
After a lot of prayer, and council from mentors in my life, I made the decision to step away from being the Associate Pastor at the church where I was serving. It was one of the hardest decisions in my life but one that needed to be made for my family.
As Fall arrived and the excitement began to build for our fall trip, we once again faced another tragedy in our family. Steph’s brother Brian went home to be with the Lord. Once again, I would have the honor of speaking at the funeral of a family member and ministering to the family who just a few years ago, ministered to and helped me during the loss of my dad. I am just glad the boys got to meet their Uncle Brian, if only for a short time.
As Christmas got closer and closer, the year would end on a different note. I had not been comfortable with the new direction and status of my former company for some time. After a lot of prayer, I made the decision to leave my previous company when a new opportunity presented itself. It is very scary leaving a company after so much of my life, (2 months short of 14 years) has been spent there but the challenge of a new position and the opportunities it will provide my family were too great to walk away from.
So as I move from looking back at 2015, to looking forward to the new year, new challenges and new opportunities, I will know that all of the events, past, present and future, are all a part of the plan God has for my life. I have learned that God is faithful, His timing is perfect and He is Good!
Dear God,
Thank You for the blessings of another year. As Steph and I continue to learn to be parents, show us how to be Godly Christian parents like the ones we were blessed with. Help us raise 2 boys in to great men of God. Help me to face the new challenges in my life that You have given me and to be the light of Christ in a new opportunity.
Keith