We are each designed for a unique and divine purpose. Live yours!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bread of Affliction and Water of Adversity = Hope

First morning of the new year. Much too cold to sit on the deck with my coffee, but I'm pretty sure Katie dog and I will be taking a walk in a little bit. I know it's traditional to say Happy New Year and look ahead to the new year, as if waking up one morning is going to make everything different—better, happier, healthier, wealthier, wiser and all the other things we wish for. 2013 was a challenging year for our family. We have said several times that we're ready to say good-bye and to embrace 2014!  Truth be told that as hard as some of it was, I don't think I will dismiss last year so quickly, as I reflect upon it this morning. 

I did awake this morning with a sense of both relief and anticipation.  While I have made new goals for my business, new personal goals, and new goals for our family, I won’t dismiss all of what I learned last year.  Some of the “old” will definitely remain.  I realized last Sunday, through some indescribable moving of the Holy Spirit, that God has been refining me, breaking me – and breaking my heart, honing me and reshaping me particularly in the last year, to grow into the image He has for my life.

How can I say I wish anything had been different? I learned that in no uncertain terms, I am not in charge—of anything.  I can pray and beg and rail at God and He responds as He sees fit. Sometimes the two seem incompatible and diametrically opposite. I would give or do just about anything to have my Mom back with us. I have felt her though, many times since March. She is in the “serendipity” I have experienced since then. I believe whole-heartedly, she has guided some of my goal-setting and certainly intervened in a more esoteric, spiritual realm. I won’t share all the “everyday” incidents (though I am going to begin journaling them) but I have an unshakable certainty that it is so. I find myself smiling more than once a day, knowing it’s her.

I won’t presume to say that I will be at better anything or in any way in 2014.  I will only say that I will try, every single morning, to wake up with a sense of relief and anticipation. Relief to have “survived” another day on earth, and relief to wake up with the hope and promise of yet another day . Anticipation that whatever happens, whomever I meet, however things turn out, God has all of “it” all figured out. And Mom will be with me always, in the serendipity.

“For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:16-17).

“For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you.  And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:19-21 NIV).
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:3-5 NIV).

Blessings on your journey, Mary

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