2011 was an incredibly hard year for me, and so many around me. I don't regret it. I don't hate it. I don't wish it never happened. But, I'm so thankful that it is in the rear view mirror. Don't get me wrong, there were wonderful moments, and I really hate that the hard stuff trumps my memory of this past year. The reality of the situation is that it was hard... but I'm stronger because of it.
House fire and dad's injury. Rodents. Collapsed sewage line. Three difficult deaths. Mourning with and for friends. Sicknesses. Heart struggles. Struggling marriages. Job struggles. Losing a job.
That's kind of my summary of 2011. I don't want to go into each of those things... more than likely you can just re-read any blogs from '11 and you'll be caught up.
So, here's the deal. Every one of those situations have been difficult. They have stretched me in uncomfortable ways. But, I'm thankful for each of them. I'm better off after each of them. You see, the greatest, most valuable lesson and reminder I can walk away from 2011 with is that God is Sovereign. He is in control. I've blogged about Sovereignty before... but this past year has been a constant reminder that I don't hold the key to happiness or controlling situations. I have zero control. I've learned that God has given me a heart to trust Him with. To find my HOPE in Him. My friends, my family... yes, they can help... they can support... they can carry my burdens just as much as I can carry theirs. But, in the end, my Hope, my Help, my Trust, my All comes from the Lord. It is through Him, through His eyes, His Grace, His Mercy, His heart that I am able to face any trial. I found myself over and over again this past year thanking Him for loving me... for choosing me to be His daughter. I've thanked Him over and over for not letting me go. For always being with me... even when I feel completely alone. I've thanked him over and over for His bigger and better plan for me... thanked Him that He knows what is best for me... and He won't do anything to harm me or hurt me. I've been so thankful that He is my Rock on which I can firmly stand... and know that I am safe. This year has been a lot of unknowns... unknowns that certainly flow over to 2012.
Nothing changed when the clock struck midnight on January 1st. My struggles were still there. But, as with every new year, I am hopeful for a new chapter. A new year to learn more incredible lessons from my God. But, my prayer is that He goes a little easier on me this year... and on my friends and family. :) I can't help that! I pray that the lesson I learned of His Sovereignty in 2011 is one that I will look back on with JOY, rather than contempt or sorrow. I know that each and every situation was for my good, for my betterment, for my future. Nothing was done in vain. Absolutely nothing. Hallelujah!
For the past few years, I have tried to pick a verse that becomes my "verse for the year". In 2011, I chose Galatians 6:7-9 ::
"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one that sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
I read that, and can't help but be grateful for Him sewing the lessons of finding trust, hope, salvation, security, comfort and myself in Him. He is good!
This year, I'm going to have 2 verses. I chose these after I heard the sermon at my church on January 1st. The sermon was about God's Resolutions for each and every year... not just 2012.
God will be EXALTED, no matter what - Psalm 16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
He has my BEST interest at heart - Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
I pray that each of you have an incredible 2012. That it is a year of wonderful, new beginnings. A year that we all treasure His abundant and great blessings. A year of growth and change. A year that He captures hearts. A year that lives are transformed to bring Him glory. And a year that kicks 2011 in the face! :)
Happy 2012 people!!! May this year bless each of you in God's Holy and Perfect Name!