The last day of the year (and a prayer for the next)

We’re prone to wax philosophical on December 31st, aren’t we? Whether you’re a goal-setter, resolution-maker, or a disavower of both, we often grow a bit reflective as we anticipate turning the proverbial calendar page. (Well, I do anyway. Do you?)

Earlier this week, I began journaling the highs and lows of 2017. 

I enjoyed reminiscing about the many happy milestones from the year, including a second successful LIFT event (our third is happening January 25th–please join us!), having my first articles published in Our Daily Bread, giving my own TEDx talk, and coaching some of the TEDxBoise speakers.

Chronicling the lows wasn’t quite as blissful. I was a serious grump for about three months in the wake of sending my oldest off to college. I hurt people in my emotional radius and I’m deeply sad about it. And one of my kids had profound struggles this year, presenting our family with atypical—and painful—hardships.

God was the constant.

And what I mean by that is that He was the unchanging, stalwart presence in both the best and worst moments of 2017. I wasn’t. I often failed to return thanks for the many ways He blessed me and those I love. I’d like to tell you that my prayer life grew dramatically during the hard seasons…but I can’t.

 

Whether I “performed” well as a Christian at either the peak or the trough isn’t nearly as important as His faithfulness.

 

Of course, I want to grow in those ways… to be quicker to praise and to prayer. And I’m homing in on ways I hope to further develop those spiritual muscles this year. (I welcome your suggestions in the comments below or via email) I’d like to embrace the “purer faith” A.W. Tozer describes:

 

 

Unrealized blessings.

…blessings we don’t recognize… perhaps because they’re for our good, not our comfort. 

…blessings we don’t yet possess… like gifts stashed in the closet until our birthday arrives.

…blessings in the form of being used for His glory and ministry to others… despite the way it affects us currently. 

 

 

Whatever your hopes are for 2018, I pray you’ll know Him more deeply. I pray you’ll trust Him to love you regardless of your “performance.” And I pray you’ll grow in the pure faith that praises Him for even that which we have not yet realized.

Happy 2018, friends. 

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.
Ezekiel 36:26 ESV

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2 Comments

  1. Trudy D Smith on January 2, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you Kirsten for such a simple honest blog. As a long time Christian, I still wallow in my disappointments, instead of looking forward to what God has planned for me. As you said, He is faithful and I know He is always with me. Today is a good example, I have fibromyalgia, a new challenge for me. For the last month as I prepared for Christmas I was unable to do all I usually do. This brought me to a downer time. But then I read the January 1 article you wrote for the Our Daily Bread and then your blog. God is good, you have been an encouragement to me today. Thank you.

    • Kirsten on January 8, 2018 at 3:13 am

      Thank you so much for saying so, Trudy! I’m sorry for the challenges you’re coping with; I pray you continue to be encouraged by Him!

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