This year was tough. No, scratch that, it’s been the hardest year of my life. No exaggeration. I’ve been waiting for this day for so many months and it’s finally here! The last day of the year. 2018, hello and goodbye, and may we never met again.
Happy New Year.
I love the fresh smell of January 1st. It feels like there’s so much hope
I know, because it’s December 31st, and I just lived through – barely survived – this year. You know what though? God is good.
God is God in the Middle of Pain
That’s right. I’ll say it again, God is GOOD. I had to evacuate from a country that was going through a nationwide strike – God is good. My mom had surgery because of a tumor – God is good. My aunt died the week of my mom’s surgery – God is good. My teacher has cancer and is fighting for her life – God is good. I learned this year that no matter how tragic life is, how upsetting and unconventional, how completely unpredictable and unprepared you are for what it throws at you – God is here and He can be trusted through all of it.
I barely skimmed the top of the list of tragedies, you have no idea, but that list is nothing compared to the list of the things God has done in 2018. I am able to recall the difficulties this year, and God’s victories far outshine them. Thank you, Jesus! 2018 is over.
Honestly, I want this new year to be easier, a little less drama and trauma, you know? But I was thinking about it recently that what if it isn’t? What if it’s just as challenging or worse? My pastor recently said that peace without Christ is the absence of pain but peace with Christ is found in the middle of pain. That hit home for me.
For some months, I’ve felt if I could just make it to 2019 things would be easier – I would find peace. But hearing my pastor say that recently, reversed my thinking and I remembered God is
This year taught me that in order to get through life, I’ve got to choose to find Jesus in every situation. I’ve got to choose to seek beauty, to be grateful, to lift my hands up when my heart is broken in pieces on the ground – to praise God when that’s the last thing I want to do. I’ve got to trust Him, whether in the calm waters or in the storm.
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2
God is good in the Nightmares
A pastor once talked about nightmares. He said God never leaves you, even in your darkest hour, even in your nightmares. A few nights ago, I had a nightmare about drowning. I was struggling to breathe, water was everywhere, I had nowhere to go… but something got me out. I rose to the surface somehow. From there, I encountered other challenges but listen, Jesus was there. I didn’t see Him but I can look back at that moment and see He made a way for me, God helped me rise to the surface. That’s literally how I can look back at this year. God has helped me to rise above it. He was there, even when it was hard to see it.
Check out this verse I found:
Some went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
They saw the works of the Lord,
his wonderful deeds in the deep.
For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.
They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
and praise him in the council of the elders.
Notice their response. First, they cried out; they sought God. They surrendered and humbled themselves, let God know they couldn’t do it alone. Then when God came through for the merchants, they praised Him, they thanked Him. Princesses, let’s thank God, but not only for what He has
This morning I was reading 1 Thessalonians 5, and God reminded me of this verse: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you… Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” – 1 Thess. 5:16-18 & 23-24
God is good in 2019
Princesses, this next year may be difficult, more challenging, and it may be wonderful, full of the greatest blessings. This year may bring people into our lives who will uplift us and those who will try to tear us down. This year may bring life and it may bring death. I don’t know what it will look like, but what I do know is this: God will be with us. My prayer is that He would refresh us this night as we walk into 2019 and grant us grace to continue walking towards Him as we enter this year.
Father, I want to thank you. You have been so good to us this year. We are alive. We have purpose. You died for us and are with us even now, as I type these words. Jesus, I thank you. I honor you. I praise you God, because though we walk through the valley of death, fear will not overwhelm us, for your love conquers all fear. Holy Spirit, come and fill us afresh. We need you, God. We can not make it through the highs and lows without you. You are faithful. We will not leave you as you will not leave us. Give us renewed boldness and strength, to be mighty warrior princesses. Be the Lord and Master of our life. Help us to trust you when it’s dark. Help us to find the goodness in everyday. Help us to stay grateful, rejoicing always, praying without fail, and trusting in You. You are our only Hope, O Savior of the world. Jesus, we love you. Go before us in 2019. Amen.
God loves you, Princesses. Whatever may come, He’ll be with us.
Here comes 2019. Let’s do this.