A Bad Start to 2012?

I know you’re supposed to begin the new year with these great expectations of becoming a fitter person with a bigger bank account all while achieving spiritual growth and a gaining inner peace. After the past week I think I’ll settle for just surviving.

Perhaps it was the way 2011 ended that has led to a challenging 2012. My wife and I spent New Year’s Eve in the hospital ER as she got blood tests and other exams done. We spent ten hours at the hospital on Saturday night with an IV in her arm (do I even want to know how much ER charges?) but at least when we got home at 11pm we were cleared of any immediate health threats. But I still hadn’t finished my sermon for the 9am service the next morning so I rung in the new year working on a sermon while my wife and toddler slept.

Since the hospital visit, all three of the Yee household have been battling various levels of colds while unpacking dozens boxes of stuff trying to settle into a new temporary home (our fourth home in the last 9 months)

Speaking of the move, we finally received the last of our stuff from our nightmare moving company that poorly packed our valuables, broke Avery’s crib, smashed much of our wedding china and crystal, destroyed Kati’s design projects from school, and mislabeled most of our boxes. That means we have to go through every one of our boxes just to see what’s actually in there, determine what was lost or damaged and then repack it ourselves properly like they should have done in the first place.

Speaking of getting settled in our new home. Our new rental home doesn’t come with a stove. Who doesn’t provide a stove? This one apparently. We had the tv guy come early Saturday only to find out that he can’t install it at our home because of the rental restrictions in our lease agreement. Internet won’t get set up until next week so I’ve maxed out my Iphone data plan using it as a wifi hotspot (several warning messages from AT&T hasn’t stopped me from using it to write this post). The trash guy dinged us for not properly distributing the trash according to city rules.  Two more strikes and they take our trash bins away.

And, like most churches, and especially for a small urban church like ours, we will struggle to make budget in 2012 even though we’re growing.

But before you tire of reading this post please remember what friend of mine wisely said: “The path to praise is through lament.” The writers of the Psalms have taught me through their own lament that eventually turned to praise. This is my 2012 lament that deep inside I know will (eventually) lead to a place of praise. But I need to lament in order to get there. Me writing this is helping me get there just like it did for the Psalmist.

These words spoke to me as I did my morning devotions:

Though the darkness covers me: I will remember your light.

I need to hear this word today amidst of ER visits, sniffly noses, moving company nightmares, and the hassles of getting settled in a new home.

Though the darkness covers me: I will remember your light.

I can already feel His light as I write this. I have insurance to go to the hospital. I can buy medicine for my sickness. I have a home to live in. The moving company…well, nothing good yet comes to mind!

So I share these words with all who I know are also lamenting the early days of 2012.

To friends who have lost jobs this past week.

Though the darkness covers you: remember His light.

To those who have recently received distressing financial news.

Though the darkness covers you: remember His light.

To those who are lacking the relationships they long for.

Though the darkness covers you: remember His light.

And if you can’t remember His light yet, that’s okay. You can sit in the darkness with me for a bit until we can find the light together. We’ll keep lamenting until we find that place of praise. Thank God that He is patient with us and can handle our complaints. That’s how good of a God He really is.

And a big thank you to the many friends who stopped by this week offering to help, bringing a meal and commiserating with us as we lamented. You have each helped us see His light by bringing the presence of Christ yourselves into our darkness.

Though the darkness covers me: I will remember your light.

Yes, Lord, I will remember. But help me overcome my lack of remembering.

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7 Responses to A Bad Start to 2012?

  1. MARY PALMER says:

    Tim, sorry to hear about the disasters going on. Remember, that stuff that got broken while moving is just stuff. Your health and your family’s health is most important and I’m glad your wife is doing better. God throws challenges our way to see how we respond and your are responding well. When I have things go wrong, I just read Job then I don’t feel so bad and Job has a good outcome too. I will keep you in my prayers.
    Mary Palmer

  2. Rick says:

    Your family is alive. You have a roof over your head, food in the fridge and an income. I think you need to look for better ways to describe how hard your life is. As it is, it doesn’t even register on the “Richter scale” of human suffering.

    • lapastor says:

      I totally agree. But it was through lamenting that I was able to fully embrace gratitude amidst the relatively small challenges in my life. What do you do when your family has struggles? I find lamenting helps me to find praise, just like the Psalmists.

  3. Amber Fox says:

    Oh Tim! I am so sorry to read this sad post. God is taking you thru the ringer lately. But I am glad you remind yourself daily of God’s great love for you. I will be praying for your families health and transition into your new, but temporary home.

  4. Wendy Hagen says:

    Man, no wonder Kati hasn’t called me back 🙂
    Sorry to hear about all this but glad you are basking in His light. And I had to laugh about the not finding the positive in the moving company.
    Hope you are settling in and feeling better soon!

  5. Kristin Stout says:

    So Sorry! I agree that lamenting can bring us around to healing and hope.
    I just finished “Unbroken”, which gave me some much needed perspective.
    Hope it is smooth sailing for awhile.

  6. wendy hagen says:

    Tim, I am teaching on journaling next week at women’s bible study at my church. I am going to quote this post. So good. Hope you don’t mind. If you do, let me know and I will change your identity.

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