"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
If I look back on Facebook or even in my blogs, I could probably find a post written at the end or beginning of previous years telling what the new yearly word I had been given.
I look back on 2014and think how did it bring me hope or teach me hope. I am not sure how to sum up 2014, but if I was thinking back over it the word hope would come to mind.
We did finally find a church home, Experience Church, in Murfreesboro after 3 years of not having a church family that we belonged to. This is something I am so grateful for because it has restored my hope that churches do exist for the purpose of taking care of the least of these, reaching outward to those in need more than inward as a social club and aiming to grow up Christians individually to be independently serving instead of dependent upon leadership.
I also started back to college aiming for a graduate degree in Art Therapy. I felt hope that I might figure out what I would "become when I grew up." I first thought I would get a degree in English but the English Department didn't seem interested in an old 51 year woman who had homeschooled her children the last 20 years as a graduate candidate. My first class was Drawing I and I loved it. I want to go back and take so many more classes and thought I might even pursue a degree in Graphic Design, but I tearfully made the decision to not return to college. I realize it is not my time. I have a son in college and a teen daughter still at home. I need to wait, again. Still simply taking that one class gave me so much hope in knowing God will use me in ways I can never imagine.
In 2014, I also returned to teaching in the public school in a small way as a substitute teacher. I had hope that I still had what it takes to be a teacher, and mostly succeeded. It has awakened a passion. I LOVE to teach but I am not sure where God would have me yet. I made income that was suppose to offset my college expense, but I did not make enough to cover all of the costs. Yes, this is part of the reason I am not returning to college at this time. However, I am going to continue subbing and I do look forward to everyday I get to be in a classroom.
I have been completely off of the medication that was in the psychosis category: Seroquel. I have hope that I am continuing to be completely healed though I know that will not happen until I reach heaven's gates. The other three medications I take are tapered to their lowest dose. And I have continued to not need regular therapy. I have gone to a few visits this year, but it is only for reassurance, confirmation and mental maintenance.
In a highlight, I made some friends of family members. I have been communicating with my cousin, Seth and my niece, Katey. I am grateful to have them in my life. Also, I have had a very busy year finding out how to navigate difficult relationships. Sorrowfully, a few of my dearest relationships ties have waned this year--more like been targeted with a precision strike hit--to be blown apart. Though I have survived the turmoil with little lasting negative results, the relationships will never be the same.
Now It is 2015So as the year was ending and I am writing this post on New Years Eve night, I continued to pray to God seeking what will be the theme for 2015. Joel says God has given him "Service" to be his key theme. I know I am starting a 40 day fast starting on Jan 5 that my family is sharing with our new church.
As you look back over the past year, I hope you see both the positives and negatives in light of God's grace. He filters everything that happens to you. Nothing is a surprise to Him. If you don't normally ask God for a theme, you might try and ask Him. It is not anything that just blows your year in any amazing way but it does give you focus, and reflect.
In fact every year in the Jewish Calendar, the Jews have a theme. 2013-2014 was the Year of the Door (year 5774). And 2014-2015 is the Year of the Whirlwind (year 5775). So it is quite in line with God's ways for Him to give you a personal theme for the year.
RiseOn the morning of January 1, when I awoke I heard within my spirit, "Rise." I wondered could that be my theme for 2015. Then later that day I read a post by Chuck Pierce and it had these two quotes in it: "He fills you and causes you to rise to a place of triumph in your life." and "He is available to fill your spirit man and cause you to rise above your enemies."
Is this the year to RISE? Excitement sweeps over me. I have never been given such a positive, freeing theme. I will continue to seek Him for confirmation, but I believe this year is the year I "rise".
Now, it is January 12, and this post is going to be published on my blog. I have embraced "rise" as my theme given to me by God and He has already begun to show me new ways to view "rise" as in allow Him to purify me and let the dross rise to the top as happens when silver is set to the fire and purified. I thank Him that He loves me enough to personally walk with me through the year to help me grow to be more like Christ. I pray for you to know Him in the same and even greater depth.