This is a post that is has been a long time coming. A farewell to 2012, and an ushering in of the new year. I thank the Lord for newness, what a blessed gift.
Long have I held the belief that my writings must be in a form of code. It is a precaution against exposing the raw feelings that are deep inside, that is, a precaution against others twisting my words or losing the explanation altogether. For too long I have been afraid of writing at all. The deep heart-wrenching pain has caused me to keep a tighter grip on letting anyone see. Pain unimaginable had pierced me to such a point, I wondered if I would ever heal at all. And words, words would not come to me, and I stopped writing and instead replaced the written word with tears. I have always expressed myself through writings, even if I never shared them with others. When I felt I did not have the courage to write, weeping was my release. The year of 2012 holds close to none of my writings, for they were not immortalized into the written word, but kept with a tight grip close to my heart.
Part of the fear that has held me back from writing has been the notion of not wanting to cause dishonor to fall upon anyone. But, I've come to realize that every single one of us are sinners and imperfect. That includes me especially. I have never tried to claim the title of perfection or the ideal Christian, but rather the more I encounter God through His word and worship, I am more and more humbled and realize how desperately I am in need of His grace evermore. But Christ's words still says we are to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. I am NOT perfect, but I am to strive for it, and oh how I often I fail. We all fail. The difference is, some are children of God and as the Psalmist (73) says, "My heart and flesh my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and portion forever." To the word of God I cling, for I have found how others have forsaken me.
Part of me is compelled to write now, but the other part is still hesitant. What will I say and how should I say it? I feel as if I have been too silent. But in that silence the most incredible thing has happened: I have known God as the Comforter and Healer. I am still being comforted and am still healing. Knowing His love and grace in this way has slowly given me back my joy, laughter, smiles, and I've realized more than anything, how important it is to live and enjoy what God has blessed me with, though I have lost so much. Once more in my life I have learned to say as Job said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." Our time here on earth is but a mist, a flower that fades, here today and gone the next. What can we take from this world? What do we gain? God is absolutely sovereign, and in His good pleasure He gives and He takes away. If we bless Him when He gives, then we ought to bless Him even when He takes away. Are His gifts more precious than the Savior Himself? It is easy to say yes, but it is harder to live the yes. As His chosen child, how could I even dare to say His choosing for me is not good?-after all, He is the one who chose to save me before the foundations of the world in the first place! Why would I not also trust His choosing what might best sanctify me in this life and what will draw me nearer to Him? The precious words of Scripture have been close to my heart for these past few years, and only over a year ago did I know intimately how true they were, Phil 3:7-8 "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,".
What did "all" mean for me? My family. I love my family more than anything else in this world. They were the ones I poured my heart in prayer over, the ones who's prayerful tears were spilled for. I wanted nothing more than to share the love of Christ with them every chance I had. Yes, I often failed. But God gave me that grace to continue to love them even when I failed... and by His grace, I grew and matured as the years passed, and as the years passed, my love was more selfless. "All" was also the comfort of the familiar. And yes, for the surpassing value of knowing my beautiful and precious Savior Jesus Christ, my Lord, I suffered the loss of many things. Even my name as His child that He redeemed. That is the worst of all, to have people that you love, and even people you don't know... to believe the worst about you and to either merely doubt you are a Christian, or to not believe you are at all. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:8b-9 "that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead" Yes, to even despair of life, but it is trusting in the Lord, not ourselves that brings us through. When I was so broken-hearted and felt as if it were impossible to live a normal life ever again, when I sobbed so deeply and felt my pain so acutely I thought it would never end, even when I felt I could not hold on in my own strength, I was comforted by the truth of God's word once again, as David says in Psalm 63:8 "My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. Still, was I ever resolved to follow my Lord and Savior, and by His grace I could, for HE was the one holding me in His right hand. All also meant my character, my image, who people saw me as, perceived me as, took me as. All was the life I lived. And it was a process, realizing that this "all" was loss. It began years ago, and it felt like it lead up to one devastating loss of last year. But even so, these alls were loss in view of the surpassing value of my blessed Redeemer.
Above all, even my dear husband, I love and treasure my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am learning to live the abundant life he promised as He continue to heal the wounds of my heart. After all, Christ says in His word in John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Stripping me of all was/is a work of Christ, and in return He is showing and continues to show me more of His love, life and truth; piecing this broken heart back together one day at a time and giving me more abundant life. What a wonderful Savior, what a wonderful God!