Are you facing the New Year with a brave face? Keeping positive in your thoughts is not something man contrived but rather the Lord himself. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Facing depression and feelings of going mad, utter confusion about reality, I admit the past three years has been anything but kind to me physically, mentally or spiritually. The past waters were deep and muddied. I waded through with sluggish steps, sometimes retreating from contact that made life unbearable, but always hope rose from the depths of me that only God could reach. He makes no small promises. God’s lips do not speak “political” correctness but rather truth in love.
When we face our self, it is dark and scary. It can be hard to move because we fear the results. It can be difficult to talk because no one can bear our sorrows. It is a relief when you finally find someone who can survive the lashings of your tongue, speaking of all the demons and ghosts that clog your mind with venomous poison. It is then that God tells us in Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
It seems no one else knew my mother fought depression all her life. She died with regrets piled as high as my kitchen ceiling, yet she always appeared to be smiling. Who did she fool? Not me, but many! Her death brought me freedom. I was released from her arms that strangled my dreams and caused me to stumble for many years. Death can be a relief. I feel reborn…again!
My journey with Christ is long. My first recollection of hearing about Jesus was in the third grade. And then the 8th grade, followed by high school when I clearly heard the Lord’s voice give me direction for my life. I remember writing my mother a long note asking for her help. Her response was typical and fatal. “I cannot help you Jean. Go ask the pastor.” I froze and did not dare move. I was stuck in that grave for over 25 years. God has and will continue to open doors where there were only walls before.
I know what it is like to watch a caterpillar, which started as a pin dot, eat its way leaf after leaf, to one of the most beautiful insects. It is quite a process. I am on that journey and finally have come to the juncture where I emerge as that butterfly! Tomorrow I hope I finally shake off all that is unkind, ugly and unwise. The fruits of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians 5:22-23 “…is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Certainly the mountain top looms ahead, but as Philippians 4:13 ESV says “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” I honestly can face 2012 with a brave face. Not in my own strength, but buoyed up by my Savior’s arms who uphold me day and night. It is a promise that we hold onto that Jeremiah 29:11 writes for us “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”