2014 -The Painfully Beautiful Year

I’m hearing a lot of; “Oh this past year has been the greatest one yet.”    “It’s been the best year of my life.”    “2014 was such a great year, ready for another one!”    “The past year was full of so many good things-welcome to the New Year.”

And so it got me thinking…of my past year.. And I couldn’t help it. Pretty soon tears were sliding down my cheeks. This past year was probably the hardest year of my life. In some ways it could almost seem like a ‘wasted year’ with no real big accomplishments to show for. But, deep in my soul I felt a stirring, a peace and a smile through my tears,  gently telling me that those 12 months of difficulty, tears, and pain were not for nothing. They were moments of ‘hands-on teaching’ from my Abba Father. I learned how to speak more kindly and take time for what matters most. I have become more of a sensitive person than I even deemed ‘necessary’ a year ago. And probably even other areas that I’m not aware of. It’s definitely been a year of peeling back those layers and becoming more aware of who God really is, not just who He is, but who He is to me. He is simple not just some kind of man in the skies whom we love if we want all good things to come our way. Stop and truly answer this question, WHY do you love Jesus?                                                                             {beware, it could change your life.}

I realized something that I have been pondering on for awhile…. that ‘moments of joy’, ‘good times’, ‘best memories’ and  ‘wonderful things’ are not what define whether or not I had a good year. What really defines good for us? Is it in the comforts of men and the fleshly pleasures of humanity? Or are we ONLY about the glory of God and concerned about the fame and renown of Jesus Christ?

2014 beachphoto Yes this past year was one of the hardest and most painful ones that I can remember, yet I wouldn’t trade it for one that was filled with easy roads and flower-strewn pathways. If that’s how yours was, then thank Him, if not, still thank Him. It’s often at the end of a calendar year that one looks back to the moments that penetrate our minds. For some the ending of the year looks even better than they envisioned, for others it looks nothing like what they had hoped or imagined. Despite all the laughter and good times, the blessings and the touches from God. We also see the loss, painful experiences, and sickness, plans that ‘failed’, dreams that seemingly were crushed.. Many people would say, “Just focus on the good times” -but I’m thinking; those other things, they affect us the most and should we just forget them? So if we choose to focus on one or the other it will automatically define whether we look back and say that we had a great year, or our year was just a mess? Neither one seemed right to me..so here’s a bit of my heart….

I could share with you the excerpt that I’m not printing (the details of my year)–but this isn’t some kind of pity party and this isn’t about ‘levels’ and ‘categories’ that I would then automatically be thrown into with your human mind {sorry, it’s something we all do and so I’m being helpful by leaving it out, to drive home the point here}. This is about learning there aren’t levels…and letting go of those categories in our human thinking…..our pain may be different from anyone else’s but it’s been passed through our Father’s Hands and His only level is true purity and beauty. I don’t believe He measures the pain -He’s measuring the results. We automatically put pain in levels, who has the worst and those that have the easiest levels—but are there levels in God’s economy? Who are we to judge whether or not something that is ‘happening’ to us could be worse, or is ‘bad’? If we are sons and daughters of the King, nothing will come to us without the Father allowing it. I’ve come to realize that He has a perfect ‘combination’ for us-the one that will wipe away all that self. We might look around and think we have it the worst, or we might think that we could never handle what our friends are going through. But the truth is, your journey, even though it’s different than mine, is perfect for you and God isn’t giving you an easier or a harder level, he is simply giving you his grace, and allowing the trials He knows it takes for you to be all that He wants you to be, combined with how much you are willing to give Him…[which could be another whole post on it’s own].  Beings we are created with different abilities we all have different areas to grow in and He knows just exactly how much it will take to make us into the kind of person He wants to mold us into and to achieve the results He sees can be reached if we allow every ounce of it to do a work in us and the world around us. [It’s not about us, it’s about a greater purpose..]   So if we say, ‘Oh, it could be so much worse’, than we aren’t truly allowing the pain of the situation to mold us, we are only thanking God for something that He didn’t give us.    And by all means, if it’s painful.. don’t just take it in… use it!! Let it change you. If you just take it in, you are just accepting inflictions from the devil, you must let it change you to bring glory to the Father. Think a bit about the death and the prayers of Jesus—God allowed exactly what He saw was necessary to save the human race. Was Jesus praying and thanking God that it would be over soon? No, He prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want you will to be done, not mine.” And then again, “My Father! If this cup cannot be take away unless I drink it, your will be done.” –He didn’t want the pain, but He knew that if the Father was allowing it, then He wanted to drink it.

So, yes I am thankful for this past year and the things it has taught me.. I won’t just say it’s been a wonderful-great year and forget about the pain, hurt and trials. But I will say that it has been a beautiful year, realizing that even though it wasn’t what I had planned for or dreamed of, it was God’s, and I’m so thankful that if He chose this pathway for me to walk through, that I didn’t throw the cup out, but drank it. I realize that it’s taken me awhile and I’m hoping that I will only continue to learn more about the nature of God. Whether it be through what my earthly mind would deem as good times or bad times. I realize that there is nothing to be ashamed about in both–but in both there is always a God that wants the glory. So whether it be a difficult season you are in, or maybe you are experiencing showers of blessings, remember that everything can be used for His good and for His glory. And joy, true joy isn’t dependent on your circumstances. Even though 2014 was a hard one, God was soo good to me and I am so thankful for the journey He has me on. My prayer is that in both I would always , ALWAYS remember to give God the glory! Allow Him to have the paint brush and your canvas in life will be being made beautiful once 2015 draws to a close…

..to Him be the glory.

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6 Responses to 2014 -The Painfully Beautiful Year

  1. Marietta Yoder says:

    Very good thoughts,Julia.

  2. Carolyn Miller says:

    Sister, that is written so beautifully! Especially knowing some of the painful experiences of our year -spoken and unspoken, yet you are able to pen these beautiful words! Blessings Sister! Love ya!

  3. Abigail says:

    Beautiful! I needed to hear this for my season of waiting on God right now!

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