Today, I say goobye to 2009. And, for the first time in 3 years, I am slightly relunctant to say goodbye. 2009 has been a good year for me...there have been tough time for friends and family and myself, but mostly, this year, I just felt the overwhelming comfort of our Lord. In 2006, I could not wait for 2007 because literally no year could be worse than '06 for me. But then '07 wasn't that much better. Nor '08...They had good momoents and I did a lot of growing, but the kind of growing that comes through pain and fighting through hard issues.
This past year, I changed nothing in my approach. I continued to study scripture and pray and wrestle with the Lord and pray He change my heart and help me trust him. And where I saw only a little growth and comfort for two whole years, this year, He did amazing things in revealing to me who He is. I still fail a lot of the time in trusting Him, but I do see how I have grown so much in His grace this year. Thus proving what I thought all along, when struggling with pain, sin, doubt, whatever, sometimes you can read the Bible, seek Godly council, read books, pray, but in the end, you can't change your heart. You have to patiently way til the Lord changes it for you.
Who knows why I spent 18 months of my life searching for comfort and finally found so much? I like to think that it is like the story of Lazarus in John 11. Jesus heard of his dear friend's death. He knew that there was mourning, and He could have stepped in immediately. But, He didn't. Although He provided comfort and even healing, it did not come right away. He waited. Who knows why? Possibly because He had other duties, possible to allow perseverance of faith from suffering like James tells us...I do not know why he waits to bring comfort, but He is the Lord, his ways are not ours. I do know that certain aspects of character are only developed through pain. And, maybe Jesus was allowing Mary and Martha to grow in character. But when Jesus arrived, before He raised Lazarus from the dead, He wept for him, for his death, for the pain others were suffering from losing him. That is my favorite part of the story....that before the Lord provides healing, he acknowledges the pain his friends were fealing and he feels that pain with him. Isn't that what we want with friends and family? Someone who sits with us and mourns before offering their advice and trying to fix it. Someone who gives validity to our good times and bad times. Possibly the Lord did that for me....he let me grow and search and struggle and beg Him for help, then He finally stepped in, but before He did provide healing, he shed tears on my behalf. He recognized my pain. What a comforting God we serve.
The sentiment of the story of Lazarus's death is also echoed in 1 Peter 5:10, on of my favorite verses, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
So 2009 was a year of restoration and hope,of struggles and blessings, but a year where I was overwhelmingly aware of God's presence and soverignty in my life. As I watch friends and family now face their own personal battles where it seems hopeless and painful and God seems far away, I only hope that as the verse says, "af they suffer a little while..." the Lord provides comfort that is beyond any comfort and peace they hoped for. And, I pray I can be the type of friend Jesus was and weep with them as they wait for His healing.
I also saw this on a friend's blog and wanted to remember this year by listing the many good and bad things the Lord has been with me through:
-I graduated law school cum laude and enjoyed a fun weekend in Oxford to celebrate with baseball, family dinner at a great restaurant, etc.
- I spent all summer studying for the bar and found out I passed it the beginning of September
- I was sworn into the Mississippi Courts.
- I saved up and went to Africa...one of the most lifechanging events of my life - seeing God's work in a 3rd world country.
- My sister and brother in law returned back home from Africa.
- I struggled (like most of my class) to find a job - but God provided a temporary free place to live and a part time job,.
- I mourned the forced leave of a coach I love and respect (still do) and the misguided hiring of our current coach, but relunctantly decided to support him because I love Auburn.
- I got to witness some exciting turn around in Auburn football -- still many flaws, but a glimmer of hope for the future.
- I watched Ole Miss win the Cotton Bowl last year
- I watched Ole Miss choke in super regionals....
- I went to several fun weddings and two close friends had babies.
- The Lord provided a job that I don't love, but am grateful for. I work with nice people, have enough money and am doing something in child advocacy....
-The Lord provided a place to live with nice roomates.
-I found out I have PCOS but begin to figure out medication.
- I have started training for my half marathon!!
- I saw my friend Ann Kirk as queen of Charity Ball!
- My little sister was diagnozed with Crohns and spent some time in the hospital...quite a scare, but is beginning the long road of figuring out what she can eat and not eat.
-My little brother graduated from high school and started college.
Can't wait to see the Lord's provision in 2010!