Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Courage and Hope

While Christmas was rather complicated this year by the death of a friend's brother and a cousin, I am so blessed to have been able to be home at this time. I have missed my family so much, and while Christmas was a little crazy, I savored each moment. Even having to turn on the window unit and a fan while my sisters and I got Christmas dinner ready!

As I look back on last year, the word I would use to sum up the year would be "courage." This year took more courage to face and live than any other year of my life. There were several personal and work related challenges to overcome, I was already exhausted and discouraged when the year began, and even more so by the time I started on my journey home. While I would never want to relive the pain of this past year, it drove me to the Lord in ways that I had never been driven, and I wouldn't trade that for the world. 2015 and 2016 have left some deep scars on my soul, but I serve a God of healing, and He is redeeming those tears into something beautiful. So, for now, the word for 2017 is Hope. I have hope for continued strength, hope for healing both physical and emotional, and hope for better things. I have hope that the lessons I learned in the dark valleys of the last two years will not be forgotten, and that the Lord is not finished with me yet. So, 2017, I am ready to walk the adventure you have for me.

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh...And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 4:7-11, 12:9-10.

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