As a New Year beckons…

CALENDAR Copyright 2012 Sheila KimballTWO PINES Copyright 2012 Sheila KimballSNOW PINES Copyright 2012 Sheila KimballHEART PINES Copyright 2012 Sheila KimballThe eve of the new year is upon us and 2013 stretches ahead like a blanket of newly fallen snow across a far reaching meadow. A pristine expanse that hasn’t yet been marred by sin, strife or selfishness.

The pages of the calendar are all blank and the days of my life are waiting to be filled just like yours.

The unknown 12 months ahead will unfold according to God’s will, but I also have choices to make that will affect outcomes whether my goals are health, career or relationship related. So I hang up a new calendar and look forward, hoping and praying for the best in light of the dismal and devastating realities of my heart and life in the world as we know it.

And I am thinking this morning, after a dreadful sleepless night full of physical pain, worries, and words that would have been better left unspoken, that I am running on empty. And crouching at my door is evil all too eager to fill the empty as soon as I let my guard down.

Last night I chose to let the cares of this world convince me that I just don’t care anymore about much of anything, and my feelings were all too {un}happy to go along for the ride. And how our feelings love to lie.

As the clock slowly tick-tocked through the wee hours, my world was nothing but shadows lurking, with the enemy breathing hot and heavy down my neck. Oppression thick, and tears flowing. But…

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:8

While I wrestled restless and careless in a cold room with an even colder heart, I was covered warm. Covered by the blood of the Lamb who never lets me go.

The Lord says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
Jeremiah 31:3

And covered by the prayers of my partner.

Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12

Dearest Husband stood in the gap for me, travailing in prayer nearly till morning’s light when a short respite of fitful sleep allowed me {and him} escape. And his godly leadership in love strengthens and directs me, eventually.

I had fallen down. He picked me up, and so did he. And I am grateful that they are steadfast when my soul is splintered sinful.

Sun up reminds me weary that God’s mercies are new every morning, and I cling to the hope of that truth like a drowning woman holds fast to drift wood. Even as I write these words now, dark lies continue to taunt. And like Paul I confess to Father that I am the worst of sinners. And I hate it when I fall, yet fall I do, and fall again I will.

And even as the worst of sinners, the only thing to do is repent and keep going, grateful for grace.

HANDSI will hold Dearest Husband’s hand and walk in sync by his side, for it is our aim to be at one in the Spirit and bound together in peace. And how grateful I am that he patiently accepts me, generously making allowances because he loves me.

For there is no going back. Just like the year past, what is done is done.

All week, as I have pondered the coming of 2013, I have been reading in Ephesians chapter five, wanting these verses to be my resolutions. Transforming truth changing a heart hard and crimson to snow white and bright with love oozing light.

“Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

It is even possible (after all, it happened to you!) for light to turn the thing it shines upon into light also.

Live your lives in love—the same sort of love which Christ gives us and which he perfectly expressed when he gave himself up for us in sacrifice to God.

…once you were “darkness” but now you are “light”. Live then as children of the light. The light produces in men quite the opposite of sins like these—everything that is wholesome and good and true.

Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days. Don’t be vague but firmly grasp what you know to be the will of God.

Thank God at all times for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And “fit in with” each other, because of your common reverence for Christ.

Only by grace, at the point of self surrender. And this post is a first step into a new year that I pray and believe will be a BREAK OUT year.

Breaking out of  habits and old hurts.

Breaking out of the fearful and negative.

Breaking out of pride and self and lovelessness.

The only thing I can think of to help me grow from here to there is to take each verse of these scriptures one by one and rethink deep. And trust that God will expand and explain as He burrows His word farther inside my heart.

Once again I give up, Lord. I cannot do this life as you would have me do it unless you do it through me. So help me break out of the old into the full blooded glory of God…

~sheila

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