|Photo Credit: Child Family|
I was "gone" from the blog and the internet for about ten days. (I also admittedly -due to the severe reaction and hospital visit and illness- fell behind on sending out a couple of giveaway winner prizes- so sorry that they will be a little bit later ladies! Look for them in early January as a belated Christmas present! *smiles*)
I have an iphone so I have periodically been checking my facebook, posting some instagram pictures, and checking some emails, but when my precious family was around I have mostly been unplugged.And I have been thinking and praying... alot.
And marveling again at how God works in our lives in unique ways that we could never have imagined.
This gal who has never liked to be the center of attention and whose voice used to shake anytime she had to speak in front of a large crowd (or even would be nervous to see friends that she hasn't seen in a while (*child family*) has been sharing her life publicly and voluntarily (at that) on this blog.
And... sharing personal stories and lessons in magazine articles & a book that will be published soon.
And thoroughly enjoying the opportunities when the Lord opens the door for me to speak (and not even getting nervous at all).
Honestly, it leaves me speechless. If you would have told me two years ago that this is what I would be doing I would have stared at you in disbelief and thought that you were a little insane. Honestly, I probably would have laughed. There would have been NO way.
Put me in front of a classroom full of students who I can live life with any day but other ways of living life "publicly"- absolutely no way. I have said this often- but I am a "private person".
But then... slowly and surely the Lord started moving me completely out of my comfort zone, stripped my life to "ashes", and has given me the strength to face each day to fight two serious illnesses, and His goodness overwhelms me and the pain. And my heart longs to give Him glory for all He is doing.
And there is absolutely nothing private about that.
And I am in awe of Him.
As we move forward into a new year I am reminded of changes in the past and the beautiful mercies that are new every morning and look to the future year in wonder of what God is going to do next.
I know that this is journey that the Lord has me on is something that I would have kept very private if it was up to me. (*smiles* I shake my head as I think that if I had known I was going to not only be diagnosed with Lyme Disease, but Cancer too there is no way that I would have even started writing! *giggles*) But God is good and shows us the light for the each day we are on and tells us to leave the future in His hands. And I am reminded of the truth of scripture that states that "obedience brings blessing"... and I see that in so many ways through this growth and stretch of sharing this journey with you sweet friends.
Sharing the pain of illness, the heart-wrenching grief of certain circumstances, and the beautifully answered prayers of ordinary days I have been changed in countless ways.
My heart has never known the beautiful love of Jesus so tenderly and personally as this year. This blog has helped challenge me, encourage me, and grow me. This blog forces me to come to the cross anew as I examine what I am learning and sharing with y'all. This little blog gives me one more opportunity to be reminded that Hope is ever present in our lives.
So as we approach not only a new year, but each new day with the wonderment and expectation I accept with gratitude that if we allow the Lord to use everything in our lives for his glory we can't help but be changed by Him.
By His mercy.
By His love.
By His faithfulness.
By His goodness.
As I look back on 2013 and expectantly look to the Lord (Micah 7:7) for 2014, I see the Lord's gentle nudging and love reminding me that He has created me and will lead me on the path that I take. Truly, Yahweh charts the course. And as we look to the new year I am joyfully content to recognize that the Lord has given me an "artsy old soul". A soul that God created to live out the verse that He truly makes beauty from ashes. I can't wait to live fearlessly ("sine-timore") and expectantly with you this year friends, stepping out in even more faith. I can't wait to share with y'all some this next steps of this caravan and cheer you on on yours!
As we say "goodbye" to 2013 I pray the Lord's greatest blessings on you sweet friends. Happy New Year! I can't wait to live life with you in this coming year!
With Lots of Love, Rebecca