Every New Year's Eve for the past 5 years we have a little tradition around our household. Everyone is to go off by themselves and write...draw....list.....all the events they can think of that were important that year.
It's fun to see how each person has at least one event that the rest of us didn't think about. It's also interesting to see how each of us uses their creative talents in creating their list. My husband's is especially fun......he brings a list he prints out on the computer just seconds before the big "revealing". Hey, it works for him.
This year, however, it's been hard. I began thinking about it a few days ago. At first my mind could think of nothing significant. Nothing worth writing down. Only sad events. Events I would rather not remember......but will still include because they are events of 2008. But as I began to think and pray about it I realized there were many interesting and fun events mingled in with the sad ones.
Yet still, I cry. I cry when I think about the year. Tears of joy...mingled with tears of heartache.....mingled with tears of gratefulness.....mingled with tears of awe.....as I think about all that God has allowed me to learn this year. The growth that comes through affliction and trials is painful to be sure.....but it is beautiful....it can't be taken away from me. It's more valuable than any earthly "event". It will carry with me for a lifetime and affect not only me, but my children and possibly their children.
So I'll go off to prepare my year end remembrance list/drawing/photo collage/computer printout...and...I'll praise God....for the happy times AND for the sad times. For He has been to me a rock of strength. He has seen my affliction and known the troubles of my soul. In Him I have taken refuge. He has heard my supplications when I cried to Him. I have trusted in Him.... for my times are in His hand. How great is HIS GOODNESS!! (See Psalm 31)
And..... as for the NEW "SCARY" YEAR ahead.........
Be STRONG and let your heart take COURAGE....All you who HOPE in the LORD!!!(Psalm 31:24)