It seems like i only get the time to blog right before the New Year. But this blog will be a little different than all the others.
Today is December 30th. There is only a day and a half left of 2017. I can’t put into words the relief and sadness that makes me feel. 2017 was by far the most rushed and surprising year for me. The first half of the year was running. The second half was more like limping, and at times crawling. Though there were many bright spots (mainly in the shape of the wonderful people in my life) there were also many dark spots.
I could very easily say “screw you 2017” as the clock strikes midnight tomorrow (and i’m sure i will in some way) but instead of writing about that here i am choosing to write some other thoughts i have about this year…
2017 taught me a lot of lessons but the biggest one of all was trust. I talk a lot about trust…i’m sure if you go back through all of my blogs (this one and all the many others i have had through the years) you will find that word a lot. But that is the thing; I have always talked about trust, trying to practice it, but I never really REALLY HAD TO. I’ve trusted God all my life with little and seemingly big things (some of them were bigger than others) but this year I HAD TO TRUST. There was no other option. No other way to do life. One of my favorite quotes is by Brennan Manning when he says “When all else is unclear, the heart of trust says, as Jesus did on the cross; ‘Into Your hands I commit my spirit’.” There were many moments this year where i have had to practice that but one in particular stands out. I had the choice to trust God or trust my circumstances. I chose God. And it was and is the best decision i made and am still making everyday. Because God knows more than we do. God sees and knows where He is taking us. It may not be the road you’d choose to walk or one you never thought you’d have to but He knows and He SEES YOU. Nothing can touch us without passing through His hands first.
When life is hard and uncertain trust is all there is. There is no mask, there is no clear view. There is only saying to God “in Your hands i commit my spirit”. And then saying that over and over, day after day, second after second when the fear and anxiety starts to take hold and it is all you can do to breathe. “God, into Your hands i commit my spirit”.
There have been very few moments in my life where i have audibly “heard” God speak to me…though He speaks through His scripture all of the time, this time was different. I was having a major anxiety attack (for those of you who deal with anxiety attacks you know what i am talking about, but for those of you who haven’t experienced them let me just say they SUCK and feel like you can’t breathe) after a long month and i just crumbled. At that moment, in my questioning state, God spoke to my spirit with just two firm words; “TRUST ME.”. That was it. TRUST ME. The words were firm and stern and deep within my soul. I could feel them and hear them. At that point i said the only thing anyone could say “Okay.”. And i dried my tears and went on with my day.
Trust is a daly choice and one that didn’t just get easier for me. But i am trying. In the bible in Rev. 21:5 God states “I make all things new. Write, for these words are trustworthy and true.”. God can’t lie, so trust leads me to believe that if i stand firm and have faith and trust in God when all i know is falling, then He will indeed make all things new…maybe not when i want them or how i would have them but He is faithful in every season. And for everything there is a season…
Which leads me to the next lesson, God IS FAITHFUL. His love is strong. Stronger than anything. 2017 has had it’s many trails but it’s done me the best favor; it’s led me into a deeper relationship with God. In the trails 2017 bought it revealed a deeper side to God’s strong, unending love that carries us when we can’t stand. And that is PRICELESS. I don’t know what i would do without that love…it brings joy in the pain. It’s a pillow to the restless. It’s a safety net to the falling. And it makes no sense how you can be joyful when in so much pain but the love of God makes it possible.
There are many things i could say about what this year has taught but those are thoughts for another time and blog. In closing i want to pose this question:
What should we say to 2017? After a hard year what do we say? What do we say to what is left? What do we say at midnight when we are pouring the champagne and clinking glasses? I am wresting with this question today.
Maybe it’s not saying “screw you” like i suggested before. Maybe it’s not “goodbye”. But maybe it’s holding our heads up and saying “thank you”…through clinched fists and strained voices, with all the strength of our soul and a deep breathe; “thank you.” Thank you that i am alive. Thank you that i am still here breathing because that means there is still a chance. A chance for hope. A chance for joy. A chance for healing. A chance for New.
I think it takes true strength to say thank you to what has broken you. And by “broken” please don’t get me wrong, i mean broken in the best sense. It can be a beautiful, albeit incredibly bittersweet, to be broken. Because then we have the chance to be made new. Jesus’ was broken for us and look at what amazing beauty came of that.
So wherever you are, wherever 2017 finds you i pray we find the strength to say our parting words to the year not in bitterness but in hope. I know it’s tough. I know it may be gut wrenchingly hard. But i pray that you can see how much God loves you and that deep in your soul you will feel and know that He makes all things new. He IS faithful. In every season, in the joy and in the pain, God IS FAITHFUL.
I am not the same person i was on Jan. 1st 2017. And, no matter how hard the changing was, i like the new me.
Happy New Year my dear, beautiful, loving friends. I am TRULY thankful for you all and I pray blessings over your 2018, my God make it new and beautiful.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – Rev. 21:5
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-11