Oh, what a year! It started well. I started a new job on January 23 after a tumultuous 2016 with jobs. In September of 2015 I left a job of 10 years, because of lets just say not great working conditions, only to jump from the fire into the frying pan with a job of even worse conditions. I prayed each day for the strength to work there and be a light in that office. The Lord graciously gave me that strength and the words to speak after 5 months when it became evident I needed to leave there. He then opened the door to a wonderful position with an elected official that made me happy to go to work every day. Unfortunately at the end of 2016 that job ended because my boss lost the election. But because of connections made through that position I was offered the position I have now which is a perfect fit and I do enjoy going to work every day.
February began a downward spiral…My brother passed into the presence of the Lord from cancer. That hit me hard. He had tolerated his treatments well and it really looked as though he would beat this cancer but in the end this aggressive cancer was no match. God needed him more than we did here.
April began a physical challenge for me. I had some nagging pain in my lower back but found I could still run. I was training for a half marathon and was a little concerned I wouldn’t be able to accomplish that. But in May on the day of the race I went feeling positive figuring worst case scenario I would end of walking. But I had the best half I have ever run with a PR. (personal record for you non-runners). In early June I ran a 5K again with a PR for that race and first in my age group. Then 2 weeks later I was unable to run. My lower back hurt and I had nerve pain running down my left leg. I had no choice but to stop running. I found a great back doctor but had to wait a month to see him. It was very difficult. Running is a stress release for me. I gave it all to God but still struggled.
June arrived with the news that my mother-in-law passed away. Once again we were at a memorial service. Yes it was wonderful connecting with family near and far and sharing wonderful memories of her life, but so sad.
July arrived and I got to see the back doctor. A series of steroid injections along with ice packs helped me feel much better. But then our 13 year old black Labrador Retriever died. He was my comfort when my brother passed and such a loyal companion to my husband and I. Our hearts ached with missing him and I couldn’t run.
August I continued with treatments for my back and found I could do some power walking for exercise. I was feeling better but still missed running
September my mother passed into the presence of the Lord. That hit me hard. No parents left. At her memorial service as we gathered with family and took pictures it was very noticeable that some were missing. The reality was hard to accept. It was then that I finally really gave it up to God and gave myself permission to fully grieve. I took time off from work to care for myself.
Then once again in October another death. My cousin passed away from ALS. A horrible disease that has robbed us of 4 other relatives previously. Her testimony of faith during her illness was inspiring. I know without a doubt that she is with the Lord but once again we are missing a family member here on earth. I said to my husband, “When is this going to stop?” 4 family members plus our dog was too much. He actually answered that question, ” We are next”. I didn’t need to hear that. It was supposed to be a rhetorical question I told him.
So…we have made it to the end of 2017. Here I sit on December 31 reflecting on this year. This is my take away…God is good. This is life, the hard to take part of life, but life it is. The good and the bad. I am blessed to be His child and now I have more boldness to share that. He has blessed me with a loving family, a loving church family, abundant provision. I trust Him wholly.
Security from Yesterday…“At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.”
Security for Tomorrow…”This is a gracious revelation, that God will garrison where we have failed to. He will watch lest things trip us up again into like failure, as they assuredly would do if He were not our rear guard. God’s hand reached back to the past and makes a clearing-house for conscience.”
Security for Today…”As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, unremembering delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let is sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.”
(Oswald Chambers referencing Isaiah 52:12)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!