This morning when I woke up, I felt a bit of depression creep in. As I laid there I felt a bit overwhelmed about the coming year, fearful of what I couldn’t see and a bit sad at some of what has transpired over the past year. It seems every year is this way. We get to the end of the year and we think “good riddance”. While I think it is positive to want to leave the past behind and move into a New Year with an attitude of anticipation, I think we can’t ignore the year we have just gone through or write it off as bad. Each year has plenty of both good and bad.
This year was a particularly hard year for me. At times, I didn’t think that I would emotionally or physically make it through the day. However, this year also forced me to self-examine in a way I don’t think I have ever done.
There were so many ups and downs. Some BIG Ups and BIG downs. But, through those ups and down I learned a lot.
I watched as my daughter went to her first prom, went on her first date, fell in “love” for the first time and brought a young man into our house that seemed to fit like a puzzle piece into our crazy family.
I also watched as she chose to end that relationship and felt the sting of loss as this same young man would no longer be around.
I learned that the once love of my life, the father of my children, the man I had been married to for 13 years (and divorced from for 3), had married another woman. But I also learned that as I sat there receiving the news, I was not crushed or even shaken because the True love of my life will never be taken from me.
Through both of those situations I learned that the long and deep hurt of my past was still not completely healed, but I also saw the areas where God has worked miracles in me. I learned that God brings us to things at the proper time for us to deal with them even when we may not want to. I learned I still have a long way to go!
I watched one of my children who had completely walked away from God and church, come back to Him seeing the cries of a mother’s heart be heard and answered. Who but God could work such a miracle?!
I was pushed to the brink of losing it more times than I can count, but learned that each time, God was there to pick me up and draw me back.
I was encouraged by friends who pray for me and with me, who love me through all my faults and I was able to be that same kind of friend to them. I learned how blessed I am to have these amazing women that God has given me to do life with.
At times this past year I had no idea how I was going to provide for my family. And while that worry still rears it’s ugly head at times, I have learned and am continuing to learn to rely on God for everything because HE IS FAITHFUL!
I learned that raising 3 teenagers is too much for one person to handle on their own and I learned to ask for help more than I would like to!
This past year may not have gone the way I would have chosen it to go, but I know that God is sovereign and there is purpose in everything and that He will work it all for my good and his glory no matter how awful it seemed at the time.
As I spent some time reading this morning I read a statement that really helped me out of my New Year’s worry. At my church we often read books together and currently we are reading a book called “Union With Christ” by Rankin Wilbourne.
“Union with Christ touches on the highest and most profound truths of the gospel and at the same time reaches down into the depths of the human heart to fill us with more joy and hope, more comfort and strength than anything else ever could. Is there any truth we more need to lay hold of this day than our union with Christ?”
As I read that, I thought to myself, this is the truth I needed to be reminded of today. This is the truth that sums up all of last year. In despair, in fear, in worry it is my union with Christ that brings me hope, joy, comfort and strength. It is that union that brought me through the dark times of this past year and that union that allowed me to enjoy the bright times of this past year. It is this union, that can never be broken, that will carry me into the next year and give me the strength to become more of who He created me to be. Without Christ, I am nothing, I can do nothing and without Him I wouldn’t make it through one moment of one day. However with Him, I can go into the New Year with hope, with joy, and with courage. Thank you Lord!