"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28, NKJV
I love New Year's! Celebrating the start of a new year continues to rank as one of my favorite times of the year. The fresh start feels great. However, this time the importance of remembering the "old year" occurred to me.
God is the God of every day: Past, present and future. He reminded me to remember what He accomplished, allowed and provided in 2016. Often, in my eagerness to start the New Year, I forget to celebrate the previous one.
2016 a year to remember
Romans 8:28 is one of the key verses God used to sustain me over the years, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I definitely love him so I KNOW he works in all things—the good, the bad and the in between—for my good. (The good, bad and in between is from my point of view of course because all things are ultimately for my good even if they don't feel good!)
God made every day of 2016—just like he creates every day of every year. So I celebrate what God has done:
- Our family traveled to Europe for a trip of a lifetime in honor of my mom's significant birthday. We briefly visited Holland and hung out with good friends from England. The time flew by and we committed to go back to spend time with all the people we couldn't visit this time. Sorry if that's you! This was my first time back in 10 years and it was far too short. After the brief time in Holland, we flew to Venice to start our 12 day Mediterranean cruise. Spoiled! Awesome time. Great sights. (I know, no wonder I think God works in all things for good…)
- Living in the Northwest. I love this place. Mild summer, lots of rain, beautiful scenery. I'm grateful for every day here.
- Provision. God provides. Though it looked at times like bills may remain unpaid, God always provided clients and work just at the right time. He gave us each day our daily bread.
- Witnessing healings and enjoying receiving spiritual direction from wise counselors.
I choose gratitude for God's work even in the hard stuff:
- Continuing to support our son through his chronic pain journey. How very tough to see a young person suffer with high levels of pain daily. An interesting part of our life with lots of lessons on God's goodness and mercy as well as the process of learning patience and waiting for prayers to be answered.
- 7 root canals and 7 crowns for 2 people in addition to removal of 4 impacted wisdom teeth. Ouch!
- A dear friend diagnosed with breast cancer. Sad but praying daily for total healing!
- Restarting "Hope Community: Support for Families of Drug Addicts." We launched this community in 2013 and met monthly for a year. We had a very meaningful time together but also faced much warfare. We were hesitant to restart this community yet felt compelled because of so many who experienced the same challenges we had. So we relaunched in April. What an incredible group of people who travel together through such tough times. We meet twice a month, celebrate, pray together, hope together, fast together, watch God work miracles in our lives and support each other as we learn to trust God every day.
Looking forward to 2017
Our New Year's celebration was quiet but fun and filled with laughter. We gathered as a small family, played games, ate snacks—including the Dutch 'oliebollen' en 'bitterballen.' Yum. And of course champagne at midnight while watching the fireworks at the Space Needle (on television this year…hopefully we'll see it live again soon).
The first day of the year fell on Sunday. How appropriate. The first day of the week on the first day of the new year. We attended a worship service where the pastor challenged us to start the new year with the assurance of knowing who we are. It was a good thing to think about at the start of a brand new year. I will strive to remember daily who I am:
- I am a child of God, a believer in Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit.
- I live on earth for now, but Heaven is my true home.
- I know I'm loved and that God will work in every day and all things for my good in 2017 because I love him and I'm called according to his purpose.
Happy New Year!
May 2017 be filled with God's Presence and love. May you have assurance of your salvation and identity. May you choose to love God and believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior so that you too can have God work in every day of your life for your good because you love him and are called according to his purpose.