I often find myself falling into quite a cynical state of mind. Depending on life's circumstances, I tend to see the glass half empty instead of half full. It's hard to explain, but negativity and the tendency to vent over something justifiable or not energizes me. I find myself regularly thinking about days gone by and wondering at one point did I lose my softness. The truth is...I used to be much sweeter than this.
A new year brings such a feeling of refreshment for me. There is nothing quite as gratifying as getting to hit the reset button on life with the onset of a new year. Living in a modern world being thrown into a face-paced culture with something technologically new right around every corner brings with it a state of blindness...not necessarily ignorance but a tendency to miss something right before my very eyes. Couple that with a near constant state of cynicism, and I have myself a fine recipe for disaster.
As I reflect over 2013, my heart feels a mixture of emotions. This past year has brought with it an odd mix of stress, joy, anxiety, pride, sadness, exhilaration, fear, peace, and regret. I'm thankful that the God I so strongly believe in sees beyond my human-ness and helps me dig down to a deeper part within myself. He has helped me recognize something that I may have missed before now.
Miracles still happen.
Sure, I could wallow around in negativity and justifiably so. But for this new year, 2014, I have asked the Lord to take me to a deeper place with Him, a new place in our relationship where if He sees fit, will grant me the ability...
to see things the ways He sees them,
to see people the way He sees them,
and to live the way He would have me to live.
With that comes the privilege of seeing miracles happen in a modern day world. Today, I am giving God praise for the miracles that took place in 2013...
1. Our family witnessed many men and women's lives changed for the Kingdom of Christ during the 2013 Fishers of Men season. The 2014 season kicks off in just one month!
2. Our Faith Family became closer to the Lord and one another through 12 incredible mission trips completed locally and in other parts of the state. With that came one of the most memorable moments every experienced in my almost 36 years of life...
3. We saw countless women walk out of a gentleman's club in New Orleans with Bibles in hand and smiles on their faces as they experienced the presence of Christ right there in one of the darkest, most evil places in Louisiana.
4. Our family survived a house fire in October. No one was harmed and no item damaged. While our life became very inconvenient, the miracle that took place was evident but almost missed completely...our God is alive and He still places His hands of protection on our lives everyday.
5. And just yesterday in our small group at church...we each went around the room explaining what we'd like to see God do in our lives over the next year, but the miracle was this...instead of patting ourselves on the back for all the many things God accomplished through us over the past year, we each expressed regret for not doing more. Hearts were filled with conviction that what had been done was not enough, and we each prayed aloud asking God to help us do MORE for the cause of Christ.
6. My children are healthy and alive. My youngest turned 2. My middle son turned 6. And my oldest just became 9-years-old. They all have a sweetness that could only come from Heaven above. (Lord knows, it's not from me.) The miracle is getting to see the Lord reveal Himself to them each and everyday as they fall more in love with Him everyday.
7. And the biggest miracle of all...the creator of Heaven and Earth...the One who defied death...my Savior Jesus lives in my heart. A piece of Heaven resides in my very being. There is no greater miracle. And He lives inside of my husband's heart and my children's. What more could I ask?!
Oh yes! Miracles still happen.
Believe it! Ask God to open your eyes. I've missed so many blessings because of my cynical, most sinful heart. Not again. Not this year.
Father, take me to a deeper place. Take me "out of the ordinary into extraordinary. This is a heart cry from my life to say I love you, Lord. So, take me deeper!" Take me into the glorious where I die to myself and miracles happen. In Jesus' Name! MAY IT BE SO! Amen!