Today is the last day of a rather interesting year. I suppose this is the day many of us do an evaluation, a review of the past year. What was good about it and what was not so good.
This year has been one of much change for me. There has been losses , pain, gains and a renewal as well. A real mixed bag.
When the new year started I was vacationing in Hawaii. Due to pain I had been enduring for over 3 years my mobility was limited, yet I enjoyed the vacation to the maximum. The following month I was going in for my first hip replacement surgery and 3 months later, I was going to have my other hip replaced. I was optimistic that my life would get better after the recovery period.
Little did I know the ways that my life would improve! I was looking for physical changes in my body but as it happened, I had a spiritual renewal as well.
During those quiet days and weeks after surgery, I had more time to read and think than usual. I would get different ideas coming to me to read or reread certain books. I read The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. This story really spelled it out about following and persevering in our faith along the Christian path. Had I been doing this, the past 24 years? The answer was an alarming ‘No’!
I next, read some of C.S. Lewis’ books about his conversion to Christianity and his subsequent walk with God.
Along with these books, I managed to find a book written about my former Pastor. As I read the first part of the book, I was mentally nodding along, remembering some of those incidents written in the book. Then I got to the part of the book where, I was no longer part of anymore. It was at that point that I felt such remorse and regret for all those lost years. I never stopped believing in the redemption in Christ but I had lost my relationship with Him. Oh what, grief I felt over turning away from Him all those years. I asked God to forgive me and recommitted my life to Him.
As soon as I was physically able, I started once again attending church and becoming joined to the body of believers.
Loss, this year was due to misunderstanding with a friend and her refusal to accept my desire to keep this friendship. Looking back now, I see this as part of God’s plan. She was opposed to Christianity and probably would have dropped me anyway. The saying, “When one door closes and another one opens” was so true for me this year. I reconnected with a dear Christian friend. This friendship has been a real blessing for both of us. We have seen miraculous answers to our prayers.
I have also gained some wonderful friends in my new Church. I am learning so much from this wonderful community of believers.
All in all 2012 has been a pivotal year for me, changes in my heart, where it really counts. What more could I ask.
Wow! So much has been happening in the last month. There have been marvelous answers to prayers and reconciliations in my family. I find that my focus is changing to things of the Lord. My desires are changing to be in tune with His.
Today at church we were learning about love and keeping it or going back to our first love.
We love because Jesus first loved us. Not by my own power but His alone. When I forget and get my focus off the Lord, I fail. My own love is imperfect but His alone is perfect. I seek to know Him better and be filled with His love. I’m so glad I’m back on the path. It is a journey that won’t truly be perfected until that Great Day.
Today my heart is full with thanksgiving for the goodness of God in my life. In all the steps along the way He has been there protecting me. He had His hand upon me when I walked away from following Him and my steps took me into other places. So many times I could have ended up in tragic situations.
Even when I thought He wasn’t answering my prayers, He still did, because he had a greater plan to give me my heart’s desire.
I am grateful, He has once again drawn me back into fellowship with Him and other Christians. I am truly blessed.
It is amazing to see God’s work in my life. The fact that I have eyes to see this is in itself a miracle, considering where I was in my journey a few months ago.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give the the desires of thine heart.”
I take this as a promise that I will have all my desires fulfilled but I have been thinking about this. God is transforming me day by from the inside out and changes my heart’s desires.
I have been wanting a certain study bible, have been desiring it more than anything else recently. I found one at a bargain price and picked it up yesterday from a Christian bookstore. I could hardly wait to start reading it! My visit to the store turned out to have a blessing in store for me. I mentioned to the clerk that I had just come back to the Lord after 24 years and was trying to locate a dear friend. When I mentioned her name, he knew her well and we called her from the store. I left a message on her voice mail and she called later. This was an answer to prayer!
God is so good. He cares about the little things in our lives as well as the big things. Sometimes it is not easy to know why difficulties happen and God seems not to hear. The knowledge that He is ultimately and has a bigger plan that I may not see. Prayers are always answered even if they are not in the way we want.
As I write my memoir I am grateful for all that God did for me. He really is a God who answers prayers and cares for our every need. All those years ago, He was my everything. What happened? I don’t know why I broke off fellowship with the Lord. I didn’t stop believing in what Jesus did for me and knew I never would. Yet those years away, I was looking for love in all the wrong places. Isn’t that what we all are searching for? Yet only in God is perfect love to be found. God is love.
Although I did forsake my fellowship with God, he never left me. When I think of all the close calls when I walked in a different path, yet I was preserved. That could only be the hand of God.
I am truly amazed and so very grateful that God has gently and graciously drawn me back into the fold. He has called the scriptures that I once knew to my rememberance and I am singing the songs I once sang with renewed joy and adoration of sweet Jesus.
It is great to have that peace once again deep within in me and the assurance that all will be well no matter what comes my way. He has delivered me in the past from the grasp of the enemy and can do it again. He is an all powerful and all knowing God. He is merciful and only by his grace and what Jesus did on the cross for my sins can I truly live.
I recall the words of a song, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone.”
Those of you that have been following this blog know that after 24 years I have come back to Jesus. Little by little, I have been given insights and the truth into the Word of God. I am thankful that I have the gift of faith and I believe the bible as the true inspired word of God.
Last week I felt that God seemed far away, yet I still knew that He was there because it is by faith not by feelings that we know God is there. I have been praying that I can have a closer walk with the Lord and His love would flow in and through me to others. For myself I truly know that God’s love lifted me and saved me through the precious blood of Jesus.
Today in our service we had Communion where we take the sacrements, bread and juice (wine) in rememberence of Jesus and what He has done for us. I know something happened to me today because I felt something shift inside. I have no proof other than I have a renewed and greater gratitude for what was done for me at the cross.
I’ve been reading the bible everyday and I am always looking at a bookmark I cross stitched years ago. It is one of my favourite verses from John 14:6 , “I am the way, the truth and the life”. The rest of the verse reads, “no man cometh unto the Father but by me. Our Pastor read that scripture out this morning and the truth of it rang in my heart once again.
I am so thankful that if we earnestly seek God, we do find Him in whatever time and whatever way he chooses to reveal himself to us.