This morning my friend, Jenny, posted this question on her Facebook: What was the most important/memorable event of your 2011?
I spent some time thinking back. The years pass so quickly; I feel it’s a missed opportunity to press on to 2012 without reflecting on 2011.
In 2011 my life – my family’s life – changed radically. I met new people that I now hold near and dear. My son, Owen, accepted Christ and both my children proclaimed their faith publicly through baptism. I finished a half-marathon (really, if you’d have said this time last year that I’d complete a half-marathon in 2011, I’d have cracked up!) My faith has grown by leaps and bounds through some painful events, amazing occurrences, and life-altering decisions.
I won’t bore you with the rest of my reflection, but…wow! This year was quite eventful.
As the New Year begins, Mary DeMuth (an author I love) challenged her readers to ask God for a picture for the year. I decided to join her. I love to take pictures and often capture God’s awesome creation on my morning walk/runs. I began praying for a picture to symbolize my 2012.
Here’s the picture God chose for me:
I took this a few months ago. I cross this bridge every morning, and most days, my walk home includes watching the sunrise here. It’s a breathtaking view almost every morning. [I also accidentally kicked my phone off this bridge (far right to be exact), but that’s another story!]
I think God sent me this picture for so many reasons. Mostly, this picture serves as a reminder to me of the old and the new. On one side of the bridge is the old. On the other side is the new. I know deep down 2012 will be a “crossing” year for me, bridging those life changes He began in me in 2011 to something He has for me in 2013 – and beyond.
Best of all, He reminded me that I won’t cross alone. I don’t have to do all the work; I don’t have to be in control. While I have known this in my head for years, I have only recently begun to accept it in my heart.
For the first time in my 36 years of life, I have finally come to understand utter dependence on God, not self. I have much more to learn, but God has taught me grace this year. Grace not works. He is enough. Really, nothing else is needed.
For a control freak like me (or anyone really), that’s life changing. I no longer feel compelled to explain myself and decisions, to have the latest and greatest, to buy into culture’s ideas about who and what I should be. I simply need Him. Nothing can separate me from Him – from His love. It’s incredibly freeing.
Here two passages from God’s word that I have grown to love:
Romans 8: 37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.
Nothing – no one – can separate me from him. He made me for no other purpose than to bring Him glory. What an amazing privilege!
As you begin a new year, consider asking God for a picture and a verse (or two).
I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to see what God has in store in 2012 for me and you!
Mary DeMuth – Pic for the Year