Bring it on….

I remember being so happy when 2008 finally came to an end. It was, what I considered, a baaaddd year. The economy struggles had trickled down right into our home and we were looking for an upswing. That upswing, however slight, would transfer into hope that things would be better in 2009. It was going to be a brand new 2009 and I felt it could only get better from that point on. I really think this may have been the very first year in my 40 something years that I looked forward to closing (or slamming shut) the old year and ringing in something brand new.
 Up to this point, I just didn’t care about New Years celebrations, it was just another day, no specific reason for the holiday, you know like Christmas, Easter, Washington’s birthday….every other holiday had a “reason” behind it and to me this was just another day and most used this as an excuse to party till the sun came up. It’s here, a brand new year! So what, big deal. That was my attitude. There were years I went to bed early, years I was dragged kicking and screaming to those parties, and years I made the best of spending time with friends…..but overall,…..really, what’s the big deal?
Here we are again, a brand new year. The last couple of days I’ve been “summing up” 2009 looking forward to 2010. 2009 did not bring all the changes and relief that I had hoped for a year ago. In many ways, I could look at the previous 12 months and think it was an awful year. Though there were painful events, financial insecurity, and a “little” turmoil, it was also a year of fun, blessings, wonderful events and clear and evident gifts from God. It’s all a matter of how I choose to look at it as to what I see.
Once again my thoughts go to a verse that keeps me focused, “but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”Romans 5:3-5
 I remember, clear as day, when God led me to this verse for the first time, thinking…“WHAT!, rejoice in our suffering? Are you kidding me? and then, after a bit, my focus shifted to “HOPE, and hope does not disappoint us…because God poured out His love into our hearts. God has given me His love…With His love and protection, I’ll make it through and be stronger…and this brought me back to hope. There was many a day, I kept this hope, the hope of the Holy Spirit, the hope of the power of God’s love. It helped me persevere. It gave me refuge and brought expectation of good things.
So here we are again, at the beginning of a brand new year. I find myself hoping for a new beginning, a clean slate, a fresh start. I want a renewing of my mind and spirit. There’s something weird about a brand new year, maybe that’s cause for celebration… I’m not sure about that yet. For me, I guess it’s knowledge that no matter what, “all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called to His purpose. .Romans 8:28  We may not see the good at the moment, but the knowledge that this is so, gives me hope that now matter what happens, God is on my side, and He’s already won.
So bring on the new year with all it’s blessings I’m looking forward to it….
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