I realize that I said I would put out a post about Hanukkah and what it means to me. Obviously Hanukkah is over, and I didn’t get a chance to write what I wanted to. Not to say that I still can’t; however, I don’t think I’m supposed to. I think I’m supposed to talk about something else. I believe I’m supposed to write from my heart.
I’m going to take a step outside of my comfort zone and talk about some personal things. Well, personal things to an extent, that is. I want you to hear from my heart. I want to encourage and bring you up! This past year has been one of the hardest years I think I have ever faced. Trial after trial after trial pushed up against me and my family, and even friends. I don’t need to go into detail about every single thing that happened to make the year so terrible, but I do, however, want to talk about how amazing it was. Wait a second. I just said this past year was one of the hardest years I’ve ever been through! Let me expound…
“The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom should I be afraid?” Psalms 27:1 This verse, and many others similar to it, is what I rely on! I believe with all my heart that the Lord is my light and salvation. He is the stronghold of my life, amen! Shouldn’t that be enough? To whom shall I need to be afraid? Unfortunately, we as humans get so full of fear and doubt we forget whom we serve, and we begin to live in fear subliminally. I won’t lie, when trials came – life changing trials – it was very challenging to keep my head up high and move forward in a positive light. Oftentimes I would turn to Scripture as my place of refuge, if you will, to keep a peace of mind and spirit. Afterwards, I would feel so refreshed, and I would know that God had not left me nor forsook me.
So back to the question. Why was it the most amazing yet terrible year? Because I would not be where I am today if God had not brought me through what I’ve been through. You have heard from numerous Bible teachers that you become stronger after you face the trials. Or through the hardships you gain strength that you didn't know you could gain. Well, let me tell you, it’s true! I have grown closer with my family, I have grown more spiritually mature, I have learned things about myself I didn’t know about that needed deliverance, I’ve learned what trust means. I’ve learned not to take for granted what God gives me, but to cherish every moment as if it were my last. I’ve truly treasured memories and friends, yet have learned to move forward to do what’s best for me. I’m learning what calling God has placed on my life. Without the trials and without hitting rock bottom I would be so lost and blinded by so much. I am thankful for this past year and all the ups and downs that it brought. I am stronger and more mature than I was, and I can see things that I couldn’t see before.
One thing I want to mention, is if there is anything that you have gone through that has been absolutely painful, whether you were hurt by people, or you were the one who hurt people and now feel the shame from it, please choose to let it go. Do whatever you need to bring reconciliation or healing so that you can be free from such burdens. All you need to do is pray and give it to your Heavenly Father and just choose to let it go. It is your choice. Nobody has to force you to do anything. You are the one keeping yourself in bondage or releasing yourself into freedom. God ultimately gives you the healing and freedom you need, but you can’t have it until you have truly in you heart let it go so that you can move forward. In my opinion, you have already been given the freedom to begin with, you just don’t receive it until you’ve chosen to let go. Maybe you need to forgive who hurt you or perhaps ask for forgiveness, or just forgive yourself. Maybe you need to reflect on the situation and be thankful for coming through the trial and coming out stronger even if you can’t see it. Pray and ask God what you need to do to feel His peace and freedom. Next time an unexpected hardship comes your way, just smile, and whisper to yourself, “I can do this”, and He will help you every step of the way. It doesn’t have to be a terrible situation unless you make it one. Just know that all things work together for the good of those that love God and are called according to His purpose. And that is Scripture! YOU are called according to HIS good purpose! You have an amazing, bright, full of life future ahead of you. Nobody said it was going to be easy. So sit tight, and brace the waves!