Saturday, December 27, 2014

Let the Adventure Begin!

As 2014 comes to a close many of us will sigh deeply and say, "I'm glad to have this year behind me.  I hope 2015 is a much better year!"  Many of us experienced the painful loss of loved ones or the devastating diagnosis of chronic or terminal illness. Others found themselves uprooted and relocated or suffered the hardship of financial reversal.

Hopefully as this year draws to a close you will look back and see the hand of God in your circumstances. The suffering you experienced in 2014 may not have been on your radar but it was on God's. Did you sense him near you when the times were the hardest? Were you able to say, "I trust you, God," even though you didn't understand why he would allow such hardship?

We faced our own challenges as a family:  the loss of Steve's job and the hunt for a new one, which resulted in a relocation to Virginia because God closed every other door to employment in Tennessee; our out-of-state move, completed in two phases, with a four-month period of separation and the challenge of managing two households, parenting our kids without Steve present in our home, and finding a buyer for our home in Tennessee; the loss of Steve's dad in February and the unanticipated challenge of having to sell their home and move his mom to Virginia at the same time we were preparing for our move; and finding jobs for Chris and me as Joy started ninth grade in a new school. We also faced serious financial challenges as the result of my unemployment for nearly four months and the expense of the move itself.

Through every challenge and in every circumstance I knew that God was with me. Trusting in him and embracing all these challenges as an adventure was my only hope of surviving the chaos and the loss of everything familiar and comfortable.  The only way I could muster up the faith to endure it all was by spending time daily in his presence, quietly reading his Word, praying for his guidance and wisdom, confessing with my mouth--even when it was difficult at times--that I trusted him. It took a conscious effort and a determined will to trust God, but he never failed me. Not once.

None of us knows what challenges we will face in the new year. But I can promise you that if you will spend time daily with God, getting to know him and his Word, he will show you how to navigate the challenges, give you his peace in the midst of your storms, and fill you with the grace and hope you will need to climb every mountain. The things you will face may not be on your radar, but God knows the way you will take and when he has tested you, you will come forth as gold (Job 23:10).

Don't fear the future or shrink away from the challenges. Instead, embrace the adventure knowing that God will be with you every step of the way. "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV).

Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.


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