Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lessons learned from 2013

Last year I must admit at this time I was scared of 2013. Though we had a new place to live, a new job, and a new town - all I could remember is how bad 2012 was. A year full of unexpected loss, change, and upside down reason. I honestly just asked God to help me get through 2013 "OK". I kinda feel like I walked into 2013 with one eye open, hands out in front of me, slowly feeling my way around - just not wanting to trip or fall over. God knew my trepidation and wounded heart, and just poured out a year of blessing, mercy, healing, and rest - all of which I desperately needed. 

This year I've learned that God is faithful. Despite circumstances, man, and even my own choices - God is still faithful. He will never fail me, always keep His word - and His promises. When I truly trust Him, the world could crumble in around me, and I will still be OK. 

I've learned that God directs your path in ways you cannot understand - but there is always purpose and reason behind what He does. In the past couple of years I have seen God "connect-the-dots" of some people in our lives in life changing ways. Old friends from the past that have come back into our lives at just the right time - in just the right way. Just amazed and in awe of God's timing - it is always perfect - no doubt about it.

I've learned that grief is not something you can just "get over". Loss is painful, it's traumatic, and it can change you for the better or the worse. You can't ignore it, you can't push your way through it - you must walk through it and deal with it - so you can heal. Grief can be ugly and make you face some very ugly things about yourself and others, but it can also be beautiful and can open up your eyes to a whole new realm of beauty in the world. 

I've learned that forgiveness is a process, that requires a lot of letting go. Wounds that cut deep require the Great Physician. Only God can heal that kind of paralyzing pain. Forgiving does not mean you excuse behavior - it means you choose to heal instead of hurt. 

I've learned that God isn't finished with me yet. That even though I a mess inside and out, have a thousand things to work on, I fail, and pretty much trip over my own two feet daily - God still has a plan for my life. As long as I have breath to breathe, I am needed on this earth. 

I've learned that hope is a beautiful and a scary thing. Allowing myself to look forward, to hope again and to dream again is a pretty terrifying and exciting thing at the same time. 2014 comes with lots of anticipation, ideas, and faith that with God in control - I can face whatever comes my way. I'm walking into 2014 with eyes open - I don't want to miss a thing! 

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14

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