January 7, 2010

A Fresh Start

Happy New Year!!!

Isn’t it great to start a new year? To be given a clean slate….to leave the past behind….to start over completely fresh.

I love it! Starting over soothes the soul in a way that few things can.

I can tell you that I have never been happier to start a new year than this one. This last year has been the hardest year of my life. I have struggled with my life, my faith, my spirit, and with my God. I have hurt in places that I never even knew existed in me. I have questioned who God is, what His motives are, and why that He has allowed such pain and confusion into my life. It is the most lost that I have ever felt in my Christian walk.

I could go into what that is all about but I will just say it like this. This past year we lost one of the greatest dreams that God had ever put into our hearts and soon after that we lost one of the greatest joys the God had ever brought to our life. To say it was a tough year is a complete understatement.

I have never experienced a time in my life where I have been more filled with confusion and hurt and questions that just have no answers than in the last year. It has been a life changing experience and I will never be the person that I was six months ago.

Have you ever noticed that when you are in a crisis that it completely steals your focus away from everything else? Trust me when I say that it does :) A great friend of mine recently told me that I needed to take a step back from all I was looking at. He said that I was standing so close that all I could see was the problem. In essence....that meant that even though God wasn't answering my questions to my liking.....or on my time table.....that I was so absorbed in the problem that I couldn't even see the things that God was doing.

So I've taken some time....I've stepped back the best that I could... and I have reflected on the last year....AND..... I have seen God's hand in action all along the way. I want to tell you a couple of things that I learned during this time of reflection.

The most important thing that I can tell you that I saw is this…. GOD NEVER LEAVES!!! . I mean He never leaves ..... Ever! When I questioned Him.... He listened. When I yelled at Him (Yes, I have)...He smiled. When I walked away....He followed. When I doubted...He was visible. When I cried..... He drew near. No matter what I did..... He stood right beside me and He never ever left.

The second thing is this. No matter what is going on in my life God is still God. He loves me, wants only the best for me, and He will work this out for my good in His perfect time. Just because I may not be getting answers or seeing things through God’s eyes does not mean that His plan is not already in action every single minute.

All that being said, I’ve given myself a fresh start with this New Year. I’ve laid down the last year’s hurts, disappointments, questions, fears, anger, confusion, and worries. That doesn’t mean I am over the things that have happened or that I won’t ever pick those things up again. What it means is this. I have put all these things back in God’s hands where they belong and I have started fresh once again. It may not be God’s will that I ever know the answers I’ve been seeking….but it is always His will for Him to take care of me. That is more than enough.

Friends, Will you join me in starting fresh with God this year? Will you take some time to reflect and see God’s hand working in your life? It’s time to make a choice. It’s time to lay it all down to the one that it belongs to in the first place. Will you lay down the hard things that you have been carrying over the last year…..years? Will you give it to Him and leave it in His hands and trust that He will make something beautiful of it in His perfect time? It’s time to give it back to Him. We were never meant to carry it in the first place.

Please join me. I know it won’t be easy. I will struggle to hold onto the past and the questions that I have. So will you. But it’s time to let the weight of all that go. Our Father loves us. It is not His will for us to carry the things that we don’t understand. It is not His will for us to feel brokenhearted, or guilty, or unloved, or misunderstood. It is His desire to walk with us the hard things of our life….and to carry the things that we don’t have the strength or knowledge to understand.

Let’s lay it down guys. Give Him our burdens, our past, and our future. Lay it down! Accept the freedom He gives. It will change us forever if we will but trust Him to do what is already His nature to do. That is to take perfect care of us. There is nothing He wants to do more.

Lay it down! Then look up and watch to see what He does. We are going to be amazed!!

Blessings and Peace and Freedom in the New Year!