Circumstantially, 2016 was the year from hell. Seriously. Between my husband and I, we lost 20 people, many of whom were good friends or family members. We attended 13 funerals, several of them requiring trips out of town. Plus, in June, my husband suffered another heart attack, albeit minor. The emotional toll was daunting. Work-wise, my writing, editing, and voice-over business was not as busy as in prior years, particularly during the last several months of the year. As a result, when offered a full-time position running a home companionship company, I accepted, creating a brand new stress on us as a couple. I believe it was a good decision, but change is stressful and I have not worked a full-time job outside of the home since 1982. Yeah. Big change.
As I look back over the year, my first reaction well might be, "2016 sucked." But that's not a proper evaluation. Instead, I look back and feel peace.
How? you may be wondering.
This picture says it all. Above all else, 2016 proved to me once again that God is faithful. He does not control the circumstances around us. He is not a puppeteer, after all. But what He does is offer a peace that passes all understanding. A peace that dwells deep within our hearts and when we push aside all the crap, the garbage, the grief, and all the disappointments, it shines through and brings us joy. Yes, joy.
That, my friends, is the message of 2016 for me. It wasn't about what I've lost. It was about what I gained through Christ, who dwells within me. As we enter a new year, my prayer is that I will be a faithful servant and shine His light wherever I go, regardless of the circumstances. Will I fail at times? Undoubtedly. But He'll be there to pick me up and renew the spark within me until it shines brightly once again.
May you rest in His peace as the year comes to a close and may His blessings be upon us all in 2017.