It is not unlike me to take a look back and reflect on the previous year as I face another birthday. Last year at this time I was amidst a very difficult season in my life. Now that the year of forty-one has passed, flown by really, I sit in amazement of all that God did. I praise him for all that He saved me from. I fall to my knees when I think how many times He showered me with very tangible moments of His loving presence; Moments that will forever pale in comparison to any human interaction.
There were moments this past year that I could hardly breathe from the weight of all that I carried, yet my faithful Father again and again, bestowed mercy after new mercy each and every morning. There were many moments when no one in the whole world knew what I was dealing with or feeling. Not a single human soul. Yet God knew, and it was in those moments that I learned to lean on Him and trust Him in a way that I had never done before. He proved Himself trustworthy. More than that He proved Himself to be the Only One whom I can trust. He showed me that I am made to trust Him alone with all that I am. He showed me that in trusting Him I am free to love others with no strings attached. That I am to need people less and to love them more as I rely on Him for all my needs.
Sometimes our pain is self-inflicted, and sometimes its just life’s circumstances. Sometimes we make choices we deeply regret, but I am convinced that God does make beauty from ashes. However the pain was inflicted, He will restore. I am convinced that He is never done with us so long as we keep humbling ourselves to His gracious hand changing our hearts. I love God more now than I ever have before, but I had to walk a very dark and scary road to know that love. I would not for one second suggest we do things knowingly to test God’s love. But I will say that when we lose our way, when we think we have it all figured out and then wake up to our mess and realize we don’t, He will be there with loving arms wide open. He knows. He really does know all that we face and He sees beyond the tears and hurt to who He is shaping us to be.
I am in awe of God. I am in awe of how great He is not just for His great works, but for just who He is. That He shows His grace and mercy through loving brothers and sisters in Christ. I am in awe that He not only picks us up, dusts us off, polishes us up, but then still invites us to continue learning of Him. That He does not view our past when He sees us. He only sees the blood of His son. He sees what we were meant to be from the beginning and He continues to urge us on to become just that. This year goes down as one for the books. This year will be remembered for me as one of the most difficult, and most precious of all.
As I sit here tonight on the eve of forty-two, I start my second semester at Lincoln Christian University. This fall semester I took a couple theology courses and my eyes opened to a whole new world. (And they nearly fell out of my head from all the reading-Ha!) This spring I’m taking a world view class. As I read the pages of yet another couple of books, and learn of more ways to grow in Him, I’m ready to explode with excitement-what is He going to do with me now? I’m trusting. I’m surrendered. I’m waiting…I’m ready!