new-years-day-1924606_1280As the year winds down, now is the time that all of us start thinking about where this year has gone.  How quickly time flies, how the kids have grown up so fast, where all the money has gone, blah blah blah.  My year has been a roller coaster of emotions and challenges with heartaches and hearts full.  We had a marriage, two babies, deaths and new loves.  It’s come with a high emotional cost, not all bad, but certainly not all easy.  So, as I look back, I sigh to myself and ask, “Will 2017 be any easier?”

The answer is NOPE!  NO WAY! HECK NO! And my favorite…. KEEP DREAMING. Before you accuse me of being a glass half empty type of person, I’m just being realistic. Struggles are not set to expire in 2017. It’s part of the human experience. We are part of a fallen world, with fallen people, doing fallen things. So, since we can expect to struggle, how do we plan on dealing with it?  My strategy is to try to glorify God through the struggle, however imperfectly.

Our purpose is to glorify God.  Period.  End of Story.  I frequently whine and cry and lose my mind and scribble desperate, furious prayers to God, but in the end, my heart knows my purpose.  How can I use what I am going through, to bring the glory to my Savior that He deserves?

That is going to look different for everyone and every situation. In one of our difficult moments in 2016, that strategy was to show grace to a child (with discipline) when they let us down repeatedly. And to remind that child that they were still loved by us and by Jesus even through their sin. In another situation, it was to sit and be silent as others called out to God in their pain, while we put our advice and agendas aside.

Sometimes we failed to show God glory.  But the good news is He doesn’t need us to fulfill His purpose.  He WILL get glory.   Scripture reminds us, if we don’t give it to Him, the rocks will cry out.  It’s happening people.  I am just honored as one of His children to get to participate in it.

I have a super uplifting, inspiring end of the year, confetti covered message for you.  2017 will be a struggle.  But I’m hoping if we stay on purpose this year, those struggles (and high points because we will have those too) can serve God in a way that nothing else would.  They can show others around us that God walks WITH us during the low points, that we have a HOPE in His Son Jesus.  We know God is in control, and that is something to pop corks over, throw confetti and scream Happy New Year about.

Tick Tock