I usually count my blessings daily and my heart’s desire is to continuously give thanks and praise to God, though I confess I fall short. So despite a year of obstacles, challenges and downright spiritual attack, I found myself hesitant to consider my year in retrospect. I was dragging my feet even though I usually start pondering in Fall, all of the things God has been revealing to me. I’m not sure if it was the accident on October 31st which was the straw that broke the camel’s back, or the fact that Thanksgiving was later than usual, thrusting the Christmas season upon us at breakneck speed. Either way, I found myself dragging my feet to put pen to paper about 2014. There were great blessings and great trials. Great joy, and great pain. I started the year with the word Renewal and soon realized my vision and God’s version were not the same…at all.
I bought my last journal for 2014 in November in New Jersey at Pier 1 Imports. I thought I would carry it through the New Year. But, I am ready to leave behind 2014 and embrace all 2015 will be, for better and worse. I can say with Paul,
“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Phillippians 4:12
It was while scribbling before God in my journal where My One Word was affirmed for this year. I had a few themes swimming around in my head, which seemed to keep coming up: Joy, Simplicity, Abundance, Abiding…BUT, God opened the door as He does when He wants to speak to His own, and I felt the confirmation that only The Holy Spirit can give.
How did God affirm it?
Through a church message, through my daily quiet time and journaling, through a song and through my reading of His word. But, ultimately God used a number of incidents, circumstances and voices to confirm what He wants my focus to be…even before I was sure, I wrote the words in my journal…and they were a witness that I saw staring back up at me, reminding me of His glory!
From my Journal December 19, 2014:
(and I have to say, I usually share older entries from my archives but due to timeliness and time lack, I felt this was so appropriate to share)
What really matters this Christmas…
1. I did not get a response from people…
2. My car is not working…
3. The enemy is shouting lies at me…
4. My tooth is broken; needs work…
5. I am in debt…
6. I don’t know what to do about all of my circumstances…
Now, to appreciate this little exercise you have to enter in the contemplative mode with me. See, my journal is a place I reflect, so it is pretty “in the moment”. As I wrote each of these random problems and brought them before my Faithful, Merciful God, He poured out His grace and truth into my heart, soul and mind. But how he did it is what confirmed my word!
God showed me the BUT!
As I sat in His presence, I continued my list, BUT across the page after my Ellipsis (yes, I had to look that up but in case you are as lost as me and wondering what the heck that is, it’s the three dots at the end of my statement indicating my trailing off…)- I wrote But, I am Redeemed.
Talk about a game changer in perspective.
God spoke clearly to my heart and then brought the Hymn to my mind that was sung earlier in church, “Jesus Paid It All” (music video link for e-mail subscribers).
“Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.”
Perspective. That’s what He gives me when I spend time with Him. That’s what really matters at Christmas and always. That’s what matters for now and eternity. That’s what really matters PERIOD.
So, my One Word for 2015 with all praise in, t and through Him, is Redeemed. May it define all I do and say this year.
And for you my friends joining me on the journey…I pray you know Him, and the power of His resurrection, personally, in your life this year. May each problem, obstacle and opportunity allow you grace to respond…“But, I am Redeemed!” May you know Him better today than yesterday, and may His grace abound to you.
“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 2Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary 3And gathered from the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south.…”~ Psalm 107:1-2
Jesus Paid It All (O Praise the One)
Linking with my Fellow Journal Keepers at Random Journal Day for the first time in 2015!