Saturday, December 28, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Last night I talked with a friend who said she could hardly wait to say goodbye to 2013. To say that this has been a rough year for her and her family would be like saying the ocean has a little water. I can sympathize...a lot of us can. We are all hoping that as December 31st passes by, somehow we will finally be able to put this year and all its ugliness behind us and move forward into a fresh new year.

I admit, I love New Year's Day. It is my most favorite holiday, simply because it represents a new start. I need a new start...again.

For many, 2013 has been a tough year. At times, it seems that the world has gone crazy! All this was on my mind the other night as I went out to do some errands and discovered it was dark. I don't mean your normal, night-time dark. It was DARK! To make matters worse, for some reason it seemed that half the street lights on my route had mysteriously gone out. The headlights on my van seemed to be swallowed up as I drove to my destination. It was more than a little scary...for those of you who might be scared of the dark. 

To make things even stranger, when I got home I started to watch on old Dr. Who episode and in that episode, shadows could creep up on you and eat you! (Well, actually it was some sort of weird "Dr. Who piranha" that lived in shadows, but that's not the point!) It was a REALLY dark kind of night. I posted something on facebook about it being dark outside and a friend sent me a post. It said that this particular night was the darkest night in over 500 years. Some sort of solstice lunar eclipse or something. All I knew was it was DARK! Yet the next morning when I got up, the sun was shining. It hadn't gone anywhere, even if I couldn't see it.

I was reminded of the old saying, "it's always darkest before the dawn!" Okay, maybe that's just a saying, but I like it...and by now you can see where this post is going.

Each day with God is a new beginning. We have not yet see what He has planned, but we have His promise that somehow He will use it for our good and His glory. Each day is filled with possibilities that He has placed before us. Each day is another chance to get it right.

As hard as 2013 has been for many of us, if we look back, we can see how God has carried us through it all. After all, He did not promise us that life would be easy. Quite the contrary, He let us know that life would be HARD, but He did promise that He would go through it all with us...and that He would never leave us or forsake us no matter how much it seemed as if He had.

As 2013 draws to a close, I reflect over the year. For the past four years I have chosen one word to help guide me and keep me focused. One year the word was "hope" and another "anticipation". This year it was "move." As I look back over 2013, I have seen this word played out in ways I could not imagine. There have been times it was easy to see as in my move to another school and there have been other "moves" that fewer know about. As I look back through it all, I can see how God has been there.

As 2014 approaches, it is comforting to know, God is already there. He has already walked through each day of the coming year and He has made a way. It will not catch Him by surprise. Perhaps that explains my "one word" for 2014. But that's a blog for another day.

Goodbye 2013. Can't say I'm all that sorry to see you go, but I will remember you...because in the midst of all that has come, you've helped me to see God. No matter how dark the night, He has been there. Thank you for that.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

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