Thursday, January 8, 2015

Looking back...

{old pic from when I lived in Washington}
I think I've been subconsciously putting off this post for a long time.  Because looking back at last year isn't the easiest.

I've said before that it wasn't ever any single catastrophe that made it hard.  And to be honest, I'm very grateful for that.  It was just rather like walking through a swamp.  Stinky, sticky, every step taking five times more energy than it should because you sink a little every you put your foot down.  I told a few close friends that it was The Year of Bad Surprises.  Everything that looked good and promising -- new friendships, kids' activities, churches -- dead-ended at best while some things sort of blew up in our faces.  There was even a minor health scare (that didn't seem the least bit "minor" at the time).  

I would rather look at the last few months of the year, when things started to look up. We moved into a new house, made better friendships, I got pregnant, etc., but to ignore those first months as I talk about 2014 would be to leave out part of the story. 

This time last year, I was reading several blogs that talked about their "words of the year."  If anything, it depressed me even more.  I didn't have an inspired word. It was taking all my energy just to get through that swamp! But as the year ended, the word God was giving me (or us, my family) was "Restore".  I keep thinking of Psalm 23:2-3 -- "He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul."  Last year, I was tired, and scared of what was ahead.  Now, I can still get scared -- of course, because we're talking about me, and especially at 2 am when fears suddenly grow and tower over me the way shadows did when I was little.  But I can also see what God did -- powerful, rebuilding work in my very weary heart -- and know that He is able. That He cares enough to fix all the broken in my life, to sweeten the bitter and even put "icing on the cake" sometimes.

I don't know everything this year has in store for me, and I'm not 100% sure of my "word" for 2015 yet.  But if I could sit down with you and share all the gory details of last year, my prayer is that you would walk away from our conversation with more energy and hope -- not just because of what was done for me but also what I've seen God do for others.  And I also pray if you're in a "swamp", it won't be long before you can see the still waters, too.

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