In the last few days I've seen a lot of facebook statuses, tweets and blog posts about how difficult 2012 was.
My current facebook status is this: Goodbye 2012. You have been painful, and you have been beautiful. I wouldn't change a minute of it.
We entered 2012 battered, bruised and so tired. We had no idea what this fresh year would hold for us. Had I had even the tiniest glimpse, I might have knocked back an extra drink or two on New Years Eve!
I won't give you a month by month recap of our year, because many of you have lovingly walked it with me. You know the emotions and fears I struggled with, because many times it was your prayers that carried me, especially during periods when my own prayers ran dry.
Selling our home was a difficult process for me, and there were many, many, MANY tears. I don't like letting go of things. I don't know how to.
But what God did in the month of June alone astounds me. Anyone who watched it unfold had to have seen that it was God at work. It stretched us and scared us and thrilled us, all at the same time. We stepped out in faith and trust and God delivered. Our house was listed, sold and we were in a new home within the month.
I returned to the workforce on a 2-3 week temporary assignment that resulted in a full time offer of employment with a salary that far exceeded my expectations.
We we able to purchase a second car for me to drive to and from work, leaving the van for Ian. We have always been a single vehicle family, even when Ian and I were dating. A second car wasn't something we thought we'd be able to have.
Our children are happy. We have a fenced back yard with a deck that we used constantly this past summer. The park near our home is ten times bigger than the one in our old neighbourhood. It is so peaceful and feels safe here. The neighbours wave to one another on their way to work. We look out for one another. One neighbour even returned our dog when he got out one afternoon and even knew his name. Sam and Julie have more freedom here, and they love it. We've replaced furniture that was all but broken down in our old house.
He's given me new friends, and restored our extended family relationships.
Pretty great, huh?
God is doing something in me, I can feel it. He's speaking to me in the verses I'm reading, through the people I'm talking to, the sermons and music I'm listening to, the course I'm taking at my church. I'm finally getting it... He loves me! My sinful, selfish, messy self. He loves me and He has a plan for me. I've just been soaking it in and trying to get my head around it. My deepest fear has long been that I would leave this earth never connecting my heart to what I knew in my head to be truth. That I would miss my chance to know who Jesus really is. But I feel it happening. I sense Him with me, I talk to Him all throughout my day. I'm learning to trust Him. Oh how I wish I could explain this better.
2012 was all about letting go. Looking back, I can clearly see all the areas where God had me let go of things. (Sometimes ripping them from my vise-like grip!) He has taken my life and shaken it up and shaken me free, and set me down in new surroundings to begin again.
I have no safety nets. No home I own, no padded savings account. Just the Lord. I know that my faith is going to continue to be tested. Do I believe the words in my heart that I speak from my mouth? We have enjoyed a calm season, but when the storm rages again - and it will - will I rest in Him? Will I remember then what I know to be truth now? That He is the same in the valley as He is on the mountain? I hope so. Oh, how I hope so.
I don't know what 2013 holds, but I do know Who holds it. I know that there is a good plan for me, and I pray daily that I will have the courage to live out these days He has ordained for me in a way that will please Him.
May 2013 bring you abundant blessings, joy and peace to your heart.
With much love,