New Year, New Beginnings

Happy New Year everyone!  I pray you have had a great start to 2017.  With the beginning of a new chapter, many questions get asked.  People consider new resolutions as they reflect back on events and moments from years past.  How can I improve my life this year?  How can I make better decisions?  Yet with moving forward, I believe it is also imperative to remember yesteryear.  Most would say the purpose of this activity would be to learn from one’s mistakes.  And while I do agree with that, I also want to remember certain moments for the purpose of not forgetting what others have done for me or what the Lord has brought me through.

As I consider all the beginnings during my lifetime, I remember the intensity of one particular January, because it was the month everything changed in my life.  Not only did I encounter challenging days, but it was the era when I was forced to grow up beyond my years.  It was a time that came quite suddenly and not only surprised me but my entire family as well.  Not to sound cliché, but life does throw things at you.  Things you never expected.  Things you wish you never had to deal with.  Yet these events can teach you so much about yourself and the wonder of God.  His ability to sustain you and give you strength when you think you have nothing left to give.

So this month, I am celebrating a major milestone in my life.  Twenty years ago, I found myself battling an unexpected medical issue, and because of prayer and the brilliance of various doctors and nurses, the Lord saved my life.  God took me through some of my darkest days–during a time when I thought I would not survive the challenges set in front of me.  I can tell you this with certainty though–God is in control and He still performs miracles.  Jesus loves you, and He will stay by your side throughout any devastating or joyous moments in your life.  I am beyond grateful to have survived those difficult days, and I am so happy to be able to tell you about it.

After that experience, my life was never the same, and my perspective was altered in ways I never imagined.  That year defined so much of who I am today, and it is humbling to know how the Lord can turn a tragedy into something He can use to help others come to know Him.  Christ’s incredible plan is something that I as a human being could never truly comprehend, because His plan reaches the masses of people all over the world–those I do not know and those I have had the pleasure of meeting.  At 14, I did not have the friends that I would one day meet at 16, 25, or 30.  Yet the Lord knew I would meet them one day—that I would need to meet them one day—and because of His incredible handiwork, He brought them across my path.  And I pray I helped them and inspired them as much as they were a blessing in my life.  So many men and women have encouraged me, believed in me, and given me the tools I needed to overcome so many challenges.  I thank God for them.

I want to end this post this month with the song that meant so much to me during the days of 1997.  It spoke directly to my heart, because the words of this song expressed exactly what I was feeling.  It conveyed what I could not speak.  This song showed me that Jesus is my hiding place.  He takes care of me even when every fiery dart in the world is coming at me, and I do not know what to do.  In those days, I can find refuge and rest in Him—He will carry my burden.  I pray this song speaks to you as well.  God bless:

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