Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 Recap

It's so cliché and also true, but it's hard to believe that 2015 is almost over.  It seems as if it just began and yet it also feels as if it has been a long year. 




God has taught me much this year about contentment.  You may remember that I chose that word as my One Word for 2015. The funny thing is that not only have I been reminded time and time again by the Holy Spirit about being content, I am also still very focused on grace (which was my One Word for 2014). I haven't chosen my One Word for 2016 and am praying about that in the next week ahead before the new year.  All I know is the past two years have been amazing growth experiences in my walk with Christ especially in those areas, so I don't want to choose willy-nilly!




I want to give a bit of a testimony of 2015 for you. If you read the linked post above you note that I wrote of my discontentment in my career.  And if you know me personally, you probably know that in August, I started in a new position within my company.  Obviously, I praise God so much for this answer to many prayers.  But the true testimony of God's glory comes in the timing of this promotion.  See, even though I knew my focus was to be more content, and I studied about it, determined the root causes and also how to combat them, I still didn't fully realize it until July! 




I clearly remember the prayer.  I was finally surrendering.  Oh, I said the words many times before, but God isn't fooled, He knows our hearts.  We can lie to others and even ourselves, but God can't be deceived.  I was driving from Durham back to Raleigh while filling in for someone at work.  I remember fully, wholeheartedly declaring that I would be content wherever God placed me.  Even if I never got another job and stayed there for the next 18 years until I retire that I would trust God and know that He decided it was to be that way and I would be content.




Because that is the biggest lesson I learned, lack of contentment is lack of trust.  It's believing that God is holding out on you.  It's believing that there is something better than what He has given. The complaints we make are much deeper than we realize- they reveal a lack of trust that God has given you ALL you need and it is the very best for you!  I cried right there in that truck, talking to God and confessing it all.  Admitting my sin and begging for forgiveness.  And I knew in that moment that I truly, honestly, deeply meant it and I felt so FREE! 




And the next part of this story is where God decided to show off.  See less than an hour after that whole experience, I got a phone call offering me the position I have now.  A position I had applied for in January and interviewed for in February.  But because of the hold ups and God teaching me about trust, it wasn't approved until that day at the exact time that I was surrendering to him!




It's easy to say, sure, I became content, because God changed my circumstances.  But the root of the discontentment was lack of trust.  That doesn't change based on circumstances.  Lack of trust would rare it's ugly head in other ways. But I can honestly say over the past couple of months, when I needed it most, that my deep trust and confidence in God has been solid, because of that meeting we had together in a truck in July.





God is in control.  He is sovereign. Nothing happens that He doesn't allow.  And if something happens we may disagree with, then we need to trust that He has a plan and a purpose for it and then we need to surrender it to him.  When we think we know better than God, we can't let things go and they cause bitterness and discontentment.  But when we FULLY trust in him and his word, we rest and we know peace.




I pray for each of you a peace this coming year that you have never known. Peace doesn't mean you will have a year free of trials or hardships, but it does mean that you fully trust that God will protect you through it and you will grow stronger and develop a deeper relationship with Jesus. 




Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours.




And many prayers for those of you who are hurting this year and have yet to find that peace.  I pray you trust God more in 2016 than you ever have before!






Love in Christ,




Alyson