As we reflect on 2013, what can you say that you learned from this past year? How was God working in your life in 2013? Did you recognize His hand? Did you see and acknowledge what He was doing, even if you didn’t understand it?
I, myself, can say that I am happy to see 2013 go. It has been a difficult year for me. But through all the difficulties I pressed on, trusting, hoping, and knowing that God was there with me. I did not like most of it, but I know that … God has plans for me “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. And I also know that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. I may not know what God is up to in my life, but I know that he has a plan and that I need to trust, to let go, and let Him do His thing.
I also found myself stating, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13) A LOT in 2013! I took on many difficult tasks this past year. Starting my new job as case coordinator, resource room teacher and special education teacher… the first day my boss saw the ‘deer in the headlights’ glaze of terror on my face and announced, “Baptism by fire!” which it surely was. I took on a lot from the very beginning and at times had no idea what I was doing… but I did it anyway! I endured… only because of faith… praying and relying on God’s mercy and grace. I am still learning how to do this job, it is still difficult, but I love it and I am thankful for it… and thankful that I had the faith and had God by my side every step of the way.
As I said many difficult things befell me this year… a difficult new job being one of them. From the very beginning of the year I felt I was spouting “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18. That was my mantra this past year. Perfect joy. Being JOYfilled even when all about me was crumbling and all hell was breaking lose.
God knocked me down a couple times, not only to get my attention, but to show me the power of my faith, the power of prayer and healing. I became injured chasing an overwhelmed, overheated autistic boy this past summer. Through the pain I saw God working in my life… through my friends who prayed for me. I was witness to a healing, my own, not only physical but spiritual as well. I understood God was there (is always there) and God was speaking to me. Slow down Kelly. Stop, take a look around. Breathe.
Probably the hardest thing that happened to me this past year was the death of my father. Seeing him, the strongest man I know, and will probably ever know, become weak and helpless… that was the most awful thing … watching the General succumb to Myosthenia gravis. Several times in 2013 I had asked EVERYONE I knew… all my prayer groups, to pray for my father, and they did. And though he did not become healed in the way I wanted him to be healed, he did die as we all wish to die, peacefully, at home, in his sleep. And that is a blessing, an answered prayer. I will miss my beloved father, but I know he is no longer suffering and is in God’s loving arms now. Thank you Lord.
I learned a lot this year through my hardships and through my joys. I learned mostly that I need to trust in God and not let anything, ANYTHING, bother me. God is in control. God is love. God loves me. Knowing this gives me courage. “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1.
What will 2014 bring? I have no idea. But I know if I continue to build my relationship with Jesus, take his hand and walk with Him and let Him teach me… I know I will be alright.
So as 2013 crashes around us…. Look ahead… there is a clean slate before us! A new beginning! So let us be new, start again, be new creations, be children of light … let Jesus breathe eternity into your heart… May God bless you in 2014.