Saying Goodbye to Another Year
Every end of year I like to reflect on the past, my childhood, and especially the past year. I have to say that this year has been one of tremendous change and unbelievable blessings, along with new challenges. I am so thankful that the Lord took the time to prepare me for so much change, but even with that preparation, going through it was not easy. I found myself constantly turning to God, but of course, that’s the ultimate goal. When the Lord keeps you in the shadow of His wings, it’s a place you never want to wander from, and yet the smallest of things quickly draw us away when we lose focus. It’s something else to be up on the mountain of the Lord, where you connect with God and every day is designed to instruct you in His ways. He meets you there and He shows you things beyond wonder and He opens your spiritual eyes to see the majesty of His glory. He reveals Himself leaving one in awe, but he also forces you to face yourself and it’s never a pleasant experience.
Once you’ve been to the mountain of the Lord you don’t want to come down. As everyone must, that’s ever been to the mountain of God, I had to face the fact that believers were not meant to stay on the mountain. To fulfil God’s plan believers have to come down of that mountain, to face the uncertainties of life, choose to run from the evil that prowls around looking for whom to devour, face the valley of the shadow of death, for the sun will set, the sun will rise, the path will become clear, the Light will lead us by day and by night to places of rest that we cannot even fathom and the sun will set. We eventually have to come down to fulfill God’s plan for our lives and often we are not 100% sure what that is, or what it looks like. That’s where faith, prayer, spiritual discernment and reading His word comes in, but thank God that He does prepare us for our journey.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
I had been to the mountain, learning about God, but also learning about myself. The Lord showed me how I became that wretched woman who stared back at me in the mirror, every day. As humans we learn to put on so many different masks. I was no different. We learn how to switch them on cue. We have become masters of disguise, even fooling ourselves. As true believers it should not be so easy to ignore the face that stares back at us, yet somehow, it is. Still, it’s always there to remind us who and what we are and how easily we can justify our wayward ways when we ignore the ways of God.
The Lord has brought me a long way. I can’t begin to confess how long and difficult a journey it has been. I admit I was wore out and yet, God’s grace is always sufficient. And this year, the year of God’s favor, the Lord reached down from heaven, called on me, to refresh this weary soul. He breathed new life into these old bones as He did in the days of Ezekiel (Chap 37). I know I did nothing worthy of His favor, yet He showed me mercy, grace and though He’d always shown His love, this year He went beyond measure to show me how much He truly loved me. I was in awe, still am! How awesome is my God!
I had made the decision to accept Jesus as my husband a few years ago. My search for a mate was a distant memory. I was committed to living my life as a single woman, committed only to Christ. When this blast from the past, a long-lost love, came back into my life, April Fools Day of all days, I was in complete shock! Never in my life would I have imagined ever seeing my first love again. It took quite a bit of prayer and discernment to finally accept that God was in control. Before we got started down the road to a relationship and eventual marriage, I had this man read my journals. I had compiled them in a self-published book I titled simply The Diary of a Christian Woman. I gave him a copy and asked him to read it because I needed him to know where I was today, where I had been and the One that brought me to this place. To my surprise, he read the entire book in one sitting. He recognized himself in my writings.
Anyway, I had forgotten much of what I had written in my diaries, but I knew well I had made that decision. My new husband was talking to me about rereading my journals the last couple of days and he mentioned something I had written that I did not remember.
Anyway, as I flipped through the pages to find what he was talking about I came across the diary entry where I recorded my decision to accept Jesus as my husband, Jun 10, 2013. I wrote:
June 10, 2013
Lately, I have considered allowing a mate back in my life. I am still not sure if I am ready, but I know with all my heart, I choose a man who gives me strength, who never gives me more than I can handle, who gives me courage and strength though I doubt myself, who gives me wisdom, who loves me just as I am, not because of who I am, but because of who He is, He calls me His. His name is Jesus Christ…
…For now, this is where the Lord has me. I am trusting in Him. I am waiting on Him. The road ahead is already mapped out for me and I know that the Lord will go before me to prepare the way.
I have to say, the Lord prepared the way and made a way where there was no way. It’s humbling to accept some of the things the Lord will do to fulfil His plans. I had a hard time accepting…
I hope y’all will stay tuned for Part 2.