"Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19
The year 2013 has found its way to the top of the list of years I am happy to say goodbye to. There are so many reasons, none that are worthy of putting into written words, but never the less, reasons that justify its placement there. It has been a difficult year for us, and yet, I am completely reminded also of the beauty it has brought to my life. Whatever I write will not be expression enough of the gratitude I have to God for smiling on me and my family this year, it is a simple attempt to share the faithfulness of He who began a good work....
I have watched my children grow through adversity. So many times, through so many things, I have wondered how they would cope, how they would rise above the seemingly unfair situations that they were forced to be in the middle of. And time after time, I have observed them turning to their faith in Jesus. Michaela quietly writes a memory verse on the board in her room....Josiah verbally seeks answers to "why" God allows things. They truly do inspire me to do this right, to exemplify, even in the weak moments, that God is always actively at work around us and through us. My kids, they have truly been the Joy of my heart, in 2013.
I have been blessed with a job that has challenged me and chiseled me. The strategic moves of God I may never understand, but I take comfort in believing it is all for His glory. Being involved in ministry has not looked the way I thought it would look. In fact, it is absolutely the opposite. In that, I have learned so much about myself, the people I work with, the lives we are chosen to touch, and the God who's sovereignty reigns in it all. Working in a 'Life Center' has brought me to my knees; It has also often made me want to put on my running shoes and flee. My job, it has been one of the scariest and best things that has happened to me, in 2013.
I have been given the gift of True Friendship. A quote by Paul Tripp sticks in my mind as I try to define what this has looked like... "True Friendship calls you out of the darkness of personal privacy into the loving candor of mutual concern. It moves you from being a sealed envelope to being an open letter." I have been the recipient of exactly this from the girls who walk beside me. Never once have I felt like whatever was going on in my head would not be heard by them, and not just heard, but felt. In God's very awesome way, He has given to me friendships that are so different, and yet, so exactly the same; bringing perspective filled with love in the midst of chaos. My Best Friends, they have been one of the most valuable gifts I could ever receive, in 2013.
I have been touched by the love of my family. Though far away and defined differently than it had been in years past, I have felt the support and care from all those who love us and call us "theirs". They may not clearly understand why we have such crazy faith in God, they may not always agree with how we may be doing certain things, but that has not stopped them from being there for us, helping us, praying for us, and loving us. My Ohio family, they have demonstrated their love, in 2013.
And so, with so much Thankfulness and Praise to God for His provision, graciousness, and love, I say goodbye to 2013. Goodbye to the struggle, goodbye to the scary, goodbye to the uncertainty. And I say Hello to 2014. Hello to the struggle, hello to the scary, hello to the uncertainty....because in it, lies the Greatest Gifts God could ever give...Roadways in the wilderness and Springs in the desert....