Wow! Where has all the time gone? I stand in total amazement at how fast this year has progressed. The adage, "Time waits for no one" certainly bears true. How has this year been for you? Have you seen God at work like never before? Are you still standing on His promises for this to be the Year of Manifestation, (if that's what He's spoken to you)? Have things fallen into place as you've expected them to, or have you found yourself facing one challenge after the next, causing you to wonder what in the world is going on? For me, it's been a bittersweet year. On the surface, the enemy would have me to believe that the bitter exceeded the sweet, but he's a liar. In the midst of it all, I feel down in my soul a calmness that reminds me of the truth found in the words of a song that I always heard as a child, "I feel like going on!" That's my testimony today.
If I were to take a retrospective look at the year 2013, the challenges that I've faced are more than enough to yield many sighs of frustration, tears of agony and an attitude of defeat. My family had barely dried our tears after losing one of two of my mother's remaining brothers in October of last year. Shortly after that, I lost a first cousin. In March of this year, Mama lost a brother-in- law. Then in July, I lost my beloved Daddy. And if that wasn't enough, Mom lost her only remaining brother only three weeks after we lost Daddy. In addition to making adjustments in a new marriage, getting my daughter graduated from high school and into college, I also had to take some disciplinary actions against both my sons (ages 20 and 8) that, for me, were painstakingly drastic, yet they were oh so necessary.
These situations caused me to wonder, "What do you do when you don't know what to do?" I found myself seeking to be strength for my entire family, but the real of the real was that I needed someone to be strength for me. I felt like Aaron. Do you remember how he was always strength for Moses? Do you remember how he and Hur held Moses' arms up and strengthened and encouraged him when he clearly had to be exhausted in every way? I often wondered who held up Aaron's and Hur's arms in the process (Exodus 17:12). I thank God for His ministering angels in my church family, natural family, and friends whom He used to help me get through it. Most importantly, I thank Him for the Holy Spirit working through each of them.
There are many lessons I've learned in life. One of the most important is that life is sure to bring trials and tribulations. From that lesson, I've further come to understand that these experiences come to make me strong. I must admit that there was a time in my life when I felt like, "Lord, if trials come to make me strong, surely you must think I'm Hercules!" I'm thankful that I serve a God that I can be honest enough with to share exactly how I'm feeling. I'm also grateful for His Word, which has proven to be the ultimate sustainer in my life as I faced so many challenges.
As we prepare to bring 2013 to an end, I thank God for all He has done in this year, all that He is doing and all that He shall do. I have gone through the fire, and I've been through flood. I honestly feel like I've experienced every scenario described in Isaiah 43:2 - waters, rivers, fire and flames. Yet, I'm still here! Yet, I still trust God! Yet, I know I serve a man who cannot lie, cannot fail and still works miracles. Yet, I serve a God who has given me a brand new mercy every day; one who satisfies my mouth with good things; one who is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all I could ever ask or think; one who loves me even when I feel like/felt like I can't/couldn't love myself; one who has a plan and a destiny for my life; one who loves and trusts me enough to try me; one who fights my battles; one who opens doors no man can shut. So, yes, indeed, I feel like going on!
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