Time really flies and it's the fifth year of our marriage! This year is a little different from the previous four. This year, we experienced God's love in a "bitter-sweet" way.
Perhaps God thinks that we need to experience Him in a deeper way than simply giving thanks in good times. Spring and Ben both experienced God's "teaching" in different ways this year. They are tough lessons to learn with worrying moments... however we both came out of our experiences just a little wiser. :)
For Spring, it is the continuing theme of learning to let go (a project that God seemed to have started since her university years). Spring has a career that she loves (a rare gift as not many people would say they "love" their job). Against all odds, God slowly "brewed" an idea in Spring and Ben's mind over the first quarter of 2010. In May, even though we were still unsure about the life adjustments it will bring, we finally submitted to God's calling for Spring. It's such a tough decision. It was a big deal for Ben to give up his Hi-Fi "expansion plan" and vacations. It was an even bigger deal for Spring to give up something she loves. Those who are close to Spring including her parents and sister, can all attest to the fact that her decision was nothing short of a mini-miracle. As Ben saw Spring's tears over this decision, he knows without a doubt that it was the right one. But bitter indeed.
Praise the Lord, exactly one week after our submission, we found out we were pregnant with our second baby! The due date is January 23, 2010. The timing turns out to be perfect.
As for Ben, well, the years of invincibility is OVER. First, he blown his back when he opened a door at work. It was not pretty, but quite funny. Then in the summer, Ben started developing a nagging cough and irregular heartbeat. After our trip to HK in August, Ben began seeking help on many fronts. So far, it has involved three Chinese doctors and a family doctor.
However, this adversity prompted Ben to really ask the basic questions of our faith again.
Who is in control?
What does it mean to call Jesus our Lord?
What are the important things in life?
Where is God in times of suffering?
From September through November, Ben wrestled with these questions. Ben expressed frustrations with God, even questioning His love. Through these tough questions, God made Ben realize that he had not been living the life of a living sacrifice for a long time! It's so hard to be a living sacrifice when you are healthy, capable, feeling like the world is in your hands. Somtimes it takes sickness for us to realize that we need to be a living sacrific again. The ironic thing is, at that point, are you a "living sacrifice" or a "dying sacrifice". :)
Ben is thankful for his encounter with God. It has rejuvenated him spiritually, and his symptoms have been subsiding in recent weeks.
Ellie is turning 2 in a week! She acts so mature sometimes now. Today when she got home, I watched her sat down on her chair, took off her jacket, took off her shoes, put her shoes on the shelf, seated herself at the high chair and demanded noodles! I thought to myself, "She is one purpose-driven 2 year old!". After dinner, it was time for Ben to drink the chinese medicine we'd brewed for the last hour (it's so bitter!). Ellie said in broken Cantonese,
「Daddy 食藥，病呀因為。幫Daddy祈禱啦不如。天父求你醫Daddy, 奉主名求，啊門。無事喇！」(English translation: "Daddy is taking medicine because he's not feeling well. Let's pray for Daddy... Heavenly father, please heal Daddy, pray in Jesus name, Amen. Now you're ok!").
While I'm not sure how much Ellie understood what she just said, it really warmed my heart.