See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

~Isaiah 43:19 NIV~

This has been a challenging year.  In fact, as I look back on it, I believe it could have been one of the most challenging years I’ve ever had.  Generally, I am hopeful that the bad days will pass and soon, all will be well again.  But the feelings of fear and dread have been difficult to shake lately.  Though I trust in God and in His provision, my ability to lay all of my worries at His feet has been tested thoroughly lately and it has been so difficult to maintain any sense of hope.  Thankfully, I know that my God is able and that He will bring me through whatever difficulties I may be facing.  For whatever I’m dealing with now, He has something in store that will bring beauty for ashes and add even more to the testimony He’s already given me.  Though I’ve struggled with everything from grief and loss to finances and relationships this year, I still believe that He has a plan for me and that it all means more than I have the wisdom to see right now.  He never promised it would be easy, but I know that my God loves me and that He did not bring me all the way up out of that pit to knock me down again.  And so, I wait.

At this time last year, I was in a relationship with someone that I truly cared about and I had hopes that things would go well.  I spent at least eight months off and on, dealing with this guy and finally realized that he was not the person I deserved.  He did not have what I needed and he never would.  It was unfortunate that my memories of him from years past had blinded me to the man he had become and that I simply refused to see that he had no ability to care about me.  When it finally sank in, I was able to walk away from him confident in the knowledge that I had given it my best shot and that it wasn’t worth another minute of heartbreak.  My family tried to warn me that he was no good, but I kept hoping that things would change if I just hung in there with him.  I had a cutoff point in mind and if I’d tried to let him go on the basis of someone else’s say-so, I just would have gone back to him again later.  As with all of the lessons we must learn, the level at which we absorb and understand the messages God is trying to send has everything to do with how loudly His voice resounds in our heads over everyone else’s.

So, a year later and a great deal more heartbroken, I look forward to a new year filled with hope and possibilities.  A year filled with rebuilding, renewing and restoring the peace and joy I felt before I jumped into the whole mess.  I’m hoping that I’ve learned some lessons and that I won’t make the same mistakes this time around.  While I don’t doubt that this man cared about me, I know now that he just was not able to care for me or to let me care for him past a certain point.  This may have been okay years ago when I was struggling to love myself, but now that I know who I am and how much love God has for me, I can’t allow myself to settle for anything less than a good man.  I have no doubt that the many other challenges I faced this year would have been so much easier to deal with if I’d been with the right person…or if I hadn’t been wasting my time and energy on the wrong one.  These are the things that become evident long after the damage has been done.  Thankfully, God has given me the grace to move on and the wisdom to break free from the chains this relationship placed on me.  I plan to spend this year, breaking free from even more chains and rising to meet the call that God has placed on my life.  Not sure I could have said that yesterday and meant it, but praise God, what a difference a day makes!

Have a wonderfully, blessed Christmas, everyone!

But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”

~Acts 5:19-20 NIV~

 

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