Tuesday, January 6, 2015

He's Doing A New Thing

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." ~ Isaiah 43:18-19
I think it's only natural that as one year comes to an end and another one begins to think back over the past year.  Honestly, I'm glad to see 2014 come to an end.  It's definitely been one of the harder years of my life.  It was the year I learned what spiritual warfare truly is.  It's one thing to read about it or hear sermons about it, but to live through it is life changing.  I learned that Christians can hurt each other deeper than anyone else because we have much higher expectations of other Christians.  It was the year I had to say goodbye to my beloved pastor and his wife.  The year I learned homeschooling is super hard, and I'm far less equipped than I could have ever imagined.  The year I dug deep and began to really deal with my mom's death.  The year I learned I am a people pleaser, and it tears me to pieces to not live up to others expectations.  It was a year I felt completely alone at times.  Completely alone.  Many times.  I learned that I am far more invested in some friendships than the other person.  It was the year I was diagnosed with diabetes, and my baseline pain level rose to a 7.  It was the year my dear friend was diagnosed with leukemia, and I've watched her suffer far more than any person should ever have to suffer.  When the year had just begun, one of my best friend's brother had a massive stroke.  I've watched his family surround him and love him in ways every family should, and their hearts aching for the day he can return home.  It was the year I wrote this post about how I've struggled with suicidal ideations most of my life.  A post that caused me to loose a few friends.  I was even called crazy by one of those friends.

It's been an incredibly hard year.  A year full of lots of tears and many sleepless nights.  But in the midst of days I truly didn't know if I'd survive, the Lord was faithful to show me that even though I felt very unloved by the world at times, He loves me unconditionally and completely.  Even when there were times I doubted His love for me.

Looking back over the past year is painful, but I realize how much I have grown spiritually.  Praise the Lord I'm not the same person I was at the beginning of 2014, and I am praying I grow even more this coming year.  I just hope the growth is less painful.

This coming year I want to grow closer to Jesus.  I want to learn more about Him.  I want to focus more on what His Word says about me, and less on what others think of me.  I tell my girls all the time their identity is in the One who hung on a cross and died for their sins, and it's not wrapped up in what others say and think about them.  But I realized this year that I do just that.  I put so much weight on what others think, and not in what His Word says about me.  I can't control what others think and believe about me, and it's hurtful when they believe things that are untrue.  The only absolute TRUTH in the world is God's WORD, and I need to put my focus there.  The Word says my identity is in Christ.  I am His, and He is mine.  Nothing can change that.  Nothing.

I want to be a better friend.  I have been deeply hurt by a few friends this year, and I don't want to be like them.  I want to be an encourager.  I want to show up when my friends need me, and I want callouses on my knees from praying for them.  I want to love them at all times, even when I don't like or agree with their behavior.  I want to be a friend that points them to Jesus.

I want to be a better mother.  I have failed my girls so many times over the years.  I want to be there for them more, and really hear their hearts.  I need to be intentional about praying over them and with them.  I need to be a better example to them, and show them Jesus is who they need to cling to in all circumstances.  I want them to know I love them unconditionally, and nothing they do or say will ever change my love for them.  I also want them to know that as much as I love them, Jesus loves them infinitely more.

I want to be a better wife.  Nathan and I have been married for 20 years, and I love him more and more every day.  In those 20 years we have been through some rough times, but by the grace of God we survived ... together.  I want our marriage to grow this year, and I want us to end 2015 much closer than we began.  I want the Lord to show me how to be the wife I need to be for him.

I want to be a better servant for Him.  I want to serve where He wants me, and not where I think I need to serve.  I am praying He makes my path more and more clear every day.

I am more hopeful than I have been in a very long time.  My heart is still tender and raw due to past hurts, but Jesus can use tender and raw hearts.  I want Him to use what I have learned this past year.  I want Him to use me to show others His grace, mercy and love.

He is doing a new thing in me, and I'm excited to see how He uses me this coming year! 

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