New year…entering the blogosphere.

Well, here goes.  I have been pondering about this for awhile, and what  better day is there to start blogging than January 1?  I have an obsessive habit of reading blogs, and so I thought I would give back. I have many hopes for the new year, but they are mostly cloudy at the moment.  Yesterday, I drove to my hometown to have breakfast with two dear friends, and on the way, I drove in complete fog.  As I passed over the bridge on the Tennessee River, I could see a few feet in front of me.  Fog encapsulated the whole bridge…over, under, around.  I was reminded of my future.  I can see shadows of where God is leading, but there is no clear sunny path.  He is showing me what is directly in front of me for the day.  Yet, I am reminded deep inside that He is the foundation of the bridge–He is the foundation of everything.  Fear and anxiety can overtake me, and then I am reminded of how little I am and how big and faithful He is.  There were brief snippets of sun yesterday that illuminated the way, and then the fog came back around.  It was not an audible voice that spoke, but an impression that communicated…”I will show you where you need to go…I am here with you.”  I am reminded of conversations of the last few days with people around me…those whose bodies are battling cancer, those whose marriages are under fierce attack, those whose hearts are broken by loss.  My heart hurts and I pray on their behalf.  And, I reflect on the fact that Christ is LORD even when we lose our hair or job or way or our husband.  In times of complete loss of control, I have seen the truest glimpse of Jesus and experienced Him in the fullest.  I thank God for the troubles He has brought into my life this year–for sleepless nights, deep heartache, uncertainty.  Those things did not feel good, but they have driven my heart and soul and mind to Christ.  They are the very things that call me to the cross and his mercy and goodness.  They are the things that cause me to cry out for help.  And, in that time, my heart is transformed.  My circumstances may or may not change.  Or they may change at such a snail’s pace that if I was focused on them, I would truly be driven mad.  But, something happens when I go to God.  He draws me to himself and shows me the beauty of who He is.  I come to experience the joy of the Lord as my strength and not the counterfeit joy of ego strokes or new clothes or cars or good food or a baby or a job promotion.  All of those things are not bad in themselves, per say, but when I put my hope in them, I put my hope in things that are the false comforts of this world.  In comparison to the riches and fullness in Christ, they are dead.  They are treasure on earth.  We are called not to store up treasures on earth but treasures in heaven.My prayer for this year is that He continue to grow me deeply in Him.  That is my prayer for those around me, as well.  I pray that the true gift of fellowship with Him grow.  I realize soberly that that means hardship in this world.  I swallow down my fear knowing who holds me in His hand.  I would not trade these last few years for comfort because I would have gloried in the comfort and not my Lord.  I pray that we not be consumed with comfort but consumed with the all surpassing greatness of His name and His presence.2 Corinthians 4:16-18 English Standard Version’So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  for this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.’ Jen 

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