Thirty-seven years ago today, at exactly 12:36 p.m. Central time, our oldest daughter Kristin was born in Chicago, Il after Janet had been in labor more than 36 hours. Needless to say, Janet and I were both glad that she finally arrived. Janet and I had been married just under 2 years when Kristin was born and in all honesty, it seems like an eternity ago. It’s difficult to remember what life was like before Kristin was a part of our lives. And what joy we have experienced – blessed by not only the entrance of Kristin, but Jill and Andrew as well.
Now what’s a little difficult about writing the post this evening is that Transitions has now been around long enough that I wrote about Kristin’s June 25th birthday last year as well. And as you know, I try not to repeat myself – that wouldn’t be fair to all of you – so I decided that I should write about how much life can change in one year.
As I already mentioned, it’s difficult to remember life without Kristin. Before Janet and I had children, we used to go out to brunch on Sunday mornings and then go back to our one bedroom apartment on Country Lane Drive in Darien, IL. Then we found out that we were having an addition to our family and we moved to a two bedroom condominium about a mile west of where we lived in Darien – a complex called Lake in the Woods. We lived on the top floor of a 5 story building and I remember when I installed shelves on the wall and converted the closet in the small bedroom into a darkroom to be able to work on my passion at the time – photography.
I also remember bringing Kristin home from the hospital and recalling that first night – the walls in her room were yellow in color. After all, we didn’t know whether we were having a boy or a girl, so we didn’t want to choose either pink or blue. I was there in the delivery room when Kristin was born, and as I look back on it all, I don’t think I could ever imagine what life would be like this far downstream from the day she was born. I tried to predict the future, but I just wasn’t capable of even dreaming about what life would hold for our family – much less the fact that I am now closing in on 60 years old.
But it’s much easier for me to recall the last year and all the things that have changed in twelve months. For starters, the obvious – Kristin is a year older. And sadly, much to her dismay, she is now divorced. That was never on the radar, for Kristin or for us. But it takes two people who are committed to make a marriage work, and no matter how hard you try, one committed person just can’t get it done alone. On top of that, there have been some great blessings in the past year as well. Janet and I have been able to spend even more time with Kristin’s three children and we consider it a privilege to be a stabilizing influence in their lives – helping them through this difficult and highly transitional time in their lives – the collapse of a traditional family and entering the ranks of a family victimized by separation and divorce. Not that divorce is all that uncommon today – one out of two couples will end up divorced, with one of the partners deciding that they don’t want to go through life together – regardless of the impact it has on the kids. How sad…
Also in the last year, God has blessed us to such an extent that we were able to help Kristin with the purchase of a house and to regain her footing after her former husband wanted to move back into the home they had shared as a family. On hindsight, it was one of the best things that Kristin could have done with the kids – to have a clean start in a new home that was manageable and closer to us. It has worked out better than any of us could have imagined. And that is the way it has been with all the other issues related to the dissolution of the family as well. At this point, it’s all good – God has blessed us abundantly.
You know, sometimes when you go through adversity, you wonder if you will ever get to the other side. It is wonderful to see our daughter, one year later, finally realizing that life can get better and seeing her once again become the person she used to be. Dr. Kiki is getting her groove back! And best of all, she and the kids haven’t had to suffer irreparable harm in the process. Yes, it has been tough, but we all know many women who have had it much worse – and we are grateful that God has had His hand on her shoulder the whole time.
Finally, we have seen Kristin depend more and more on God through the tribulations she has experienced. And that’s exactly what God wants – dependence on Him. Tonight’s verse is just picked out of the blue – which isn’t usually the way I do things. So here’s the deal – John was the most carefree disciple – the one who proclaimed the love of God even more than his counterparts. And since Kristin was born at 12:36, I have chosen John 12:36 for tonight’s Scripture. John tells us the words of Christ, “Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.”
In other words, trust God and grow in Him every chance that you get, so that when the difficult times come, and the threat of darkness comes, you will shine bright with the love of Christ. That’s the biggest lesson that Kristin has learned this year. God comes through in the clutch – always… That’s also my encouragement for you – trust God in the tough times. There is sunshine after the rain, and light after the darkness. My prayer is that you will always shine bright and know that Christ is right there, alongside, every step of the way. Happy Birthday, Kristin – We love you – and to all of you, grace and peace…