As I reread this post I made a few years ago, I’m grappling with how tough 2017 was. It was a year when I held on for dear life to keep from going under. My spirit was grieved. My heart was heavy. My relationships were challenged. I was often puzzled and confused. I begged God to make sense of the world we live in. My call/purpose felt opaque. Yes, there are/were many, many reasons to rejoice and celebrate (even on tough days) the goodness and faithfulness of God in 2017. If I’m honest, I often struggle to have spiritual eyes to see it. When I think that the highlight of my year could be boiled down to witnessing April the giraffe give birth to her baby boy, Tajiri, that says a lot. It magnifies my struggles. [Let me interject a thought here. I realize that the Social Media ‘highlight reel’ often paints a different picture about life than what we may really struggle with. We choose what we want people to see. AND we see what we want to see. We assume a lot!! Yes, where there’s sunshine, rain is sure to be there, too.] Here’s my original post:
A few days before the end of last year, I turned over in bed and my eyes connected with the ‘at a glance’ flip calendar on my night stand. I noticed all of days that had been ‘flipped’ and stacked on the left side. Everything I need to do that day and the days ahead are on this calendar. Calls I need to make, bills I need to pay, emails I need to send, birthdays I need to remember, people I need to see or pray for, etc. This calendar keeps me sane. Literally. I often tell my family that if they want to know where I am on any given day, just look at this calendar.
I’ve made a habit of keeping every calendar from past years. The calendars represent the chapters of my life. As I looked at the calendar, a peace came over me, His peace. I wasn’t expecting that. I had been fretting a lot that week about all sorts of things. About my own stuff and other people’s stuff. I am sure you can relate to that. I spent many days thinking I could not imagine beginning a new year in the same way that the old one seemed to be ending. Full of uncertainty, trials and tribulations. I was weary, worn and sad at the thought of doing just that. Then, it was like God’s eyes met mine and He said to me, “Kathy, my child, look at all the days you have flipped over on your calendar. Days you never thought you would make it through. Are they not a reminder of My faithfulness to you? By my providential hand, you have almost completed another year and you’ve fretted most of those days!! See, I have brought you through. Rejoice!” With that, I agreed and smiled and turned over. God was right! How many days had I been fearful or anxious about something so much that I could not even see how I was going to get through the day? Many. There where many days where I did not want to see another day if it was going to be a repeat of that day or of previous days. Obviously, I’ve gotten through that day and other days since. God did not take me home as I asked (and even begged and demanded at times). He brought me through because HE is faithful and because there is no testimony without a test. There is a message in the mess. I declare, He’s keeping me here for a reason. You, too!
Dear one, are you grappling with believing in the faithfulness of God today? Have you lost hope that the new year will bring peace and joy? Are you not convinced that He can keep you in the midst of your circumstances? Well? He can. Remember that as you begin a new calendar year and a new season that the last 365+ days are a marker of His faithfulness. HE brought you through every one of those days. The easy days and the challenging ones. Start this year off right. Trust Him. He is Faithful. He will see you through. His Word tells us so.
That brought me to tears. Thank you dear Kathy for bringing this vulnerable side to the front. I am looking back too and seeing how he carried me.
Why do I think by worrying, or not giving stress to God, that I have power to change certain things, things that only He can change. But He sent another, who does have the power, to help me respond to trials and hardships in ways that please God, and by turning my worries into prayers, I’m creating an act of worship.
Beautifully said. This, too, is the cry of my heart. Thank you, Toni.