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A fresh start….and a thankful heart.

January 2, 2009

I’ll be honest with you, I really don’t enjoy New Year’s eve or day as a holiday at all. I’ve always thought of it as a time to mourn the end of Christmas and all the fun and magic that come along with it. Truthfully, I usually feel somewhat depressed on those days.

This year, however, I’ve been determined to see the new year differently, and to look back on 2008 with different eyes – and try to remember all the blessings I’ve walked through and experienced in the last 12 months.

And the blessings? They just kept coming!

In the last year:

  • We have been financially powerless….as in NO resources and NO jobs. We have had nothing and been privileged to a first row seat watching how God has provided something from nothing! It’s been literally amazing to see how our Father has worked miracles in our life this year. I’m so grateful that I can look back on the last 18 months and realize that there was nothing I could have done to change things….it was all God! To some I know it looks like we were stupid and foolish to make this move with no money and no jobs – we’ve been told both directly and indirectly that we screwed up….but you know what? At no other time in my life have I been able to honestly say that we had to rely completely on God’s provision for us. Sure it was painful at times and on more than one occasion it was confusing, but the end result and the big picture literally takes my breath away. We had nothing but our faith and the support of some significant people….and the end result is a faith that is bigger, stronger and more solid than ever because now we KNOW that God will take care of us when we follow his leading.
  • We have had our expectations – what we thought we needed and wanted stripped away and radically adjusted. I can clearly remember saying to somebody when we were preparing to move that I would never consider living in an apartment again – been there and done that. I thought I needed and deserved a house for all my hard work! You know what I discovered?  I don’t need a house….I need a home. If you didn’t already know, there is a big difference! My home is where my family is. My home is where my heart is at peace and I can totally be myself. We live in an apartment right now….and all 4 of us are completely at peace! My kids love it there – they tell me all the time. I have everything I need and more. Someday we will have a house again, but I know now that what I want and what I need are totally different things. I don’t need big, or fancy or impressive….I need what my Father provides because he knows what is best for me.
  • I’ve watched my husband struggle and question and wrestle and come under some significant attack both spiritually and relationally….and I’ve watched God sustain him every step of the way. He’s stronger now than he was a year ago…more sure of himself, more mature, more solid and more responsible. It’s a blessing to watch what pressure and struggle do in the heart and life of a person who is submitted to God…it creates beauty and strength!
  • We have had the amazing privilege to be on the receiving end of  the loving care that happens within the Community of believers in the last year. We have been carried and encouraged, sustained and provided for on numerous occasions by loving precious people both within our family circle and within our church community and friends (both past and present). It has healed some of the broken places in my heart where I believed some lies about community….and it’s been so amazing and humbling to witness!
  • I’ve watched some precious relationships die within the last year (my grandmother passed away December 27th of 2007) and I’ve seen some amazing new relationships start in the same year…He gives and takes away doesn’t he?
  • I’ve seen my children grow and flourish and mature in so many ways in 2008. They love life, they love school, they love learning, they love their home and friends!
  • I’ve been allowed to walk through some pretty difficult times emotionally and relationally in the last year. I say allowed, because I honestly believe that while these “difficult times” have not been something I asked for, they were something I needed. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life worrying about what others think of me and trying to please everyone…to keep peace at all costs. I’ve learned that peace at the cost of real relationship doesn’t mean much. Real relationship is difficult…and sometimes messy. Any relationship worth investing in is worth fighting for when things get difficult or messy. I’ve grown in this area, but I still have a lot of growing to do….and I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to continue that growth!
  • I’ve been been provided with a job that I both enjoy and that provides me with a welcome challenge as well as the opportunity to use some of the skills that I’ve not used in years.
  • I’ve walked through some significant high points and some significant low points….and I’ve seen God’s hand in each. Joy seems deeper and richer when you experience it along with pain!

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it certainly represents the scope of experiences that I’ve walked through in 2008. Some of those experiences I would never want to repeat…and some of them I hold as treasures in my heart.  I’m walking into 2009 as a fresh start…a clean slate, with an expectant and thankful heart for all that is in store for me and my family in 2009. Thanks for being part of my journey, and may your eyes be opened in a new way to the blessing of joy and pain in your own life!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2009 3:33 pm

    Tracy, my Love, you have more than eloquently hit the nail on the head! I am thrilled and awestruck to be on this Journey together with YOU.

  2. January 2, 2009 3:44 pm

    Very well said and a great encouragement and reminder for these days. Love you!

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