I'm not going to lie -- 2005 was a challenging year, to put it mildly. Which is why I haven't blogged since last July. By the time that month rolled around, the personal challenges I was facing were holding me captive and blogging was the last thing on my mind.
So, to all
three two of of my readers, (thanks Mom and Katie), I say -- I am back. Please, hold your applause.
As time goes on, I'll take time to humbly chronicle all that happened in 2005 -- from losing my job, to my surgery, to my parent's divorce, to my broken engagement, to a rapist attacking my roommate, to my near-homelessness and two relocations. Through it all, I can say without blinking that God was everything the Bible promises He will be -- a Faithful, Just, Loving, and Providing God. Don't roll your eyes at those "cliche" terms! I have hard evidence.
Does that mean that I didn't become frustrated, angry, cry,and
throw a tantrum question God? Hardly. I did all that and more. And I'll blog that too. Why? Because I want you to see how even in my darkest times, and I do mean really dark, (the kind where you really believe there is no hope left), God rescued me. He used 2005 challenges to soften my heart, and turned my "challenges" into monuments -- markers of His divine provision.
As Christians, too often we hide God's provision in our lives because it's attached to an embarrassing flaw or failure of ours that we'd rather nobody know about. In essence, sharing God's power in our life may require us to reveal that were were, perhaps, sinful in some way. Although that kind of pride is a whole different blog topic, suffice to say that the Bible says God's handiwork in your life is to display His glory, not your imperfection. So, swallow your pride and share your story.
For example, the Israelites. Clearly disobedient. Not the best start. God rescues them from Egypt and they become so disobedient that they are forced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Not a story the Israelites wanted to share with their grandchildren! But on the verge of the Promised Land, God instructed them to construct a monument to His parting of the Jordan river so that future generations would know His handiwork "That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God forever." (Joshua 4:24).
God parted the waters of the Jordan and then said, "Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan...twelve stones..." (v3). Joshua explained that the stones were to be a "...sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them...Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until they were gone over. That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever. (v 6, 22-24 ).
Now, when those Israelite children asked their fathers, "Dad, what do those 12 stones mean?" it meant that along with recounting the story of how God parted the Red sea, and the Jordan, dads everywhere would also have to explain why the Israelites wandered for 40 years without entering the Promised Land. Kindof embarrassing. Not a pretty picture. But the story of Israel's unfaithfulness and disobedience had to be told because it made God's provision and love that much greater. Dads were to say to their sons, "You can trust God. Look what he did here..."
Bottom line? Some of 2005's challenges were of my own making. Some weren't. I will share both just the same, because God's provision was the same no matter what the situation.
2005 was certainly
horrendus a challenge. And yes, I have humbly put in my request to God that 2006 be a little less rocky. But either way, I'm much more confident than I was one year ago that God will prepare me to handle whatever lies ahead.
I hope my 2005 monuments will help strengthen your faith in some small way.
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