Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
This verse reminds me to give thanks to the Lord for he is good – in every season, in every valley, on every mountaintop, no matter the circumstance, no matter where you are in life – his love endures forever. He is always with us, if we believe.
For me this year, didn’t quite start out as I’d expected. I was ready to finally work on my next book about getting out of the box. But 5 days before the new year rang in, I fell down on a walk (exercising) and broke my elbow only to find after a few months of therapy that my wrist was actually also badly injured and I’d basically have 3 surgeries in one and a steel bar put in my arm that would tell me when the weather was changing. The surgery was in March and the doctor told me at least six months. At this point in my life I was done with surgeries. So you can bet before I walked into his office to find this out, I literally cried out to God, “Why?! I can’t do this again! Not another surgery.” But he took me right through it till the end of my therapy at the end of August. September and October brought their own medical issues that were brought on partly be stress. But as I look back, I can see that this needed to be a year of more physical healing. God had to heal what was broken within me in order to prepare me for whatever is coming next, and over time, as I healed I became more okay with it. There were things I wanted to do – to write that book, to have a child, but my priorities took a back page to healing so that God could do what he needed to do in my life. For this, I am grateful.
So I wanted to share with you my notes from my journal this morning, of what I’m grateful for and what I’m looking forward to in 2018. I’m grateful for the big lessons and the little things that kept me going.
First of all, I have to mention – Wonder Woman. The movie really inspired me. I love Gal Gadot, not because of the stereotypical way she was a tough female warrior, but because she led with heart and grace and love. Not to mention, her warrior bracelets reminded me of the steel bar and screws in my arm and the scar from the wrist surgery. (Embrace your scars people!!) I loved the part of the movie towards the beginning when she realizes her bracelets crossed shows that the power was within her all along. It’s a reminder to me that with the Holy Spirit, the power is within us all along. Here’s a pic of me side-by-side with Gal Gadot (my favorite actress right now). I often visualized on the healing journey, her using those to fight the darkness. The second pic I love because it’s the moment at the beginning of the movie when she realizes those are where her power lies.
So I want to share with you what I’m grateful for, besides Wonder Woman below and what I’m looking forward to in 2018. May you have a blessed 2018.
1. I’m grateful for the SCARS that you’ve taken the time to heal, Lord;
2. I’m grateful for the WOUNDS of the wrist that you took the time to heal, like you do our hearts;
3. I’m grateful that life comes in SEASONS;
4. I’m grateful for learning from STRESS, that mental health is not meant to be muscled through, but treated and it’s just as important as any kind of physical health. Thank you Lord for giving me weakness in my mental health and for reminding me that my mental health is a priority;
5. I’m grateful for the lesson of finding out that even though I enjoyed something (Going through a Christian Coaching Certification), that sometimes God uses STRESS to tell us, it’s not quite the time or something else may be a priority (like writing a book);
6. I’m grateful for my husband reminding me of what God has called me to do;
7. I’m grateful that God has a plan, and you never know what he’s going to do next, which keeps it exciting;
8. I’m grateful that part of God’s plan for 2018 is for us to move into a new house. We’re so excited and grateful for new beginnings!!;
9. I’m grateful to know that GOD’S TIMING is better than mine, and I can trust Him for what he’s doing in my story with children. He has given me children I absolutely adore, that he’s put in my care and I am blessed beyond measure. Even though I didn’t birth them, or was I there to change their diapers, I love them like they are my own. No matter what happens, these kids were part of God’s plan in my life for his unmistakeable purpose.
As I look ahead to 2018,
1. I am ready to let go of the past, release the clutter, the things that distract me from my focus on the Lord. I am grateful to be able to go through this house we live in now and get rid of things we don’t need to bless someone else who is in need. I’m grateful we can clear the way for the future and say goodbye and thank you to the things of the past. I’m ready to let go of this house, that has served as a home for us as we transitioned into marriage and I, to stepmom-ing so we can embrace a new home that God has chosen for us to live and grow in this next season of our lives.
2. I am grateful to have been given the gift and a love for writing, that I’ve discovered I’m finally ready to write the book that’s always been the second book. God had to reset me, to heal me a little more to make me realize – THIS is the one that’s ready to be written. This book about the deep wound of parents divorcing has been in the outline works for what my husband would say, is over 2 years. I want to help those who are ready to let it go, to walk through the pain and find new, abundant, overcoming life. I am ready and willing to walk through this, committed to the process of helping someone else go through it too, with words. So don’t be surprised if you see me writing more about it.
3. I am ready to release the physical weight, of old habits attached to that childhood event that have only with God’s grace, lost much of their power, but can still try to sneak in sometimes. I want to release the habits that make me believe I need a crutch to get through the tough stuff in order to be a healthy vessel for the Lord’s work in this world. The last few years of surgery after surgery have kept me away from workouts, and as a person who loves fitness, it’s been tough. But I’m ready to get back to it, and be my best for His glory. Lord, I want to be a healthy vessel for your Spirit to work through. I am ready for new habits that come from your loving hand on my life because I do believe you discipline those you love.
More than anything, I can do ALL these things ONLY with you Lord, and your power working within me. I am what I am because of you and I am nothing without you. I can only become what you’ve called me to be with your grace and power.
Lord give me your strength alone to go into this new year ready to let go of all the things you don’t have for me in the future so I can take hold of all the good things you have planned. Lord, you are the love of my life and I look forward to the good you have planned in the new year!!!
May we all seek in the coming year, only things that bring us your peace. May we do your will always.