In 2017, I experienced heartbreak unlike any other when I had to let go of someone I love.
In 2017, I experienced an eternal joy when my sister committed her life to Christ, and when my other sister gave me a nephew.
In 2017, I experienced a taste of what true healing from wounds really means.
In 2017, I experienced self-discovery.
In 2017, God allowed my heart to break for reasons I don’t yet understand.
In 2017, God gave me eternal joy, blessing me with gifts I do not deserve.
In 2017, God taught me how to begin the healing journey.
In 2017, God revealed more of himself to me, shining light to the truth of who I really am in Him.
2017 was a year of much hurting, much joy, much confusion and feelings of being lost, but yet much clarity in other ways. Every year brings its ups and downs, its lows and its highs. Every stage of life brings its set of challenges and its comfort. This reminds me of a poem my mom shared with me, by a boy who is only 14 years old:
“It was spring, but it was summer I wanted,
The warm days and the great outdoors.
It was summer, but it was fall I wanted,
The colourful leaves, and the cool, dry air.
It was fall, but it was winter I wanted,
The beautiful snow and the joy of the holiday season.
It was winter, but it was spring that I wanted,
The warmth and the blossoming of nature.
I was a child, but it was adulthood I wanted,
The freedom and the respect.
I was 20, but it was 30 I wanted,
To be mature and sophisticated.
I was middle-aged, but it was 20 I wanted,
The youth and the free spirit.
I was retired, but it was middle age I wanted.
The presence of mind without limitations.
My life was over and I never got what I wanted.”
When I think of this poem in relation what to what this year has brought me, and how it seems that if I’m honest, it was one of the hardest years of my life so far, I become so incredibly thankful that I have a God who is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The same God who existed in 1928, 1958, and 1988 will exist in 2018. The same God who existed in the Old Testament, existed in the New Testament, and exists today. His good and perfect characteristics never change. Even though the years change and our circumstances change, God never will. The plans that we make for our lives never go as we plan; our plans change, but God’s do not.
One of God’s perfect characteristics is that he is a solid rock, “a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation” (Isaiah 28:16) in our times of trial and trouble. David writes in Psalm 18: “But who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except God?” (v. 31), “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!” (v. 46). Here, David praises God for his never-ending faithfulness to him after the times he cried out to God and felt as though He would not answer. These verses speak encouragement to me that God will pull through. An unknown author wrote “It’s delayed, not denied. God will come through for you. Keep the faith, refuse to give up. The best is yet to come.” And these verses also show that no matter the circumstance, God never changes, and is always there! Though our wants and desires change over the years, He remains solid. And His wants and desires for us never change either!
One desire God will always have for us is to remain in complete surrender to Him. God calls us to take up our cross daily, not just yearly, and to therefore live in complete dedication and willful obedience to Him (Luke 9:23). Living this way is a challenge to say the least. I’ve noticed for myself that I tend to think I’ve surrendered fully, until I realize there is just one more thing I have been hanging on to. But this year has taught me that nothing we own or have is ours; it’s all God’s. And I must learn to be willing to give everything to Him because it is technically already His! The Lord’s plans will prevail no matter what (Psalm 33:11, Proverbs 19:21), and for that I am so thankful because He is a rock that never changes and therefore He knows what He’s doing because He always has!
In 2018 and on, my goal is to completely surrender to God every day.
In 2018 and on, my goal is to seek healing from the only one who can truly provide it.
In 2018 and on, my goal is to trust and lean on God more and more.
In 2018, God will teach me to trust and obey, as He has in the past.
In 2018, God will continue to lead me down the healing journey.
In 2018, God will be my solid rock because He always has been, and He is the same yesterday, today and forever.