It is a new day, a new year and I find myself looking at all my friends post on Facebook, Instagram wishing their loved ones and their friends a happy new year! For a minute or two I think about the year just gone… a mixed feeling floods my heart. It has been a very strange year: hybrid education for the kids for part of the year due to restrictions imposed due to the “pandemic”. My husband working from home all year round, feeling trapped. Challenges at work. Friends drifting apart. Parenting challenges (so many to count). Frustrations. Hopes shattered. Mask wearing. Frustration. At this point you might be feeling sorry for me and thinking I had a terrible year. Or maybe you are thinking about your year and you have the urge to slap me on the face and tell me to get a grip. I realise that so many people have had it much harder than I have.
So, let me tell you last year was also a very blessed one. I have so much to be thankful for. I saw more of my husband this year than ever before. I saw him grow closer to God and be strengthened in his faith every day. I watched him overcome the struggles at work with a noble attitude I wish I could have. I was able to help my kids more with their school work and I could appreciate their struggles as teenagers. We cried and laughed together and many cuddles were given. We have a pet cat and I discovered I am a cat person after all. I had the privilege to learn a new language (well, still working on it) and I read many books which challenged me and helped me to stay focused on what is important and grow closer to Jesus. I had to put all my trust in Him again and again when tested by human failures. I gained so many new friends and strengthened so many older friendships. What an amazing God we have! Even in the midst of the crazy time we are living in and the strange things we have to adjust to, He has time to work in my heart.
God is good always. He is faithful. He is just. He is sovereign and He reigns over all. He never changes and His promises are true. Thank you Lord!
As I look ahead, I cannot stop thinking of the question people will ask me when I return to work in a few days: what is your new years resolution? What is my resolution? There are so many things I need and want to change. Where do I even begin?
Two verses have been coming to my mind lately:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
My desire is to live each day more like Christ. I pray that the Holy Spirit will help me to offer my live as a living sacrifice and that I will be strong to fight the temptations to conform to the pattern of the world, whatever they might be. That my eyes will be focused on Christ. I hope my priority will be to continue to grow in my faith and trust in God. Before you have the urge to stop reading this post of feel physically sick thinking that I am such a righteous-person, super-Christian that knows all the right things to say, let me tell you, that this could not be further than the truth. This is what I desire. It is a prayer because I know how much I will struggle tomorrow to put my phone down and open my Bible to read it. I know how difficult it will be to say no to watching TV to put time aside to finish reading the many books I have started and to work on worshiping the living God with everything I have. I am sure I will be much quicker to frown than to smile at my kids silliness. I am certain that I will be much quicker to criticise than I will be to offer encouragement through my words and deeds. Nevertheless, my heart desires to walk closer to the author of salvation, the giver of life. Oh how I need Thee! I need His help each day, each moment.
Maybe you feel disappointed whilst reading this. I have no big resolution made. All I really want is to continue my journey here, serving God better. I want to continue to stand firm for Jesus. The world is changing all the time and pressures are being made for those who follow Jesus to change along with it. To conform, to be moulded by it and be flexible in our beliefs. To compromise, so everyone is happy. So everyone is pleased. And so on. I guess you can see the picture.
Please Lord, help me to stand firm and be renewed each day by your Spirit and walk closer to you, so my life can bring glory to your Name alone.
So, to all of you, I wish a blessed year, full of opportunities to grow in your journeys of faith standing firm for Jesus.