December 31, 2010

The End of a Long Year

2010 is coming to an end.  It will close out tonight, and tomorrow will be the first day of the New Year.  It is an exciting time for me because it brings closure of a sort to my life.  I have been on this journey for several years now.  I started it back in 2006 when I came face to face with the death of a young friend.  It was a moment that caused me to sit up and take notice of my own life.  The shortness of her life, brought to a close at so young an age (only 30), required me to evaluate my own life and a number of choices I had made.  I spent the next two years in deep reflection and study of God's Word.  Throughout this time, I came to understand my own neediness as well as the Lord's blessing of Grace upon my life.

The following years were spent in constant conversation with the Lord, and this in part, enabled me to survive some difficult and devasting situations within my life and my marriage.  Not only did I survive a widow-making heart attack (my husband's), but also a brain hemmorhage/stroke that was called "life ending" (again, my husband's).  Both illnesses required a year recovery, and resulted in major financial turmoil for our family.  We lost signficant income opportunities, and lived near the poverty level (and on Medicaid for our health expenses).  The same year as my husband's stroke, I came face to face with infidelity and the ensuing failure of my marriage (then 24 years).  After agonizing details were revealed to me, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was going to be single, and nearly 50 years old.  My identity was firmly established as wife and mother, and though I continued in the role of Mom, I had to re-identify myself as a working single parent.  It was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do, and in hindsight, it was the single most traumatic event to occur in my life.

This past year has been spent learning how to be single.  I have had to relearn how to manage money, and I have had to establish myself as a working person.  I am working PT now, but looking for FT work.  I am also a graduate student, responsible for my own student loans.  My life has taken a new turn, and I am now a confident person.  I know myself, and my identity is firmly grounded in my faith in Jesus Christ.  I am ready to tackle most anything, and my trust of the Lord is secure.  I have come so far in such a short amount of time.  I have learned that I can be dependable, and that I am able to provide for myself and my son.  I can manage money, pay bills, purchase necessary items, and live frugally/modestly within the boundaries and guidelines of Scripture.  I know now that I can manage a home, care for my 17 year old son, and make financial plans without fearing any repercussions.  I can do all that God asks of me because everything is depdendent upon Jesus, and His Grace.

God has chosen to redeem me from the pit of circumstance, and I am no longer the same person.  I have been rescued, and God has changed me into something useful, practical, and good -- for His Kingdom and His Glory.  I am blessed, abundantly blessed, and through His Grace, I am now able to contemplate all things in accordance with His will for my life.  If He says go, I go.  If He says stay, then I stay.  I am His and He is mine, and together we will do His Work for His Name and His Glory.  Amen and Amen.

Happy New Year 2011!  God has great plans for this next year, and I am excited to see them come to pass.

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