No year is ever completely good or completely terrible, but I have to say that 2009 was particularly challenging for me, and from the response I’m seeing from others, for many of you as well. With that, I’m realistic and mature enough to know that the act of flipping the calendar to 2010 brings absolutely no assurance that it will be any different than the year before.
For me, 2009 brought unprecedented challenges to my life. Financial, professional, and most of all, personal. 286 days ago, my mom passed away. Her life and her passing has impacted my life in ways which I’m still discovering. Not a single day has passed since March 20 where I have not thought of her and been challenged to live up to her legacy.
2009, while challenging, has also been a spiritual boot camp for me. It has been an intense time of growth. Like lifting weights, we grow stronger by pushing against resistance. When I felt God was leading me to move from San Jose to the Sacramento area, I really had no idea of any specific reason(s) why I was to do so. In looking back, I’m so thankful that my first eight months here were also the last eight months of my mom’s life. I’m grateful to God that I got to see her as often as I did in her last months and days.
The transition from 2009 to 2010 is seamless. With that, the challenges and triumphs of 2009, if they are simply left as memories from the past, will serve me no good as my life moves forward unless I take with me the lessons learned. In 2009, I experienced God’s love, presence and faithfulness like no other year before. His mercy, His compassion, His grace…all sustained me through this most difficult year. It is upon those qualities that I soar into 2010. I was not run over by 2009. I was carried through it in the arms of my Heavenly Father.
As I turn the page from 2009 to 2010, the song which resonates in my heart is now added to the playlist on my blog homepage, Great Is Thy Faithfulness. God isn’t faithful based on my merit. There is absolutely nothing I can do to earn His love. Likewise, there is also nothing which can separate me from it. In my sorrow, I reached out to Him, and He reached out to me. In my times of trouble, I ran to Him, and He took me in and sheltered me. In the good times, I was able to stop and thank Him for the beautiful sunsets He painted on the canvas of the evening sky.
I have no idea what specifically lies ahead in 2010. I do know it will see joy and sadness. I know it will see triumph and tragedy. I know there will be laughter and tears of sorrow. It is incumbent upon me to stay close to the heart of God through it all, not just when I’m in the foxhole pinned down by enemy fire.
While the details of life are unpredictable, I stand upon the unwavering love of God to see me through it all. I stand upon His promises which have never, and will never fail me.
Goodbye 2009. My memories of you include a lot of sorrow, but without the things which happened during this period, I would not be prepared for what lies ahead in 2010. Therefore, rather than bitterness, I thank God for the challenges which came in 2009. I pray that I am a better man today, December 31, 2009, than I was one year ago. And I pray that the events of the coming year make me a better man for how ever many days God has laid out for me.
OK 2010, BRING IT ON!!