Photo Credit: Martha Stewart
A happy and blessed new year to each and every one of you! I am so thankful for new beginnings. For the chance to start again. A fresh start. For another opportunity to do those things that I think I cannot do. To push through. To learn from what I thought were limitations. To rise above the obstacles, adversity and incredibly painful experiences that tried to take up permanent residence in my life and in my heart over the past year.
2010 is the end of a year that we are thankful to let go of but more importantly it is the end of a decade.
The end of a ten year long lesson on overcoming. Rising above. Coming undone. Being unraveled.
And most importantly learning, growing and becoming closer to Him through it all.
I have clung to Him. In ways in which I could never write about here. Through experiences that I am saving to share about in the book that I believe He is bringing forth. Things I never dreamed I would have to walk through.
But I am thankful that I did.
Over the last ten years I have been pressed down so hard I didn't think I would ever recover. We have walked through so much and our testimony has grown so wide and so deep that at times, our circumstances caused us to question our faith. Do we really believe what we say we believe?
Yes. We do. I do. I know that God is good and that He is for me and not against me no matter what the circumstances look like. I trust Him still . Even though He has allowed untold hardship and adversity. Many years of it.
I know Him to be good, and loving, and faithful even when our lives and situations do not match His promises. He is still good.
He has blessed me with a family of my very own and woke me up this morning and gave me the start of a brand new year with each and every one of them.
I can't sing His praises enough for that and that alone.
Last year during this time I prayed a prayer that changed my life. I asked in that prayer that God would fulfill His purpose. That He would have His way. That His will would be done- no matter what. And that He would remove any and all hindrances. That He would unravel any false beliefs or anything that was keeping me from Him. That also, He would remove any person from my life who was not really for me and my family. Who was not the real deal. That He would show me - clearly- so that I did not waste any more time and energy and effort with things, situations and friendships that were not from Him or that were not of Him.
Not everyone is meant to be a part of our destiny. There are just a few. The faithful ones.
And I wanted so desperately to know them.
I wanted the divinely orchestrated in every single area of my life.
I have such a big family whom I love caring for that I no longer wanted to waste any time away from them on friendships that weren't at all what He had planned for me.
I wish someone would have warned me what was about to happen when you pray a prayer like that.
He is faithful.
Talk about unraveling my life. Talk about revealing the hidden things. Talk about showing me clearly who was really for me and my family.
Imagine how heartsick I was when my own Mother walked out of my life. Again. There are days that it is still so hard for me to believe. Especially after all the years that the Lord restored. Or so I thought.
There have been days over the past year that I could barely stand because the process that I prayed for was just too much. I wanted it to stop and did not want to know another thing. I pleaded with Him as one by one He uncovered betrayal after betrayal and mean spirited hearts. I was being unraveled as He revealed the hidden things in my life......
He showed me friendships where I had given way too much and was just being used over and over again. He showed me a friendship that was so one sided and was completely for the sole benefit of the other person- who seemed to have developed a hobby of copying every single thing I did. Whether it be my clothes. My children's clothes. Things in my home. The way I write. The way I talk. The way I give gifts and pull things together in my home. The way I decorated my nursery- as humble and minimal as it was. Everything and made no apologies about it. She was relentless.
It was heartbreaking for me to feel so used after giving so much.
He even allowed my cell phone to ring by mistake one afternoon and allowed me to hear a conversation between two "friends" who were with one of my children on a play date. I sat and listened with tears streaming down my face as my "friends" criticized and judged me up one side and down another about the size of my family, among other things. I remember hanging up the phone, going straight to the play date to pick up my child and never mentioning a word to anyone. I was thankful for the knowledge as painful as it was but I was so hurt and felt like giving up on ever finding a single divine friendship.
He showed me very clearly exactly what I had asked Him to .....He also allowed me to even discover someone doing her best to impersonate me on line- even stealing my posts and highjacking my spirit and doing her best to emulate me. Someone who caused a lot of problems for me in real life was now attempting to do the same thing in the blog world. A true enemy.
And He challenged me to pray for them. All of them and so many others and other situations that I haven't even mentioned. They are too numerous to even mention.
I pressed through praying for them one by one. All of them. Through tears and what felt like a pain inside my bones, I have spent the last year praying for and blessing those who have hurt us, rejected us, wronged us, betrayed us and who have spitefully used us- just like He asked us to.
And it has pressed me and challenged me in ways that I never knew were possible.
All of this and so much more made me want to never write another post again. Go private or close it down and retreat to simply be alone with my family.
Exactly what the enemy wanted.
From the very first post ~ the very first day~ over three years ago, I have given Him the glory and written about Him and my own personal experiences that have tied me to Him.
It wasn't something I saw someone else doing- and then tried to copy it. I knew no one in the blog world and I knew of no one in real life who had a blog.
It is completely and one hundred percent original. So it is painful when someone tries to steal what He has done. It cuts down to the bone and marrow. And has made me want to stop writing. Completely.
It is and has always been His original idea~ and I have always felt humbled and honored to be the vessel typing the God-breathed words out on the keyboard. I have always loved writing here and am very passionate about it and have felt such despair over what I have walked through this past year personally.
It has definitely been reflected in my lack of posting.
And so after spending some time with Him and receiving those things that only He can give....
I am going to press on and press in and refuse to retreat or shrink back or write less in the new year. I am keeping closer to Him than ever before and refuse to be less than who has called me to be but desire to continue on no matter who or what tries to stop what He wants to do. I hope and pray at the start of this brand new year and brand new decade to receive every good and perfect gift that He has for me and my family and nothing less.
And the book......my hearts deepest desire. ......I am believing this is the year.
I pray that this would be the year of the fulfillment of His promises and that ALL we have experienced and walked through and survived during the last decade would become the raining down that He talks about so beautifully in His word. That we would receive the former rain and the latter rain and every beautiful thing that He has stored up for those who love Him.
We have been praying for the raining down of recompense in the spiritual and in the natural. So you can imagine my heart singing when I woke up this morning, on the very first day of this new year to ....
the rain absolutely pouring outside. Only He could do that.
May you receive it all in the days and weeks and months to come sweet friends.
Happy New Beginnings...