Just two days left of a year that has marked me forever. Just two days remaining of this orbit around the sun. What did it hold for you? Was it a year of unparalleled blessing and favor? Was it filled with difficulty and insurmountable problems? Was it a year of growing, reaping, and storing? Was it a year of famine and lack?
If your year was anything like mine, I imagine it was a little bit of everything. I imagine we have seen our share of mountaintops and valleys. I’m fairly certain that there have been both good and bad days and seasons. Still, as you look back over 2k14, what is it that rises to the surface? What was this past year for you?
I remember this time last year as I was preparing to launch into a new ministry year with my team. My time spent in prayer led me to a word, just one word.
I chose to embrace that word and run with it, believing that God had some big things in store for my life in 2k14. And He did. January started with a bang and lots of travel to teach women God’s Word. February followed suit. March was a much needed short break to prepare for the whirlwind of incredible opportunity that April, May, June, and July would prove to bring. August was a month of hard work. September reaped the harvest of all of that hard work with a newly published Bible study, Awake O Sleeper. September through December 22 was spent teaching this study for the first time through along with another study at my church. Packed into the middle of that was an incredible weekend women’s retreat up in Portland, Oregon with a group of women I’ve come to view as my home away from home.
What a year! What a year! There are a few more remarkable events that I left out, because honestly, this past year could fill the pages of a book. It was a year of growth for sure, but it was so much more. It was an Ephesians 3:20 kind of year:
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,”
God’s ability to do “immeasurably more” became a reality in my life in 2k14. While this year was filled with mountaintops, there were some pretty low valleys that I was asked to walk through, as well.
“It’s been the best and the hardest year of my life.”
I cannot tell you how many times those words have come out of my mouth. I experienced a year of a tremendous amount of sickness. My husband and I experienced loss like never before. With growth comes responsibility, and that has been far from easy. However, as I glance back on this year gone by, my heart is drawn to these words like never before:
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope; Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Do the trials of this life cause us to so quickly forget the eternity of the above truth? Through it all, His compassions never failed me; not once. Through it all, His mercies were found new and fresh every morning. Through it all, great is His faithfulness.
We’re saying goodbye to one year, and we are about to embark on a new one. As you glance back and before you turn the corner, I want to challenge you to look for God in both the mountaintops and the valleys. Search for His promised presence in the good and the bad. Walk away from this year with a heart that praises Him for all that He has done and trusts in Him for all that He is about to do.