Each New Year in China, they name the year after whatever animal corresponds with that Zodiac year. This year will be the year of the Snake. Uggh! I don't know about you, but that doesn't even sound good to me. Snakes bring thoughts of sneakiness, dangerous, and cold. I personally don't want my year to be that way. And although little man is majorly into them, I am not! I don't think I am going to go with that. Instead I am going to go with some of my other Christian sisters who have been naming their years too, but they are doing it as a way to grow. Ann Voskamp at AHolyExperience.com, and author of One Thousand Gifts, has lived her last year in Koinonia, meaning community. It was to keep her focusing on living making better relationships. Another blogger does the same thing and uses one word to name her year too. I have decided to do follow suit this year! I am going to name my year Agape! This year I want my love for God to grow and become so intimate, so unconditional, so deep and rich, and in return that I REALIZE and accept God's love for me so much that it overflows to everyone around me. I want to use this as a focusing point in my spiritual walk. I know that this is not going to be easy, and that there are definitely going to be BIG challenges and roadblocks, but with my eyes fixed on Jesus, I can get through it! Tomorrow, I am going to make a few signs to put up around the house to constantly remind me. Live AGAPE! 1 Corinthians 13 will be my Biblical guide in this. Its challenge to us is what are we without Love? Love come directly from God and 1 John 4:7-8 tells us that God is Love! So basically we are, as Christians, to be Christ like and LOVE! So my challenge to you....Live AGAPE!
Will you join me and name your year? If so, let me know what you named it and why. I would love to hear from you!
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Wow! What a year! I can't believe that it has been a year and a half since my last post! I gotta get better at this! Time flies by so quick and before you know it, all kinds of things have happened and your life has changed! Since my last post, I have been a speaker at a Ladies Retreat for the church I was a member of and led them in making a scrapbook of their life story as a heritage to their children as a way to share their salvation experience with others. Iwas in the process of beginning as their Women's ministry Director and ideas were flowing and doors of opportunity were opening for me to step into that realm I feel that God has called me ( to be an inspirational speaker), and just as fast as they opened, they SLAMMED shut right in my face. It was devastating to me, my spiritual walk and my marriage. The bottom of the bucket just fell out! I lost my friends, my church family, my dreams, my hopes. My husband was devastated by rejection from our Pastor, and in turn, devastated his spiritual walk also. We left that church, attended another, and I searched for meaning and healing in it all. I found a couple of new friends that would be my support and prayer warriors during what was to be the toughest 6 months. My summer was filled with nothing but tears and stress. I got my 2 year old grandson at the end of April on a permanent basis due to his mom's poor choices, and my baby boy was finally diagnosed with ADHD. My world was twisted and toppled. I was dealing with all of this alone because my husband had withdrawn and thrown himself into his new job to escape his pain. One stressful situation after another and I momentarily lost it! I was made to go to the hospital and then went on a 3 week "vacation" to the beach. Things really didn't improve in my marriage even though I begged for us to get help. In fact they just got worse. Verbal and mental abuse became more and more frequent. I knew it was over and that I had to leave. So in regret and anger, I moved back to South Carolina to be near my girls and for my grandson to be near his Mommy, and separated from my husband. It has been 2 months now, and God has revealed so much to me especially in the last few weeks. The past 3 1/2 months I had turned my back on God in anger and confusion. I lived a life of sin in actions and in attitude. But God, true to His character, came after this wayward sheep yet once AGAIN and drew me back. He stood behind my right shoulder and whispered "I Love You" all day long one day and I fell to the floor when He asked me "Do you know how much I Love You?" I said no, I can never fathom that, but please keep telling me! He had spoke to me through a christian movie called "Amazing Love" about the book of Hosea. It was such a beautiful picture of God and how much He loves us and is willing to redeem us even after we "prostitute" ourselves out to the world or other gods. He will do whatever it takes to free us from a life of slavery to sin. He came from His throne in Heaven to be born in a pile of "poop" ( which is an analogy of my life) just to have a relationship with me! I was worth it! He has shown me the answer to my questions of why did He want to change me was that He didn't want to change my personality but He wanted me the way He originally created me to be: BAGGAGE FREE! The biggest bag I carry along in my life has always been labeled "I am not good enough". And that always translated into "I am not good", which translated into "I am bad", and therefore I might as well act it! It became a vicious cycle of having people in my life (especially men) who didn't treat me well and it feed my baggage, and on and on it went. So I have asked Him to be my Husband/Lover of my soul and I have put my wedding rings back on as a symbol and as a reminder to live under His protection. I have put God into little categories all my life; provider, helper, protector, etc, but never husband/lover. I realize that everything else just comes under that umbrella name. As a husband should do, God protects and provides, and loves, and helps. I have fell IN LOVE with Jesus and have had the best Christmas EVER! I am encouraged, and have my hope back. I am looking forward to tomorrow, one day at a time! I know He has good things in store for me! His GRACE is new every morning and His MERCY endures forever! To God be the GLORY!