Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 ~ A Year in Reflection

I've been spending the last couple of days reflecting on the end of 2013 and the new direction that I believe God is guiding me towards in 2014. Last year I was asked from a Facebook post to think about a word that God wanted me to focus on in 2013 and that word was Trust. For me, as a Christian, it's one of the hardest things when storms come to pray about it and then not worry about it again. It's the old adage that states "easier said than done." The one thing that has really helped me out a lot this year is knowing that others struggle in that same way. In fact the last church service we had, our pastor asked how many of us struggle just to pray without interruptions or even stay awake long enough to finish. And here I thought I was the only one going through just that struggle.

But it helps to know I am not alone.

This year has definitely been about being pushed out of my comfort zone. In fact my brother and I had just shared that same thing the other day when we talked. How when we don't want to leave what's comfortable, if that is the direction that God is pushing you towards, He will ultimately have to cause you to step out and deal with the consequences, which in most cases, isn't easy to face. For me this year has definitely been about learning to let go and let God. While my hubby traveled extensively last year vying for a potential permanent position with a company he's been working as a subcontractor for.

For him, it's a dream fulfilled.

For us, it's a growth opportunity.

Looking back I couldn't have imagined what life would be like living alone and struggling with dealing with day to day challenges that life brings. Like car issues, financial issues with raising money to pay for travel until he can expense it and having enough for us to live on until then. Unexpected bills that come up when you least expect it, surgeries, and then dealing with the loneliness that faces you when you don't have your spouse around. No health care insurance at all and then having a medical or dental issue to deal with! There is an awful lot of time to reflect on things.

You often wonder if this is the right thing. Is this the right job for our family even though the money is good when we have it?  Is this what God has in store for us this year? Is this what God wants us to do? Are we in His will or our own? To learn to stand strong and lean on Him and no one else?

I feel it has been. It has definitely made me stronger as an individual. It has cause me great pains to learn to trust that God knows what He is doing.

He wants me to depend on Him first. Only Him at times.

That is what has happened in 2013. I have found God in those quiet moments. Those whispers.

God has asked me to Trust Him.

I have seen my growth and helping to manage things when my husband is not home. I've learned how to contend with things I would have run to him to fix. It hasn't always been easy, but I have gotten through it.

Joyce Meyer is famous for her analogy of using a trip around the moment and the saying that if nothing changes, then NOTHING changes. If we keep trying to do things the same way and expect different results, that is the definition of insanity. That is precisely the reason the Israelites went round and round the desert for 40 years when it should have only taken them 11 days. I know I was tired of dealing with the same results of my life. The struggles and uncertainties of what lay ahead even though I couldn't see that far ahead.

It was being content to deal with what God had laid out for me to deal with in just that day. Using the strength and provisions He had provided for me. No extra manna gathering for those rainy days ahead. It was hard but the results looking back are amazing. I have walked with God through those fires and have been refined in some areas.

I am far from perfect but I do know walking into 2014, I want to do it with God more and the world a whole lot less. I want to know God in a more deeper and intimate way. I want to rely on Him more and me a whole lot less. There is work ahead, but I can't wait to see what God will do when I commit my life to Him in 2014. That is the word I believe God has called me to work on in 2014. Commit.

How about you? What reflection has God shown you in 2013 and what lies ahead in 2014? What challenges lie ahead? What storms are you preparing for? Are you preparing for them now or are you going to wait to see if they come?

Let me know if you want me to add you to my prayer list for 2014. I'd love to encourage you and pray for you in any way. It's definitely part of what God is calling me to do this year. Happy New Year's Eve my dearest family and friends. Here is my quote that I shared on my Facebook page today. I think it's perfect for today.

"Let's spend less time focusing on the concerns of the world we'll soon leave, and more time on the eternity we're headed for. Will you commit?"


Sharon said...

I so enjoyed your thoughts on 2013. God has done, and continues to do, great work in all our lives, doesn't He?!

I also ask the Lord to give me a *word* for the year, and the word He's given me for 2014 has really stopped me. (I'm unveiling it next Monday). The reason it has stopped me is because looking back on the last 3 years, I can see how He has woven His *word* into a sort of theme for the year. So, 2014 is going to be interesting - for God's *word* is all about something that doesn't come naturally to me.

I think He likes growing pains!!

Happiest New Year, and as always, GOD BLESS!

NanaNor's said...

Dear Kat, Great way to end the year. My word last year was trust and it is hard for us humans. I'm not sure yet what word He has given me for 2014. Hope you are blessed beyond measure!
Hugs, Noreen

Anonymous said...

In July - God started working with me on breaking bad communication habits with my boys - that focused on academic results and not ideas. It's also morphing into empowering communication where I don't give up my boundaries. I love how God seems to give us mini-studies - just one-on-one each year -whether that year starts in July or January - and He coaches us, making us stronger, more whole! Wishing you blessing in this new year - joy and sweet surprises!

David C Brown said...

Blessed are all who have their trust in Him!
The Lord bless you in this New Year.