2016 has been a rough year on alot of folks. I count myself among them.
We had to adjust to my wife’s gallbladder failure, my prior job deteriorating, and other challenges. It’s been hard.
But it’s also been a year of flourishing. I knew it would be.
I had been assured of it through prayer. But flourishing in the eyes of the Lord does not look as we might expect. It’s not until we look back on things that we see how blessed we’ve been.
After a miscarriage last spring, we found ourselves pregnant again in fall 2015. In May 2016, we experienced the immense joy of our son’s birth and have been experiencing the wonder of his young life ever since that day. Of course, we’ve experienced sleepless nights and several health problems for my wife, including severe gallstones which led us to the emergency room at midnight and a later surgery.
Having a child isn’t cheap. Neither are medical bills. Or paying for $3,000 in unexpected car repair. To put it bluntly, it feels like we’ve been making financial adjustments every month just to get our bills paid…yet they always have been. Every month. And we somehow managed to purchase our home in July, too, after being told in April that we would have had to move otherwise.
But the source for much of our income and the benefits that helped pay for my son’s birth and my wife’s surgery was in jeopardy. My former employer underwent restructuring which resulted in new management. My role changed (again), and the writing was on the wall: I was not going to make it long under the new arrangement. But even as the anxiety of work awoke me in the middle of the night, another opportunity emerged. The Lord provided a move to a better bank, in a more fitting role.
So, yes, we had challenges; but we experienced incredible blessing. And we flourished in and through it. Jam’s surgery resulted in wonderful visits from family living in California; our son has had continued health and wellness, and I’ve been able to maintain work with X3Church despite all these huge changes and challenges. And after it all, I am more in love with my wife than I’ve ever been (which is saying something).
On top of this, I was able to begin following God’s leading to dig a well, and I have until May 3, 2017, to do so. That’s going to take donations of $15, 000 to World Vision. And there’s no way our household could do it alone. Many friends have already helped us, and we’ve just crossed $5,500. Want to claim a few extra dollars in charitable deductions for 2016. Join me (and please email me to let me know you have)
I somehow I also found time to complete builds for Creations for Charity, Two of which sold. As a “thank you”, the charity sent a brick completing a super cool printed brick-mural for my 3 years of continued participation (pictured lower in post. it seems silly, but I was hugely excited by it).
The combined Printed Bricks for 3 years of continued participation:
Here and there, I also managed to continue writing. I continued working to finish in-progress novels and blogged every few weeks with updates. Plus, Figures.com and GamingWithSwag.com kindly published my inconsistent submissions.
So yeah, 2016 was tough. AND AWESOME.
Much love to you all; thanks for reading!
Enjoy what you are reading??? Let’s connect. I'm currently on Instagram, Letterboxd, Flickr, Twitter, always as CJstunkard. Please consider giving to THE GIFT OF WATER Project to build a deep water well in a region that desperately needs it.