I am so glad 2015 is over. It was trying in more ways than I should share. I think Satan had his fun trying to destroy my spirit and my heart. However, a truth has provided hope in each attack: the joy of the Lord is my strength. This has comforted me and kept praise on my lips. Yet, I am not Super Andria. Discouragement has not been avoided. There have been moments and days of great emotional distress. Tears of heartbreak and disappointment could fill buckets. Finding something to be grateful for every day has been my goal. Every day, I look at my darling husband and precious son and am reminded of God’s great grace. They are so beloved. Recently, I feel the energetic kicks from my growing daughter and consider her the most unexpected and treasured gift of God. I am so grateful for hands that have moved on behalf of my family, for love and comfort from caring people, for genuine prayers, and for every provision. Each of these has been a tremendous encouragement and blessing in my family’s life.
The highs have been ecstatic and the lows have been torturous. Through it all, I could not see nor hold onto hope without the hand of Yahweh. He is my peace and my provider. Even though we are in a new year, I already see the challenges and attacks continuing. However, God has thrown many mountains into the sea and has taught me so much about His great love for us. I know the tears will not dry up, for my heart has always been sensitive. I will continue to be saddened by life disappointments, difficult circumstances, undue criticism/ misjudgments, damaging gossip, and lack of compassion in the world. I remind myself that everyone has an opinion and perspective. Sometimes it is really hard to avoid discouragement from people’s negative opinions and perspectives. There have been so many times I would just like to switch places with people so that they can see through my eyes and I can see through theirs. It is easier to just hold onto a belief or attitude than to allow another viewpoint or belief to be considered. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our own heads that we do and say things we regret. Sometimes it is so easy to revert to youthful tendencies in order to protect ourselves. No matter how old we get, we can fall into bad habits and make rash decisions. I have to remind myself that the most important opinion that matters is my Creator’s opinion. He sees us for who we are, knows every small piece to our life puzzle, and loves us justly and gracefully. He knows every heartache and every battle. What we feel is minor or miniscule matters to our Life-giver. When we feel insignificant, He reminds us that we are worth more than gold.
How greatly we need the Lord’s wisdom and love to flow through our speech and actions!! I think that is what God wants to teach us for as long as we breath: our great need for Him in every aspect of our lives. If I can keep my eyes on Yahweh and trust His guidance and presence, the weight of the world falls away. Sometimes easier said than lived out in all honesty. Yet, not impossible. So many occasions in my life, I have felt the weight drop when I lean on God’s presence. A shoulder to cry on, a prayer by a friend, an encouraging reminder: these make such great impacts on the heart. They direct me to God’s presence. This year, my goals are to continue to seek strength in the joy of the Lord, be grateful through it all, and live and breath for His glory. May God be praised!
This has become a new favorite song: Soar by Meredith Andrews.
“Here I remind myself what You said over me
Here I remind my soul who You are
You said You won’t relent
Won’t let go, won’t forget
Every promise You have whispered to my heart
As I wait, As I wait on You
I’m gonna run and not grow weary
I’m gonna walk and not grow faint
Rise up on wings like eagles
I know with everything you’re with me
I know you’re working as I wait
Lift me up on wings like eagles
This desert holds a song I will sing, on and on
You’re a river when the ground I walk is dry
You will set the crooked straight
Clear my path, make a way
You will lead me from the valley to the heights
Your name is greater than anything I’ve faced
Your name is greater than anything I’ve faced”