God is Still Good One Year Later! Kellso Family Update
Dear Family and Friends,
Well, it is hard to believe that a year has passed. When we woke up on October 12th, 2020 we had no idea what the good Lord had in store for our family. As you know, we were wrapping up a wonderful family vacation and were eager to step back into “normal life.” Little did we know, there would no longer be normal life for the Kellsos as a family of 6. A year ago tomorrow I posted, “The deepest sorrow under God’s grace is sweeter than the greatest joys under His wrath. Great is His faithfulness!” As our wounds were so fresh at that point, we had no idea how deep our sorrows would go. Yet, a year later that statement has stood true. Indeed! GREAT is our God’s faithfulness.
God has and continues to sustain us in wonderful ways and I cannot help but continue to marvel at His goodness. Our prayers the night Caleb passed away were that God would use our circumstances to make us more like Christ and more useful instruments for His purposes. We believe God has and continues to answer both of those prayers. Amid a circumstance that honestly has the potential to destroy families, our relationships with each other have never been sweeter. Julie continues to be the most precious gift to me outside of salvation. Her unwavering support, love, and encouragement are nothing short of miraculous. The grace and maturity of our kids are astonishing. The support and care from our church (Grace Bible Church) have been unwavering, and the additional love and support of friends and family have been so meaningful. God has dealt bountifully with us. We continue to be showered with love and care. From texts, cards, gifts, flowers, donations, prayers, we are just so overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of those around us. Thank you all! Each expression of love is so appreciated and is a significant means of God’s kindness to us.
The last year has been truly wonderful. Yet, as we reflect on God’s goodness and care for us, this last year has come with its challenges. We seem to be settling into what one of our kids referred to last night as, “our new normal.” There is a sweetness to this reality and a bitterness. I do believe the Lord has sustained our whole family in contentment, trust, joy, and peace. Yet, there is an ever-present temptation to grumble against the Lord, to think we know better, to wish things were not as they are. We are thankful for verses such as I Corinthians 10:13 as we can have a bold confidence that in every temptation God has provided a way of escape. I believe we have been faithful in taking that way of escape.
We are grateful for what we are convinced of regarding God’s wisdom and omnipotence. God chooses the best possible means to bring about the best possible outcome and has the supreme power to accomplish His purposes. What a wonderful reality! There is no better circumstance to be in than the one we find ourselves in. Yet for me, there is a daily battle as I bear the weight of being God’s providential means of Caleb’s passing. To be clear, I do not feel guilty. I know I did not neglect my duties as Caleb’s father or in this situation sin against Caleb or God. Although, there are times where I feel this way and have to fight what I feel with what I know. It was an earthly accident under the sovereignty of a good God’s providence. However, there is still a weight I feel daily. This is definitely something I would appreciate continued prayers for. If I think much about this weight beyond any given day it is quite frankly crushing. But I know God will give me all that I need to be faithful each day. And so that is where I direct my heart. To trust, take one step forward, determine what does faithfulness look like today, and press on, that is the direction I resolve to go.
While our daily sorrows are still deep, our joys have never been more intense and more worshipful. The reality that tomorrow is not promised has changed our perspective in many ways and the joys of this life are received with so much more thankfulness and worship. This is an unexpected blessing for which we are so grateful. God has been so kind to give us so many situations where we could see His divine providence and wisdom played out so practically in various circumstances. II Corinthians 1:3-4 have been verses we have experienced so vividly this last year. We have been comforted so so much and the Lord has given us many opportunities to testify of His trustworthy nature. We are overwhelmed by the many tangible circumstances where we have been able to come alongside others. We are also ecstatic at another development over the last year. Our church is planning to plant a church in Gilbert and I will be part of a team of elders and members going to this new work. I will be filling the role of preaching pastor/elder. Julie and I are both so excited about this opportunity. While there is a mixture of emotions leaving the only church we’ve known in our adult life, we are so excited to see how God will use this endeavor in this new season of our life. This is definitely another area where we would appreciate prayer.
As we reflect on this last year the words of Psalm 145:17-19 ring true:
The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.
We do not know what this next year holds for us. But we do know the one Who holds us. We know the One who bore our sins and took our punishment so that we might be reconciled to God. We know the one Who demonstrated unfathomable love in His unsearchable wisdom at the expense of His own Son’s death. We know the gift of the forgiveness of sins and the blessing of life under grace lived for the glory of our Creator. And we know without a doubt His unfailing goodness. And so we continue to TRUST! to YIELD! to BLESS His Name! And though we still navigate many tears, we fall on our faces and worship! Blessed is the name of our Lord!
With Much Love and Gratefulness,
Josh, Julie, and family