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Friday, January 18, 2013

Looking Ahead

I'm dusting off my good old blog here and hoping there are still some folks out there listening...

Life in 2012 was hard. There were amazing days, but also very dark, painful days. My word for 2012 was FAMILY. I had hoped and prayed that meant healing of my marriage and my home.

To God, apparently, it meant the opposite of what I prayed. In March, I found out my husband had lied to me about so much of our life together it seemed as if it was all a lie. In fact, it was. He moved out in May and has never looked back, intending to file for divorce.

But what the enemy has meant for evil and destruction, God has used for good. My home is now filled with peace instead of the turmoil addiction brings. My children and I are healing. And there is hope.

Is it still hard? Absolutely. There are tears and wishes for the healing we had all hoped would happen.

But we have learned that even when life is unfair and wrong and painful, God is still very, very good. He loves us with a love no human love can match.

And we have a promise that life here is not what it's all about. We have a forever home in Heaven and that’s where we fix our eyes~ on Jesus, who is preparing a glorious place for us where we will see Him face to face forever.

Even the good in life here pales in comparison.

Our light and momentary troubles are creating for us and in us something far greater than we can imagine. They are growing us up in Christ and showing us that faith is the only way to live.

FAITH is my word for 2013. I really didn't want a new word for the year since the last words have been painful in their being lived out in my life.

But starting with the gift of a beach trip for my children and me over the holidays, we've begun to see that to have faith in God is to hope, to see Him do more than we can ask or imagine.

One clear picture from our trip stands out as a symbol I hold onto for this year. It started at Christmas when my precious kiddos gave me this gorgeous charm bracelet. On it were seven charms~ three depicting my special names for my children, one with three keys because they hold the keys to my heart, a wolf, a globe for missions, and a dolphin.

Now, I love dolphins and we have always enjoyed seeing them when we're at the beach, but they aren't really a favorite animal I'd put on a charm bracelet.

While we were in Daytona Beach, we saw sting rays and tons of birds, but no dolphins. On January 3rd, the day before we were headed home, the four of us were sitting on my bed praying and looking out over the ocean.

I'd just started praying about the stories of faith I'd read in the Bible that morning: Abraham, Hannah, Jehoshaphat, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and how these men and women walked in faith and not fear and God delivered them.

I happened to glance out to the ocean as I prayed and was stopped mid-sentence.

There were dolphins!

A whole pod of them, dancing and leaping in the waves. We just watched and smiled.

Then I realized why God had my oldest include a dolphin charm on my bracelet~ to remind me that to walk in faith is victory. Joyful, hopeful, dancing victory.

We are still walking in the valley of the shadow of death. But as Psalm 23 says, we have nothing to fear because God is close beside us.

With his dancing, leaping, joyful victory in store for us.

And the picture of His beautiful dolphins to remind us to walk in faith with a joy that can only come from Him.

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