I am not a person that makes New Year's resolutions. It's just too much pressure on me, and I have enough already. One thing I will do is to set a goal of some sort for myself.
I spend some time in prayer about whatever God lays on my heart. I usually am able to see where in my daily life this goal is needed. Then I decide if the goal is something I can truly achieve. I really don't like failing, so I try hard not to set myself up for it with unreasonable expectations.
The first New Year's Day after Keith's death my goal was to simply make it through the year without Keith. The second New Year's Day it was to make it through the year without Keith, with Nick on chemo, and still stay sane. This New Year's Day was #3. I began to sense God moving within my heart in a different way. I will be perfectly honest and admit that what I felt God was asking of me scared me. It still scares me.
This New Year's Day, I truly feel that God has set before me some specific tasks for the coming year. These tasks or goals are not easy for me. They all require a lot of faith and trust in God. The goals are not something that I can necessarily ask for help with, except for prayer.
The first goal is for me to live this year with a spirit of hope. Yes, that's right. I said hope. That four letter word sends shivers down my spine. Hope is not something that I come by easily. I think in many ways my sense of hope died with Keith. When I was holding his hand, waiting for God to move in a mighty way, in the mighty way that I wanted Him to, I fully expected that Keith would open his eyes and declare that God had fully healed him. When God did heal Keith, but in HIS perfect will not mine, I felt that a part of me died with Keith. It has taken the 2 1/2 years since that day for me to come to terms with God's perfect healing of Keith.
I know I usually seem like I have all the hope in the world. Most of the time I did and I do. In the quiet moments, when the grief and sadness would be at their greatest, my hope would wane. When Nick got sick enough that he needed chemo again, I felt my hope wane once again. I wondered how God could possibly allow us to go through the horrors of cancer AGAIN! I struggled with depression and trying to come to terms with THIS IS MY LIFE! THIS IS THE LIFE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN ME!!!! How could this be? How could God allow this to happen?
Notice I'm asking how and not why. The question of why has not been one I've been comfortable asking God, primarily because the answer always seemed to be "WHY NOT YOU?" OUCH!
So I changed to how. Of course, if God answered me, I wasn't listening. He wasn't giving me the answer I wanted to hear.
Back to my goal of living with a spirit of hope...I'm not certain yet what exactly I'm supposed to do. I may not have to do anything, except just live with that spirit of hope. I got confirmation this morning in church that this is indeed something that God wants me to do. Pastor's sermon was about why we should look forward to 2012. Ok, I've already written in my private journal about needing to have this spirit of hope. I haven't spoken to anyone about it. Through Pastor's sermon, Scripture, and the choir songs, I KNOW that God expects me to live with a spirit of hope in this coming year.
This frightens me. It makes me wonder what is to come that will test my sense of hope. That leads me to the next task/goal God has set before me. He is also calling me to live with a spirit of peace. I have experienced the PEACE that passes ALL understanding. The peace that I feel God is calling me to is for me to be at peace with where HE has put me in my life's journey. Peace that I am right where He wants me to be, even though it's hard and it sucks. Peace that HE is WITH ME while I am in these stinky places. Peace that HE is WHO HE SAYS HE IS.
Once again, confirmation in today's sermon. God IS with me. HE will not leave me. His PEACE HE GIVES ME.
Sigh...ok God. I am listening. I hear You Lord. You want me to live with a spirit of hope and peace. SIGH...I don't have much choice here do I? No, I didn't think so. Oh, yes. Of course the Scriptures mention fear 365 times. That's one per day of the year. Hmmm. We are not called to live in a spirit of fear. That's what I've been doing? Really? I didn't realize. I'm sorry. Forgive me?
Living with a spirit of hope and of peace is very important for me. It's crucial for my mental, emotional, and physical well being. It's vital in my walk with Christ. If I let fear overtake my hope and my peace, I am letting Satan win.
I can not be afraid of what this year will hold, because God holds this year!
Yep...it's blown my mind. I am trying though. Today provided all the confirmation I needed, not that I was really looking for any.
The last task is one of my own choosing. I have felt the need to be more direct and decisive. Since Keith's death, I have really struggled with making decisions and being direct with myself and others. Well, that's done. It's time for me to put on my big girl panties.
That is one reason I have decided to date when the right opportunity comes along. I have also opened my own business. It's something I've thought about doing for a long time, even before Keith died. I just never let myself live with a spirit of hope that it might just work! Note the tie in there...
So you see, God has really been working on me lately. I have accepted that I am still alive and God has work for me to do. I have realized that itch between my shoulder blades is from my wings trying to spread so that I can fly. I also really like the Kristy that I am becoming. I am realizing that life can be fun, even when it really isn't. I am finally understanding some of the things that Keith told me in what would become our final conversations.
That's about it for what is on my heart tonight.
In HIS Grip!
FYI: My business is KSB Designs. I specialize in custom sewing and embroidery. I also have opened an online store front @ www.ksbdesigns7.etsy.com. It's still very early in the construction phase, but I am trying to add to it daily. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. This is a HUGE leap of faith!