As this year finishes, I want to kick out all of the negative experiences. No reminiscing on how someone hurt me or how much pain I have endured. NO! What I want to do is remember how God has brought me through this past year with blessings and love. I want to remind myself of the wonderful things that God has done and how He has kept me from bad things that could have – and probably should have – happened to me, but didn’t.
There’s no denying that the past year – well, the past two years – has been really difficult. However, that time is over, and I cannot go back and relive those events changing what I feel needs to be changed. I can only go forward. If you have the ability to go back in time, can you help me out? Hahaha.
The phrase that has been a sort of mantra lately has been, “I’ve been through worse.” What I mean by this is that of all of the hurt, brokenness, pain, and tears, I have been through worse, and I am still going strong. Only by God’s grace and mercy, I am standing, walking, and thinking clearly (most of the time).
At the beginning of this year, I started writing a sentence or two a day in a “memory book”. I did really well with it for about 2 months. Then, I began a devotional that was a lot longer than I thought it would be, and I began to skip writing a line in the “memory book” everyday. I chose instead to look back at my planner and remember that way. However, I have found this to be more time consuming when looking back on it. The daily act of writing in my planner is great. However, when looking back on what God has done over the year or two – or five – it is simpler for me to have the one “memory book” than it is to go dig out my past planners looking over everyday. There is a place and time for that, but when I am struggling and I need a simple and quick look at what God has brought me to and through, I am opting for this small “memory book”.
And with that, on January 15th of this year, I wrote: “I realize that all I need to do is rest in God. He has already ordered my footsteps. The busyness that I put on myself thinking I am making myself holier is vanity. God has already done the hard part. Just rest in Him.”
I remember trying to “gain” God’s love as a child tries really hard to please her parent. However, God already is pleased with me. God loves me so much that He sent His one and only true Son to be conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, live a perfect life, suffer and die on the cross, be resurrected on the third day, and ascend to heaven where He sits next to the throne of the Father. He adopted us into His family. We are no longer children of darkness, but His children – children of the light, children of what is pure and holy and right. We are no longer a slave to sin, but we are now co-heirs with Christ Jesus to the heavenly throne of God, not that God is like an earthly king that dies and the heir to the throne takes over, but that we have worth and importance to Him. We live in His presence, and not simply somewhere in His kingdom. We live with Him. And no amount of works or prayers from me will ever accumulate to anything like what He has already done for us. My purpose is to rest in Him, trust Him at His Word (which is Jesus, by the way), and be open to His purposes and plans (which are higher than our ways).
Many of the entries for the first two months were about uncertainty and hurt. But I realize now, that what I have learned over the course of this year is that I can be certain in Jesus. I can rest assured that Jesus has finished the plan of salvation and that I am able to come into God’s presence without the aid of another. I can come to Him as I am His child and I can “sit on His lap” as a child telling My Father what is bothering me and how much I love Him safe “in His bosom”.
Now if that doesn’t encourage you in your faith, I don’t no what to say that will. I don’t have the words to express thoughts that I have in my mind. I want to tell you so much more than I have words for, but that is a post for another day. Happy New Year!
Gotta go fill up my cup…..