Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year
Image Credit:  geralt - CCO Public Domain Image - via Pixabay

 Happy New Year!


I'm sitting here in the warmth of my home as I watch 2019 fade away and 2020 wash in.  We are on the brink of a new year and a new decade.  Not too long ago, all I could think about was how awful the past ten years have been.  My children grew up and I grew old.  My sweet babies grew into teenagers.  They were great kids.  They always were.  We never had any "real" trouble with any of them, but we did have to navigate through some unexpected circumstances.  At the time, my heart was breaking into a million pieces and I thought things would never be the same.  We suffered a few broken relationships, not between any of us but between people we love.  We suffered because they suffered and our relationships were negatively impacted because of those circumstances.  I'm dancing around details because those are private, but those details made our journey through the 20-teens a living nightmare at times.  Some relationships simply faded due to time and the natural changes that come along with the passing of it.  My husband's heart decided it didn't like a regular beat but rather a crazy combination of many different rhythms and way too fast.  He endured 4 heart ablation procedures.  I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, Basal Cell Carcinoma (skin cancer), and Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer).  18 months ago, I caught 6 viruses all at once as well as Medication-Induced Lupus.  I could barely walk.  I became so weak at one point that I could not even hold a small cup of water by myself.  I had to give up my home-based business.  I had become so sick that I thought I might not survive . . . but I did.  There were other things - financial challenges and the usual family hurdles that most people have to jump from time to time.

We survived all of it . . . not on our own, but through God's grace and healing.

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At one time, I wanted to sell our home, pack up all we owned, and move away.  I couldn't be at peace in my own home because everywhere I looked, I was reminded of the pain and harshness of the past years.  But now . . . now I look around and I see the sweetness of restored relationships, mature children, a home that I am capable of keeping up again.  I see memories . . . the kind of memories that make my heart smile, memories I had forgotten about because they had been hidden by bitterness.

Now I look around my home and I see evidence of restoration that can only come through God's divine intervention, grace, and healing.  God took the things in our lives that the enemy meant for evil and He used them for His good.

My home, for most of the past ten years, had been a place of conflict and sickness but now it is a place of peace and joy.

My 40s were rough.  The 20-teens were rough.

I turned 50 this past October and in about an hour and a half 2020 will begin.

Tonight, I sit in the warmth of my home with a new sense of joy and peace and I look so forward to a new year and a new decade.

If you are reading this and you are sitting where I sat over the past ten years, in a place of conflict and soul aching heartbreak, I encourage you to keep trusting God's plan for your life.  The fact that I sit in peace tonight doesn't mean that everything turned out great in all the conflict of the past decade.  In fact, that is not the case.  Some relationships between people we love are not reconciled and it is looking more and more like those bridges are burned forever.  Our family is not perfect but no family is perfect.  I beat skin cancer and kidney cancer but I still suffer from Crohn's Disease.  I am at peace tonight because I know that God's timing is not my timing.  His ways are not my ways and His plan for all of us is so much bigger than I can even begin to imagine.

At one time, I believed all the lies that Satan threw at me.

You are not a good wife.

You are a terrible mother.

You aren't even a good daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, etc.

You have failed at everything.

I sit here in peace because I now know that those are all lies from the enemy.  I am at peace because I know that my God is so much bigger than my failures.  I am at peace because my God has taken the things that the enemy meant for evil and He used them for His good.

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He can and will do the same for you. 

Resolve right now to surrender all that seems to be falling down around you into His unfailing hands.  Lay it all down at the foot of the cross.  Start the new year and the new decade with a new sense of peace, not because your circumstances may or may not have changed, but because God can and will change YOU.

If you are already a born again believer, then I encourage you to keep trusting God's plan for you.

If you have no idea what it means to be a born again believer, then please CLICK HERE to learn how you can give your heart and life to Jesus.  This is a great time to begin a new life in Christ.

If you are reading this, then you have survived everything you have ever been through.  God has been faithful in your past.  He will be faithful in your future.  This is not a promise of a future free of heartache and pain, but a promise that God will carry you through all of it, a promise that God will take what Satan intends for evil and use it for His good.  I know that I will still face difficult days ahead and so will you.  This is simply part of living a human life, but know that nothing in your future is a surprise to God.  He loves you and He does have a plan for your life . . . and it is an amazing one.

Let me leave you with a verse that I claimed as one of my "life verses" many years ago.
"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11
Happy New Year Everyone!

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