Monday, January 5, 2009

Thoughts On My New Year


Spent some of New Year's Eve in the prayer tower, talking to God about the past year and asking Him about this new one. I want to believe that, in spite of all signs pointing to the contrary, He has great things in store for us this year.


I came to a startling realization the end of 2008. For the first time, I realized that God is not all about our happiness. Our wealth. Our whims. That God is not in the business of making His children successful or rich or happy. Rather, God is the business of fathering His children to maturity. He's more interested in seeing us conform our lives and ourselves into His image. Into the image of His Son. And like any good father who's trying to teach a willful, obstinate child, His lessons sometimes come at the expense of our comfort, our feelings, and our expectations.

Realizing this has changed my life. No wonder I felt so let down by God before! I was expecting Wonder God to fix all my problems, right all my wrongs and fill my soul with indescribable joy. Forget Daniel in the lion's den or those boys in the fiery furnace or Paul in prison, my life was supposed to be a worry-free Christian cruise. And when it wasn't, when heartbreak and trouble and annoyances continued, I wondered what I was doing wrong. Why I'd miffed God and forced Him away. As if my rebellion or grief or problems were too much for Him to handle. He is, after all, a bigger God than we give Him credit for.

But now I see. Now I see! Now I see that it was during those terrible times He was the closest. Now I realize that during that time I had His hand - even if it was leading me through valleys I'd rather not venture into and waters I'd rather not wade through. But His hand held me. It held mine tightly. And we're emerging now from that awful valley, God still my patient, loving Father, but me a stronger, wiser, less selfish child. And we still have each other's hands.

Yeah, now I see. Now these years make sense and sit more lightly upon my heart. And I'm more convinced than ever that God is good. That God can use messy, thrilling lives - even those as crazy as mine.


So I'm approaching this new year with a new spirit, almost. I taxied into 2009 with less baggage to catch up with and drag home. And it's unspeakably freeing. It's undeniably heart-lifting.

Happy 2009, all. It's going to be interesting. It's going to be good.

37 comments:

Miss G said...

My thoughts exactly... for the year past and the year to come... but THANK YOU for the reminder!

P.S. I enjoy your blog very much!

Becky K. said...

Brin! I love that you have figured this out! It makes our relationship with Him so real and so sweet!

He does love us and care for us intensely...His idea of our good and ours sometimes look different...His is right....

Blessings girl!

Hang in there and keep seeking His will! That is the ultimate success!

Becky K.

Terri and Bob said...

Wow, how powerful. I need to ponder this in my own life!

Kimberley said...

Happy New Year, Brin.

I've had a similar year of heart trouble with God, and I posted just yesterday that I'm letting go and jumping in 2009--trusting in Him and his unfailing love to see me through the painful and priceless change.

Sidney (Sixy Mama) said...

This is amazing, and exactly what I needed to hear, as I'm struggling with furthering my relationship with Him. Not that I don't want to, it just seems like I'm struggling.

Here's hoping, wishing, praying for a very insightful, inspired New Year!

Cheryl said...

Yes! That is exactly what He is doing. He DOES want the best for us, but what we think is best for us and what truly is, is sometimes very different. I am so glad you came to this. Once we realize this life is not just for our pleasure we can begin to have a peace and contentment in the trials, for we know He is doing a good work in our lives. Just cling tightly to Him and He will lead you through triumphantly! God Bless you sweet Brin!

Michelle said...

What a wonderful realization!! I have to completely agree with you on this. Hang in there and I will continue to pray for something special to come your way. :)

Donna said...

A prayer tower can do wonders. I too feel the same way, but from time to time have to be brought back around. And I am constantly taking the "wheel" from God and wonder why I have steered off into the wrong direction.
May God Bless you and keep you!

Joni said...

As with most of your posts, you've left us all with something to contemplate....thanks for being willing to say this to all of us!

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Oh Brin, I knew you would figure it out when the time was just right, and no better time than a brand new year! Looking forward to each new day, messy or not! lol

Mia said...

Beautiful stained glass! And yes, you're right, as much as we want God to fix things our way.. he seems to want to do them HIS way and in HIS time.

I'm workin' on a lighter 2009 myself. ::hug::

Linda Z said...

Yeah, Brin! It's not all about you! :)

Isn't it truly a blessing that our God does not want to raise spoiled brats!!! I hope to see more of Him and less of me in the new year, too.

Randi said...

Thanks for that ... I needed it.

Susie Q said...

A beautiful post and such stunning images!
Blessings to you sweet lady!

Kim said...

I too was wondering why God hasn't solved my problems. I too have learned God's faithfulness is not a basket full of happiness (by human standards), but a basket full of His love and mercy picked out with care and tenderness just for me.

So blessed! said...

So true! Thanks for inspiring me again and sharing some important life lessons to us all to begin the new year with. I am so thankful that this new year has already started out with some very helpful hints. God is so good...all the time!

thedomesticfringe said...

That was a GREAT post! I believe God does have great things in store for us in 09...probably not easy things, but great things just the same.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Such a positive word...it's all good when we're in His hands...safest place in all the world to be and to know that He loves us with abandon...well, that just thrills the soul. It'll all work out because He is always working on our behalf. Though it may not be exactly what we thought, we can trust that it will be better than we thought. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

betty r said...

How very, very true Brin! 'We want'..and when God doesn't answer our wants we think he has forgotten about us. He loves us so very much and in the end He answers 'what is best' for us. I am so amazed at God's patience with us and His love for us! Blessings Brin in the new year.

thistledewmercantileblog said...

Hello Brin!
What a lovely, thoughtful post! Struggles and difficulties are very helpful in bringing us closer to the Lord... we often get too complacent when things are going smoothly, and forget to look to Him.

God bless,
Kim :-)

Little Town Big Life said...

It sounds like you just grew 10 feet in spiritual maturity! Unfortunately, tho I know those things you wrote of, I have to relearn them --- I guess that's one of the problems of being a human--

Keep studying His word, and let Him show you how blessed a life with Him as your focus will be.

Raggedy Girl said...

Brin:
What a lovely thoughtful post. you have me thinking now.
Praying for you to have a really good year walking close to God.
Roberta Anne

MAK said...

Brin, God never promised us a perfect, happy life on this earth, only that he loves us so much that we get to spend eternity with Him, and his most precious son Jesus. I am discovering that when bad things happen to good, faithful people it is for a reason. As Christians, our belief, faith & how we live our lives is what speaks in volumes to others. KEEP LIVING! Remember, that our Father sees the Big Picture.

Kimberly said...

You have had several comments expressing thanks but I want to add another.We have had a very challenging year,well, I guess it's always relative but- job loss,miscarriage,broken leg, no lead for new employment is where we are currently. During all this,I have had the same thoughts you shared in your post. Yet at the same time felt God's peace in an unexplainable way. My humanness (sin) does not always allow for gracefully handling these circumstances but I want to lean on my Father,hold His hand tightly and trust Him as He guides us through this valley. Thanks for being one of His instruments for refreshment today.:)

Kath said...

Oh how right you are! I am tired of Christians expecting their lives to be simple, healthy, and comfortable. We learn SO MUCH more when we go through hard times. We've never been promised an easy life, in fact, we read the opposite (if we do in fact read God's word!). But no matter what, we can live free, which is MUCH better than comfortable. If we're constantly in prayer about life's circumstances, then we're right where we should be.

Kathi said...

Awesome post Brin. I have thought through these exact things soon after my dad had a stroke. I knew I needed a different way of thinking about God. I was a believer, but I didn't trust and understand the way God works in our lives. I now know that every problem that comes into my life is an opportunity to trust God and for my faith to grow.

This was about two years ago that I bought Beth Moore's workbook called "Breaking Free." I completed the entire workbook on my own (without the dvd's). I got up very early in the morning, around 4:00 am. I sat with my coffee and prayed while doing this study for 45 min. each day. It changed my life. When we seek Him with all our hearts He will be found by us. I found Him in a deeper way. I know I will never reach the end of all the mysteries and wonderful things He has for me. There is so much more.

Bless you sweet Brin. Kathi

Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster said...

Yes, God is Great! I enjoyed the photos on your blog. Very nice.
Nancy
www.basketmasterweavings.blogspot.com

T said...

Brin, where is the prayer tower?

Cori G. said...

No that's something worth pondering. It is His desire to grow us all up. We'll have temper tantrums now and then, but He's always waiting patiently for us to stop and focus on Him.

Carrien said...

I didn't start to really grasp this until I became a parent myself.

This is my first visit here, but it won't be my last. I really like what you have here so far. :)

Happy New Year.

martha said...

PREACH IT, sista!

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

I'm holding on tight to these words as my hubby got laid off the other day.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Brin,
You are SO right! Happiness is transient, based on our circumstances. Joy transcends happiness - it's no matter what our circumstances. You said it so beautifully! Keep writing! Vicki

A Gracious Home said...

When you have the Lord you have all you need to have a wonderful year. I'm sure you will grow spiritually in Christ from now on. You sound like a great Christian. Doylene

Sara said...

Hey, just out of curiousity... is that the prayer tower in Pittsburg, TX?

thisgirlsjourney said...

Wow, great revelations! I had one of those years too. Hope 2009 will be better with all your new found wisdom.

Leigh Ann said...

It's July, but I needed those words today. Thanks so much.