Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Season to Reflect

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity, under heaven..."
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

As I was drifting off to dreamland last night and was sharing some thoughts, hopes, and dreams with the Lord I began to reflect on seasons of life. The last couple of years have been really interesting and not at all what was expected (pretty typical of most seasons I guess). As I thought back on what led me into the season I'm in now, I realized that there seem to be themes and that I seem to be towards the end of a trilogy (so to speak).

When I stepped into 2008 I had a completely different vision for where my life was headed. In January 2008 I was on this crazy high regarding life and little did I know it was all about to get flipped upside down. I made the leap of faith to finally begin graduate school (after 2.5 years of contemplating and having been accepted by a school). It was a really big deal and I wanted to know what I was doing was right, so I prayed and left it with God, I left with Him the promise that if any point in time this turned out not to be the path He had for me, I would graciously walk away and have faith that He would guide me in the right direction. This was a big step for someone who wants to complete everything she begins and wants to do it with excellence. In March I began my graduate school career and two weeks later I almost quit, convinced that because of the death of my nephew that it just wasn't what God wanted for me. Was I ever wrong, and so glad I was. After missing a chunk of school work I was able to catch up and found myself with an 'A' in my first grad school course. As the months and year wore on I would soon face other curve balls in the game of life and soon find myself feeling as though there was nothing left... but I kept at it, I kept my eye on the prize. Moving into 2009 I began to rebuild what I felt I lost, all the while realizing I lost a part of me in all of it. I found 2008 to be a year of loss and what seemed to be continuous pain. I choose to believe that 2009 would bring restoration of a broken heart, trust that what the enemy intends for evil the Lord truly does turn to good. I like to think of 2009 as my year of rebuilding, rediscovering, and accepting truth.

Here I sit, after finishing my eighth class for this year, adding to my grad school credits a completion of 33 hours and only 15 left to go before I graduate next November. I can't believe it, I kind of want to cry. How I got here, I couldn't tell you, I couldn't even draw you a map if forced to. All the credit goes to God, for I am tired and weak and had it been by my own strength I think I would have quit a long time ago. 2009 truly has been a rebuilding year through residual pain.

So what is left in what appears to be a trilogy of seasons is that of 2010. Do I know what to expect? No. Do I want to try? Not really, I'm finding that being surprised sometimes isn't as scary as one might believe it to be. If I had to take a guess on what "theme" would come with 2010, what lays on my heart at this time is "acceptance." A year to find my own way, to trust that I can do many things, and that even in the times where I trip and fall there is a Heavenly Father who accepts me with open arms to comfort me, to love me, and to encourage me.

I look forward to continuing to share life's adventures with you my dear readers. Tonight I leave with you a song (of course, what else were you expecting?). I'm very much already in the Christmas mood and so I've been listening to music already (don't judge me, it makes me happy and stress free)... Michael W. Smith has a remarkable song entitled "The Promise" and I leave with you a few verses to reflect on. I pray that this year has been kind to you and even in those times where it hasn't been I pray that 2010 will bring you so much more than you could hope and expect. Trust Him, trust the hand that guides you daily and know that there is nothing that is too difficult for God... He's with you.

"Fear not, oh, Israel for there is peace still to come
A word to break the silence, a promise set to bloom
The promise to redeem us, one to free us
Break this silence in the violence of our lives

Emmanuel is sure to find us soon
The mighty rule to Jesse's star of truth
And bring us unto glory, tell His story
Heal the broken and restore thee to His name

The star will guide us to the humble place
Where Christ the King reveals his earthly face
And we will see Emmanuel, God is with us
God is for us, God is in us, we will see"

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