Beginning A New Year!

Happy New Year!!

It’s crazy to think that Hope Through Hard Times has reached its one-year anniversary already! My how time flies. We’ve shared a lot of stories, tips, and devotionals. We’ve learned about each other and established relationships. We started our Comfort Boxes. As I write this, I’m so blessed with all God has done and taught us this year and I am so excited to see where He brings us in 2021.

I rejoice and am glad for this new year. I am excited with anticipation to see all that the Lord does. I am prepared that good and bad will happen. There will be suffering. There will be joy. There will always be hope.

I’m not going to lie that my heart was a bit sad seeing a bunch of posts wishing 2020 good riddance. Though it had its fair share of struggles, people were also wishing the good away too. They allowed the heaviness to outweigh the beautiful things as well. Every year has its burdens and its hard times. But it also has its celebrations and beauty. The Lord is never absent. He’s always at work. He’s always refining and refreshing us.

We had our share of grief and sorrow. We missed our friends. Declan, our sweet furry baby suddenly passed away. I was very sick in the summer with my concussion therapy. I lost my job. One of my loved ones had a stroke. My grandma passed away. Another loved one had a heart attack. We couldn’t have Christmas with any of my family. There was a lot to deal with on top of the pandemic.

However, there were so many beautiful moments. I started Hope Through Hard Times. I began and completed my vision therapy, with great success and healing. God blessed me with a new job that I enjoy. I had time with Michael, and cherished the moments we could get with family and friends. I took time to be outside more often. We made a veggie garden and ate the fruits of our labour. We started the Comfort Boxes. We enjoyed a relaxed Christmas and time for rest. We put down a bunch more on our mortgage. And I experienced great healing from past hurts.

I was amazed at the incredible weather God blessed us with this as well. At least in this part of Canada, we had all four seasons this year. It was a warm and beautiful spring when the pandemic hit us. We were able to get out and enjoy nature instead of being stuck in our homes the entire time. The summer wasn’t too hot or humid. We could get together in our yards with friends and family, safely spaced out, enjoying the company of others. This fall lasted longer than normal as well. The stunning colours of the trees stayed with us for about a month or more, when normally it seems like a couple weeks. Then, when it was rainy and dreary, God sent a heap of snow upon us right on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to bless us with a majestic Christmas. Such a wonder and surprise.

We also had an magnificent convergence of Jupitar and Saturn creating the look of the Bethlehem star that the wise men followed to get to Jesus on the after He was born.

There was evidence of the Lord all around us. So many people shared testimonies of God blessing them in various ways. Needed ways. Impactful ways. These met our needs. They warmed our hearts. They gave us a testimony to share of His goodness and faithfulness to us.

Michael and I were able to stand as witnesses as our friends began their marriage together. We were able to rejoice at the pregnancy announcements, especially of friends that had been told they were infertile. Life and beauty took place regardless of the pandemic.

These are the things I want to remember and cherish about this year. These are the things I wish for you to cherish as well. Take some time today and this week to reflect on the faithfulness of God. Praise Him for what He has done. Let Him fill your heart with joy and peace. Be reminded that He is in control.

I pray that we are all refreshed from this Christmas and ready to dive into this year with expectant and confident hope. Yes, there is still a pandemic. Yes, there will still be moments of grief and sorrow. This is the ebbs and flows of life. But you’re alive! God has filled your lungs with breath, kept your heart beating, and your brain functioning. He has not completed His sanctification within you yet. There are people that need to hear the Good News God has to offer. There are others that need encouragement.

We have the opportunity to dive into God’s word, to grow in Him, and to continue to renew our spirits day by day. Pray, dream, and get excited about this year. Look forward to the surprises God has in store for you. Pray about some goals you’d like to achieve. Write them down. Enjoy the process.

“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him, endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne” Hebrews 12:1-2

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