Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another Year Has Passed Us By...

Here I am, a couple hours until the new year. Of course, it doesn't really feel much different than any other night, and yet it is strange to think of a whole year gone and exciting to think of new year yet to come!

As I look back over this past year, I think that the main lesson the Lord seems to have been impressing upon me is trust. I found this journal entry that seemed to summarize it for me. I wrote it after Megan's death, during my first stay away from home at the Hadleys (which I realized I miss so much, after reading through my journal ;-) ) and right before Leah, Harrison, and Sophia died.

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"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5,6)

TRUST: Taking my hands off the steering wheel and allowing God to take full control, being completed assured in His ability to work all out for His glory and my good, and resting accordingly. [Note: Lately I would add, "Learning to accept His will as good, acceptable, and perfect, for loss or for gain.]

THINE OWN UNDERSTANDING: I have noticed, with the Hadley children, how they often try to break down circumstances and figure them out for themselves, which, if they acted by it, would truly bring disaster. It is a foolish thing when I try to figure things out for myself and act according to what I think I know. God's understanding is so infinite; mine is so limited; why don't I just take my hands off and trust that He knows best?

IN ALL THY WAYS, ACKNOWLEDGE: We need God every moment, every hour, every day. With each breath we breathe,we must rely on His wisdom and rest in His promises. Never should we embark on an activity without acknowledging , setting our minds on and trusting God.

HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS: He shall make straight your paths. He shall lead, guide, direct. He shall bring to a glorious consummation. Okay. So why ever worry!?!?

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Though I had forgotten about this particular entry, the lesson has stuck with me, reappearing again and again, throughout this year. So have the words Aunt Lois shared with me when the Wagoners died: "When you cannot trace God's hand, you can always trust His heart."

Tears filled my eyes last night as I realized all that the Lord has brought me through this year. Good things, "bad" things, big things, small things, outward situations, inward struggles... Over and over, He has taught me to trust Him and love Him completely, especially when I do not know what He is doing or why He is doing it. I have fallen so much more in love with Him this year as I have seen more and more how good He is! It is wonderful! (Who needs a husband when you have Jesus?? I've been thinking I would rather have my late-night devotional times with the Lord than anything else. Those moments are so precious. :-) )

Anyway, here are some of the things that the Lord brought into my life this year to help me rely on Him, trust Him, and love Him more.

  • Daddy's injury and being off for so many months, and details of workman's compensation, healing, etc. God taught me to trust Him to provide for the things in life that we often take for granted. He never failed us, ever! :-)
  • The marriage and moving-away of one of my best friends (Megan F). God taught me to trust Him in His leading in other people's lives.
  • Learning of the death of our childhood friend, Megan R. God taught me to trust Him when events of life shake me to the core, and also He taught me the importance of never taking the people in my life for granted.
  • Being away from my family for the first time ever and spending a week with one of the dearest families in the world! (the H. family ;-) ) (this was one of the good experiences, definitely :-D ) God taught me to trust Him when going someplace without my family during a time that I was dealing with tragedy (Megan R.) and also so many other lessons just by watching the kiddos, who so often let spill out the realities we adults usually keep inside. :-)
  • The death of Leah, Harrison, and Sophia. God taught me to trust Him even when my heart and others' hearts are breaking, when absolutely nothing makes sense, when darkness shrouds His presence and makes it seem as though He wasn't there, in control. That is a very hard thing to do-- trusting God when I cannot trace His hand at all. But He taught me, and is still teaching me.
  • {Confession :-o} The young man I liked starting to date another girl {winces! okay! so it never hurts to be transparent... so long as no names are mentioned! :-P ). God taught me to trust Him when my plans go awry and things outside of my control don't go the way I wanted them to; and to rest in His own perfect love, and to love others as He loved me, whether that love is returned or not.
  • Rewriting Airborne. God taught me to trust Him for the right words to say and the ability to keep on even when inspiration is low. (Writing, you know, is more than just a hobby to me-- it is a ministry!
  • Struggling with continual headaches, often several a week. God taught me to trust and rest, even when I would really like to feel better. :-)
  • Our new president being elected and beginning to make problematic choices. God taught me to trust that He-- JEHOVAH-- is in control, ordering all the events of history to bring about His perfect will, and that He will conquer-- He is the Conqueror, even now.
  • Seeing lots of my friends and family members dating/courting/marrying. God taught me to trust Him to bring about the right man in my life in His timing, and to love Him above anyone else.
These are just a few of the things. There are other smaller cases or more private cases that God still was teaching me trust.

At the time, some of those things were very, very hard (though some were quite pleasant, like visiting the H.'s and writing ;-) ). But now, as I look back, I rejoice in what He has done. If it had not been for these things the Lord brought me through this year, I do not think I would know the joy of hiding in Him and trusting Him, and seeing Him always reveal Himself as trustworthy. Perhaps I would not love or praise Him so much because I would not have seen for myself how very worthy of love and praise He is. I love Amy Carmichael's words: "We...would fain see clear; but, could we see, what need would be for faith?"

God has taught me the satisfaction of resting on the Rock that is higher than I, the peace of knowing His very present help in trouble, the tear-jerking joy of hearing Him say, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." I treasure these moments in which He has taught me the supernatural blessing of knowing Him. We can never know what the next day will bring, or the next year. Speculate as we might, we just don't know. However, one thing we do know, and can be completely assured of: God will be the same as He ever was, He will glorify Himself, He will conquer. May it be true of me that my heart would never stray for Him, but draw closer and closer to Him each day of the upcoming year, and each day of the rest of my life.

"My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His holy name for ever and ever!" (Psalm 145:21)

6 comments:

Rosebud said...

Happy New Year! You unfortunately stole my set-up ideas for my New Year post...but oh well. :)

Teddy said...

Thanks Melanie! You have set me to thinking...

Alaina said...

Those are good lessons, Melanie! Thanks for sharing!

Mama said...

So, when are you going to do another post?

Melanie said...

LOL! I know I need to do another one, but I just can't think of anything! Maybe I'll look up a quote and post it, or something. :-)

Teddy said...

About the new post...I wonder can I say I'm an only child???