Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final Day of 2008

Another year finished, accomplished, survived. Depends upon how you look at it I suppose, but I am looking back at 2008 and feeling a bit empty at the moment. That, I am sure, is due to the news we received last night of the unexpected death of a dear friend in Florida. So far away, and yet we are in shock all the way up here in Pennsylvania.

This year encompassed many beginnings and many endings. We re-connected with family members from both Jim's and my side of the family, and will, in fact, be spending today with some of them. We began projects here at home... but those are somewhat unending. I began working at Curves, which I enjoy for the new friendships inherent in being there. New relationships warmed our summer months, but one in particular ended, bringing a chill into Autumn, accompanied by lingering pain. Kate began her Mission Internship in Ireland, and we have adjusted to home life without her presence- maybe.

In all of this, the temptation is to look back and wonder, "What could I have done differently"? I could get stuck in that hamster wheel of doubt and regret quite easily. Yet the truth to which I must cling, which indeed has gripped me when my own strength fails, is that our God has Sovereignly ordered the events of this year to play out as they have for a purpose higher than I can see. My own plans only go as far as I am able to predict the future. God's plans go as far as eternity into the future which He has ordained. I am responsible, yes, to obey God in my own realm of influence, and failing that, repent of my sins, (yes, much repenting...). To the best of my ability, I am to be a godly wife, mother, employee and friend. Trusting God takes great effort on my part and yet I must expend that effort. My days must be ordered by me to be as productive in my duties and purposeful in my Spirituality as I can.

Yet, ultimately, my responsibility ends with me. I cannot be responsible for decisions freely made by others that then affect those I love. I cannot change what God has from eternity decreed, nor would I want to. When events appear to careen out of control, I must fix my eyes on Christ and trust that he has the helm and is steering our little ship exactly where he wants it to go. Trusting Him, though the wind and the waves grow ever more menacing, I continue in what he has set before me, and take my next step. Oh, the mystery.

So we mourn the passing of our friend and grieve for his wife and children who will dearly miss him. And yet,... in my mind's eye I can just see him, standing head and shoulders above that great multitude in heaven, praising God and beaming his thousand watt smile across the sea of crystal...

"And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the heaven and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, 'To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!'" Revelation 5:13

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