Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The worst and best of years


As 2014 draws to a close, I can't help but think back on all that took place in the year now ready to be filed away as past. It's amazing the memories that a single year holds: beach vacations, road trips, weddings, little brother's graduating, family events, days filled with gardening, playground visits. A life filled full. 

Although 2014 was filled with so much undeserved joy and happy memories, I look back on tear stained journal entries and see how God became real to me in 2014, not through the easy moments, the happy memories, or the vacations, but through the pain and heartbreak. This year my heart was broken like never before as the Lord gave and then took away. But I have learned in the pain to praise the name of Jesus like never before (Job 1:21). 

My heart was so broken that I could not even write it. I tried over and over to share my pain with the world, but words were never good enough. And so I cried only to my Jesus, because he heard my tears and felt my heart when words failed me. 

Now as I look through a dozen unpublished posts written with heart breaking, I finally feel ready to publish. But I no longer write to share the pain but to share the joy. The joy I have found in knowing that God is faithful, not just when life is simple, but more so when life came crashing down around me.

My plans for my happy life have failed. But I am now experiencing a happiness not found in a successful life, but found in the delight of my God.
Oh the sweetness of such a life lived. 

I embrace the words of this song as an anthem for my year and praise the one who loves me enough to ruin me that I may know Him. 
I come, God, I come. I return to the Lord, the one who's broken, the one who's torn me apart. You struck down to bind me up. You say you do it all in love that I might know you in your suffering. 
Though you slay me, yet I will praise you. Though you take from me, I will bless your name. Though you ruin me, STILL I will worship, sing a song to the one who's all I need. 
  "Count it all JOY my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." -James 1:2-3

And so I count all of 2014, not just the easy days, as joy, and claim it as the worst and best of years because through the painfully ripped holes in the canvas of my life, I have caught glimpses of the beauty of God. 
"See that I am God. See that I am in everything. See that I do everything. See that I have not stopped ordering my works, nor ever shall, eternally. See that I lead everything on to the conclusion I ordained for it before time began, by the same power, wisdom and love with which I made it. How can anything be amiss?" -Julian of Norwich 
As I enter 2015, I have my plans, goals and resolutions (which I am confident will fail!) and so I put my hope in the one who never fails because as He has planned, so shall it be.
"As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand." -Isaiah 14:24

Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

4 comments:

  1. Oh Faith, my heart breaks for your loss. So thankful for those moments where God holds us when nothing else seems to ease the pain. Some of the most beautiful moments. Praying for you in 2015!

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  2. Beautifully written, Faith! Here's to 2015!

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  3. Beautiful! It's amazing how we draw closer to God through the hard times. I look forward to reading what you've learned and hearing your testimony.

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  4. Such a beautiful post. Our God is a faithful shepherd, and it warms my heart to see how He has uplifted you in your times of need. He can turn all things good for those who serve Him. Prayers for a wonderful 2015!

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