Happy 2014 to you and yours. Hopefully your resolutions are starting to get off the ground and you don't lose sight of the goals you want them to produce for your new year.
For a few months now I have been asking myself what goals do I have for myself personally. My greatest roles in life are being a mother, family member, friend and employee. So what should I be aiming towards to grow in myself so that I may fulfill those other responsibilities that I am thankful for and treasure immensely. Many times I found myself going back to this scripture:
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4
This is a verse I hear. ALOT. And, until recently, I questioned it thinking, "God I am suffering. I am hurting. I am bitter and I feel I am barely making it at times. Where are you? Where were you on July 4? How can I count this all as joy?" After months of wrestling with these thoughts I slowly realized I was not looking at the bigger, fuller picture. I was only looking at the current feelings I was facing. And, to be honest, I don't blame myself for that. The loss of anyone is devastating. I don't think it matters if it was expected or if it was as sudden as Noah's death was. And the loss of a child is something we, as parents, never anticipate when we welcomed that child into the world. It seems backwards. It is backwards.
So…to "count it all joy" almost seemed laughable.
Until I envision the perfect, end result.
This life is just a trial and I pray daily that when I look back from eternity this suffering will have only seemed like the blink of an eye.
I don't know what everyone's situation is. I don't know what you face daily. I know this will be a daily battle for me and won't be easy. To write all this up on a page seems so tidy and neat. I have so much bitterness I have to let go of and so much forgiveness to give to someone who shows no remorse before I can achieve that perfect end result. It will be a work in progress for me personally and one I will deal with daily.
Life is full of trials but we can not give up and I can not give up on working towards the end result. In the words of my beloved pastor we have to 'keep on keeping on.' And that is perseverance. That is steadfastness. That is faith. Faith in ourselves, faith in others and faith in a future where we will have a perfect end result.