We have another year behind us with opportunity and anticipation ahead. One thing we cannot say is that 2016 was boring. I won’t bore you with a repeat of all the highlights from the past year, you will see enough of that on social media.
I have reflected on the year personally, as I am sure you have. This 55th year of my birth brought many, many changes for me and The Sweetheart.
- Norah Jayne. The miracle we have waited more than ten years for finally arrived 4/2/16. She literally lights up our lives. Those eyes and that smile melt me and if I could give her the world I would.
- We moved. Well, of course we moved! Six hours south to be near Norah Jayne. A new city, a new church, some old and some new friends, all because of a miracle.
- I went to work full time. For those that know me at all, I was blessed when My Three Sons were all home to be there for them. Then, with pastoring and traveling, etc., I was busy with curriculum editing for Revival By Design the last five years. Now, I want to be available for Norah, but still have some money to spend on headbands and bows, so I now work at night, from home, for Amazon customer service, in my pajamas if I want!
Norah has brought so many changes to my world, the list could easily be longer. I miss my family back in Indiana terribly but when I walk in the door and that little face brightens up when she sees me and those arms reach out for her Nana…well…I have to admit I am in heaven on earth.
Love so much it hurts at times. I want her to be able to climb up in my lap and know that all is well. I want her to know she is loved and that in the arms of her family she is safe and cared for. (Don’t worry, she is!) But I think about her when I am not with her, I miss her if it’s more than a day or two, and naturally, I don’t want her to forget me.
I have been with The Sweetheart for 40 years, married for 37. It seems as if we have always been a couple, an item, a duo. I can’t imagine my life without him and if I allow my head to go there, to try to imagine losing him, my heart feels as if it would break in two. Many of you reading this, that have experienced that loss, can relate to that. You love so much it hurts!
In 2012, Marjorie and James Landis of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, died just 88 minutes apart. They had been married 65 years. One couldn’t imagine surviving and going on without the other.
A few years ago a group of doctors at Johns Hopkins University reported a rare but lethal heart condition caused by acute emotional distress. The technical name is stress cardiomyopathy; we call it broken heart syndrome. A current example of this would be the actresses Debbie Reynolds and her daughter, Carrie Fisher. Literally heartbroken over the death of her daughter, Debbie Reynolds suffered a stroke and died one day after her beloved daughter. She is reported to have said that she just wanted to be with Carrie.
I was thinking of all of that in prayer time today. I reflected on the past year and the many blessings of the Lord: the good, the bad, the ugly and the wonderful. I was thankful for it all because God was with me, He was faithful.
And for His love, the love He had for us. He loved so much it hurt too. He came as an infant, knowing He would be wounded, physically, verbally, etc., but He still came. He also knew He would give so much that it hurt; physical torture and rejection from His own people. But that love trumped pain, it triumphed over rejection and even abandonment. He paid the ultimate price all because He loved us so much.
He would do it all again you know; just as you would stand in the gap for your children and grandchildren. You would take the punishment for them, you would likely give your life for them because you love so much.
As we enter a new year, uncertainties abound: Political unrest, terrorism that grows increasingly close to our door and endtime prophecy being fulfilled all around us. The one thing that is definite is that we are loved, we are cared for and we are safe in the arms of our Father. We can climb up in His lap, so to speak, and be assured that whatever comes our way, whatever 2017 holds for us as God’s children, He will be faithful to His Word. Persecution may come, difficulties may be present but He will walk with us through any fire or trial. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
That’s a Father’s love for His children. Unconditional, unwavering, a really good hurt.
It’s that time of year again…a time of reflection, renewal and denial. Many churches begin corporate fasts at the beginning of the New Year and individuals choose a fast of some kind as well. Pick up a copy of The Daniel Fast, a Devotional! Available in Kindle and paperback, it’s an easy read, full of 21 days of devotions for ANY FAST. There are also daily recipes for the Daniel Fast or a no meats, no sweets fast if you choose that route. Whatever you do, fast unto the Lord! Click on the book or this link to order from Amazon.com!