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14 Years of Gods Faithfulness

This week Starr and I are celebrating 14 years of marriage by taking the vacation we’ve dreamed about for years. Being alone with her is my favorite pastime. If our last 14 years together were a story, the title would have to say ‘God is faithful.’ God’s faithfulness to us been evident every year for years and years and years. For example:

1998 – We return from our honeymoon in Florida to discover that my job was eliminated while I was gone. I went from full-time employed newlywed to unemployed newlywed. But before the year was up, things miraculously changed and I was making more than I would have been making before. God was faithful.

1999 – Went from assistant to the director to director at my employer, and saw my salary jump. I had no idea what I was doing, this was entirely God. God was faithful.

2000 – We move to Dallas and discover that Starr’s tuition will be 3x what we expected. Then a scholarship comes out of nowhere, and it ends up being cheaper than we could have imagined. God was faithful.

2001 – On the morning that we celebrate the news that we are finally expecting our first child, we watch in horror as airplanes fly into the WTC. It was later that day that someone encouraged us by reminding our new family that celebrations and new life would always trump the funerals and destructions. It was a word of encouragement that I’ll never forget. God was faithful.

2002 – Before Ryan is born, we discover that there is a high probability that Ryan may have contacted an illness in the womb that would lead to hearing loss, retardation, and abnormalities. Waited for a week, and we prayed like we had never before. God was faithful, and we got the good report we so desperately needed. God was faithful.

2003 – Our son Dylan is born, and quickly we are confronted with another medical issue that could require extensive surgery and potential kidney problems with Dylan. After a week in the hospital, the doctors can’t quite figure it out and send us home with our healthy son. God was faithful.

2004 – In the craziest of ways, God allows us to purchase our first home after overcoming an insane amount of obstacles to home ownership. God was faithful.

2005 – What many didn’t know when they hired me to work with Children back in 2003, was that I really didn’t know what I was doing. It was this year, that I began to try some things I had never tried before. It was this year, that I began to dream about ‘what could be’ at the churches I worked at. God was faithful.

2006 – Those who know me know this story well. Lauryn is born, Lauryn gets sick, Lauryn stops breathing, Lauryn spends time in the ICU, Lauryn is close to going on a respirator, and then miraculously Lauryn leaves the hospital a week later as healthy as she’d ever be. God was faithful.

2007 – For the first time in our lives, with all three kids in tow; we would move to take a job at a church in Lubbock. It would prove to be one of the best moves we ever made in our lives. The house in Dallas sold because of a miracle, and every detail of our moving was God inspired. God was faithful.

2008 – We saw God fulfill one of our lifetime dreams, as we came upon an absolutely steal of a deal to build our own home in Lubbock. We never thought the opportunity would be ours to enjoy home ownership in a home we saw built from the ground up. It continues to this day to be one of the best investments we would ever make. God was faithful.

2009 – God begins to flood our lives with friends like we’ve never had before. Some here in Lubbock, and many around the country. Opportunities for me to lead around the country come to fruition, and I really think it was this year that God began to birth new dreams for our family. God was faithful.

2010 – One of my dream job opportunities comes true, and I get to increase my responsibilities at my job in a new and exciting way. What many don’t know is that Starr and I had been praying for weeks about the very opportunity that Trinity gave me. God was faithful.

2011 – Our family enters the world of foster care, and through this experience we would together as a family go through our harshest trials; yet for the most real time in our lives we see the Gospel lived out in our family’s story like never before. God was faithful.

2012 – As we embark on our newest journey together I have the greatest expectation that God will continue to be faithful.

 

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

3 Comments

  1. Jared M · June 13, 2012

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us.   It’s amazing to hear how God has worked in your lives all these years.

  2. Jenbellriley · June 22, 2012

    It’s been on my to do list for a week to comment on this post. Sorry I am so late to the discussion. In 2001, a good friend and I had lunch at Bread Winners and changed the course of trusting God. Each of us had experienced devastating heartbreak romantically and I just survived breast cancer. That lunch was a sad affair, but we agreed to check back each March 15 and document “Because of God…what a difference a year makes.” I love your approach in this post. It’s pretty easy to see God’s faithfulness towards your family. Can’t wait to see what’s next even though it probably means my lunch partner, Starr, will be in another city. Skype lunches!!!

    • Jonathan Cliff · July 1, 2012

      Thanks for the comment! It’s so great to have the perspective of years to look back on. Every year adds another great example for my kids to see how faithful God has been to their mother and I!