~ How Quickly We Forget ~
Courage To See The Hope
Accept Change & New Beginnings
Happy New Year, Beautiful! The new year offers seasons of hope filled with new beginnings and fresh starts. I don’t know about you, but instead of embracing this new year with excitement, I have found myself all tied up in knots. One moment I’m hanging onto the rope carefree, squealing with delight, the next I find myself at the end of the rope barely able to hang on, forgetting where my focus should be. That’s when I have to remind myself, when we’re at the end of the rope, all we need to do is look up. God is at the end with all Hope!
I generally look forward to each new year because it’s a fresh start to new beginnings while we look back and celebrate how God has carried us through another year; whether it was full of blessings or a year filled with great suffering and refinement.
As I shared before, my word for 2016 was Favor and I had no idea what life would be like when the Lord lavishes His Favor on you all year long. I’m not talking about just Favor financially where the Lord spoiled me with lavish vacations or even that He paid off all my student debt (Grammy Tammy is still screaming hallelujahs), but victory in many court trial cases where God used me as an advocate while breaking my own fears.
Favor didn’t necessarily mean that life would be quiet or that life would be easy without trials or great pain, because there were increased burdens with the Favor; but it did mean that my Lord continued to walk alongside of me as He challenged and stretched my faith to new, deeper levels while trusting in His provision, guidance and direction. Though there were periods of great pain, the Favor that was extended promoted more growth than I ever could have imagined. Such intimacy!
This Favor God enveloped my year with included even the long-standing and promised reconciliation with members of my family that had been absent for years all due to forgiveness along with the development of deeper friendships that no amount of money or price tag could be equated. You can read Daddy’s Little Girl here.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a firm believer that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13) and that requires community; you know, friendships that can help drag us to the finish line when we’ve become too paralyzed in fear or too exhausted to take another step. We’re only as powerful as those we do community with! I am indeed living out life as a rich, blessed woman; rich with friendships that I have a hard time containing. I bet you didn’t think Favor equated amazing friendships, did you? It does!!!
2017 offers Courage. Courage to me equals change. More change? Oh Lord, please tell me that isn’t so! The courage I needed throughout 2016 married many defining moments, especially when the Lord said that courage would be my greatest test I would ever have to walk through without knowing the outcome. Am I going to walk by faith or faint by sight? I’m relying more these days on Psalm 34:7 that says, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.”
I totally get it that the only way hardships can touch upon our lives is if the Lord allows it, but knowing Courage is my word this year, I’m going to have to rely more on the words that Perfect Love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).
Being honest here, I don’t know about you, but I tend to forget rather quickly how the Lord has sustained me throughout my entire life, much less how He took miraculous victory just a few short months ago. People often ask me, do I really read my Bible every day? Let me sum it up this way: I’m a reactor and tend to panic easily, reacting in ways that rob me of total peace and self-control (Hello!!!). This beloved is only strong and courageous when her nose is in the Word. I did admit and say I was high maintenance, remember?
I’m alive and thrive because of my Jesus! To exist with this jovial spirit, I need me my Jesus time for the renewing of my mind and to cast off all old behaviors and beliefs that my old mindset used to conjure up with. Trust me, I still have those brief, rather pathetic, moments of freaking out while performing my infamous Tammy Tantrums, but then I run to my secret place and purge my heart out to my Lord. That’s going to take more than great courage for me to master; it’s called a life that is a work-in-progress and proud of it!
Courage also includes getting back to writing, you know, even finishing that book called Flight 951 that I do not care to finish. Don’t know why either. Prayers, please! I also need courage in being me; no matter what that looks like. I know my story needs to be shared, one that takes great Courage, but I learned during my Year of Favor that God has a plan and purpose that is being unveiled. I’m a firm believer that there is power in numbers, and community has taught me that we not only need each other for love and support, but for power that walking through it together offers.
So let’s welcome in a Happy New Year, Beautiful Beloved, as we embrace this new season with lots of courage and love as we trust in our Lord! I would love it if you would share your thoughts or prayer needs below.
Until next time…