As 2014 comes to an end and another year is ushered in at the stroke of midnight on January 1, a time of reflection seems to be the logical conclusion to mark an ending and prepare for a new beginning. The chance to look back before looking forward seems to be what is expected and should give us the opportunity to put things in perspective before beginning the new year.

delight or despair

But to be honest with you all, I feel scattered and not able to fully focus. I am a work in progress but I’m not always sure if this is progress that is moving forward, standing still or even stepping backward. My heart is full from family celebrations and the blessings of just knowing that I am loved. My heart is also empty because parts of family are missing and normal is anything but, some days. Life is a whirl of ups and downs, delight one minute, despair the next and a true dichotomy of conflicting emotions that regulate most days but are pulling me every direction today.

The one true thing I can wrap my brain around in the middle of the scattered thoughts is God – His endless love for me, His amazing grace, and His relentless pursuit of me daily.

This is the way God put it:“They found grace out in the desert,
these people who survived the killing.
Israel, out looking for a place to rest,
met God out looking for them!”
God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!
And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again,
dear virgin Israel.
You’ll resume your singing,
grabbing tambourines and joining the dance.
You’ll go back to your old work of planting vineyards
on the Samaritan hillsides,
And sit back and enjoy the fruit—
oh, how you’ll enjoy those harvests!
The time’s coming when watchmen will call out
from the hilltops of Ephraim:
‘On your feet! Let’s go to Zion,
go to meet our God!’” Jeremiah 31:2-6 MSG

I am Israel-ever seeking, never fully satisfied, always wanting what someone else has until I finally let myself go and realize that all I had been searching for was right before me, in my reach and I just needed to say “yes”. My search ended when all I had been searching for was actually pursuing me and our worlds collided in one moment of extreme grace and love. My “yes”to God was a heart explosion of new life that is the answer to my need.

God promises when we are uncertain – He will lead us and when we are broken – He will build us up again. This year was my year of delight and there were moments that were exactly that and then some. But it was an intentional desire on my part to strive toward delight that brought me to the place where despair disappears and delight takes it place. God chose the word delight because He knew that I would only find it through Him. My Israelite days of wandering and wondering were changed because God found me in the delight and despair and brought me back to Him each time.

As 2015 unfolds, my prayer is that we give all our Israelite moments to Him and let His pursuit of us be all we need to say “yes” over and over to the plan that is ultimately His.

New Year blessings to all! Thank you for joining me here in 2014 and I look forward to more community and growth in 2015.

Mary

Blessed to be linking with:

Unforced Rhythms with Beth Hess

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