Wow! Another year is gone and a new year beginning, filled with new hope, peace and prosperity.
It's a shame, but I (personally) have to say good riddance to 2008 and I'm welcoming 2009 with open arms. As many of you know the past year and a half has been very trying for me. You know it's easy to say, when you're having a bad day that you are stressed. I'm one of the guilty parties that is until I really felt STRESS for the first real time last year. God tested me and my faith. Honestly, I didn't think it would ever end, which can really wear on your nerves and hope to see the light of the next day. I can't make you understand what trials and tribulations I've been in this past year, unless you've been in my shoes for a while. All I can say is being in the cold and darkness without any hope of ever seeing the light of day. Being surrounded by severe illness, health problems, complications, depression, bad drama and death. I don't believe God put me in this extreme situation to punish me for something I've done, but test my faith. I think I've survived through it, but it was very exhausting and I've got scars from the battle wounds. Yes, I've failed God in the way I accepted many of these tests. I think back and agree that I could have responded to a lot of these trials differently, but all I can do is accept my fault, apologize and try to do better the next time. I can't help but think of the book "The Secrets of The Vine". If you are a gardener, you'll understand this concept. Like a gardener cutting back a rose bush, in order for it to produce beautiful blooms the next Spring; God has to hack away at his children, in order for us to be molded more in His glory. If you've ever seen a pruned bush, it has scars from being cut so many times. We too will have scars when we survive through one of many tests of faith.
I do applaud how my family handled these tough situations. If any of us ever questioned our strength as a family, we were definitely tested first hand last year. Yeah, it felt like an earthquake was underneath our feet and things were rocky, but we continued to look straight ahead, holding each other tight and kept going forward. I believe it was our love for God and each other that kept us so strong.
Now 2008 is behind me, I'm looking forward to a stronger faith, stronger marriage, stronger family, a new life and a new hope for 2009.
Happy New Year to you and yours!