When 2013 began, I made a vow to SHINE. That was the word I chose to live for the year. I wanted make my life one that shined the light of Jesus. I wanted to reflect Him in all that I did. As I take this time to reflect back on the events of the past year, I hope that I did just that....
2013 was not an easy year for me. As a family, we experienced our first deployment. Although it was a difficult journey, I have to say, God prepared me for it many ways. You can never be totally prepared for what a deployment will bring, but I was able to do certain things with confidence and efficiency by journeys God sent me through earlier. I was able to manage my household as effectively as possible. I had my family on a schedule and even had time for quiet prayer time and Bible reading for me. I dealt with sick children and even became very ill myself. With the help of others, through actions and prayers, we all survived the deployment.
After Jeff came home, we began to start a new journey together as a family. We became pregnant with our fourth child. However, the pregnancy ended in a devastating miscarriage. It has been months, but I still hurt. It is difficult when people you work with and go to church with are expecting and having babies. I think about the one I will never know, they one I will never hold. But again, we are surviving this heartbreak.
Regardless of the event - deployment, miscarriage, a death in the family, or daily life - we have put our hope and faith in God. Sure I messed up along with way. I lost my temper. I slacked on chores. Supposedly, I even stuck my tongue out at my husband (I think I was just licking my lips). I got way behind on my Bible reading. I didn't pray like I should have. Yes, I messed up. But all in all, I need to ask myself if I shined the light of Jesus to those around me. Did I show love? Did I show kindness and patience? Did I give of myself? Did someone see Jesus through me? Those are the important things.
The further I get into my walk with Christ, the more I see that I need Him. I am not perfect, and I won't be until I meet him in heaven. That doesn't give me an excuse to be a slave to my sin. As we recently talked about in Sunday school, because of my walk with Him, I am able to see my sin for what it is. I no longer try to justify it. I know that I am weak...I will fail....I will hurt....but by His grace I will have victory.
I have realized this year that I have to be real. When I hurt, others need to know. When I mess up, others need to know. When people would comment, "I just don't know how you do it," I knew I had to give the glory to God. I know I can't do anything without Him. And that is how we can all shine the light of Christ. We have to be real. So many people look at Christians as hypocrites. Some of us are, but some of us aren't. We have to let others know that we mess up like everyone else, but we truly seek to become more Christ-like.
2013 is about to come to an end. However, my desire to SHINE won't. That is a journey I will live my whole life long. That should be the journey for each of us who love Jesus.
I pray that as you have followed me on this blog or know me in person that you can say I did something that showed you the love of Jesus. If I didn't, I have failed, and I apologize for that. If I have, then I know that I am doing what God desires of me. That was the entire goal of this blog to start with, to glorify Him. I hope to do that each day of my life.
I pray blessings to you and your family this New Year. I hope that you can reflect back to what you experienced in 2013 and turn the page to live for Jesus in 2014.