I remember feeling more than ready to close the calendar on 2007 and welcome in a New Year.
Each January 1st arrives with hopes, plans, and goals. But the first few months of the new year were equally hard . . . so much so that our friends started calling us the “high maintenance prayer family.”
So, I’m excited to share this post from my friend, Kathy Cheek. She learned through unexpected new year circumstances what matters most.
Finding Out What Matters Most When You Have Questions
The beginning of 2016 is permanently etched in my memory. It started with the joyous news of our daughter being proposed to on New Year’s Day and an engagement party in the afternoon with family and friends. Wedding planning was definitely etched at the top of our family’s to do list for a June 2016 wedding.
Yet, at the same time, on New Year’s Day following the excitement of a proposal and engagement party, my husband and I had to travel out of town because his dad had a stroke on December 29. We didn’t immediately leave due to the fact that we knew this proposal was coming on New Year’s Day because a certain young man had invited my husband to meet him for breakfast on Christmas Eve to ask for his blessing and for Amy’s hand in marriage.
We did not want to miss the big day.
According to Randy’s sister’s reports on his dad’s condition, it would be okay if we didn’t come immediately but she urged us to please get there as soon as we could, which we did since we hit the road and began our drive from Dallas to Phoenix as soon as the engagement party was over.
Thankfully, it turned out that the stroke wasn’t severe and the prognosis was that Randy’s dad would regain what was damaged through rehab.
So, while Randy was spending time at the hospital with his dad the first few days of 2016, I was at his sister’s house where his parents lived, and helping with the care of his mom who was in last stages of Alzheimer’s which was a difficult phase.
While we were there for Randy’s dad’s stroke, his mom took a sudden turn for the worse and died a few days later. Since we were already there because of the stroke, Randy had a few days with his mom before she had the sudden downward spiral. She might not have even known who he was, but she did appear to look directly into his face a few times and just maybe she saw her son.
Suddenly, wedding planning was temporarily set aside.
And funeral plans started. We saw up close the different seasons of life playing out at the same time. Joy and sorrow were woven together in January 2016.
June 2016 was a time of joy and celebration as our daughter and her fiancé became husband and wife and began their beautiful life together.
And now, another year has rolled around.
2017 is here.
A beautiful wall calendar next to my kitchen sink with a snowy country church scene announces this New Year every day.
Sometimes, moving into a new year isn’t as simple as turning the page on a calendar. Sometimes, instead of an organized list of plans and goals the New Year resembles a lengthy list of question marks.
The things of life don’t always fall neatly into place with everything sorted and resolved according to our best-laid plans.
When we turn a calendar page and a brand new year stares back, it reminds us how little we know about what tomorrow holds and how little control we have over events that unfold.
As I enter a new year…
I will acknowledge that it isn’t about how much I know and how well I have planned for what lies ahead. Approaching this New Year is about who I know and that is Jesus Christ. This relationship with Jesus sets the course for another new year and is the firm foundation on which my life stands.
Navigating this journey of life as a new year begins is also a process of holding tight to faith–a faith that endures the calendars of days to come.
Since the dawn of mankind in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve to the dawn of a new year, God has been pursuing a relationship with us, built on faith and obedience in our walk with Him.
This relationship will grow and deepen when you and I consistently choose to seek the Lord and faithfully follow Him all the days and all the years of our lives.
As one year ends and a brand new year gets underway, this is what matters most.
I hope this new year finds you walking hand in hand with the Lord who never lets us go.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV
Thank you, Kathy, for blessing and inspiring us!
A little bit about my friend, Kathy!
Kathy Cheek writes devotions, inspirational stories, and poetry. She has been published in various Christian magazines and regularly guest posts on several devotional and ministry sites.
Her favorite subject to write about is the rich relationship God desires to have with us and how that is walked out in everyday life and every circumstance.
Kathy and her husband live in Dallas, TX and have two daughters who also reside in the Dallas area. You can read more of her devotions at Devotions from the Heart.
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