BY JESSICA LANDMON
I’m not going to lie. I couldn’t wait for 2016 to end. Although the year was marked with more tangible and spiritual blessings than ever before, it was also a year filled with a lot of hurt and uncertainty. As a result, 2016 has been affectionately nicknamed in my house as the “year of change.”
I will admit that at several points during the year, I seriously considered selling everything and moving to the mountains with my husband, kids and extended family. I wanted to shut out all contact with people, and just serve God and sing “Kumbaya My Lord” by the campfire. You’re laughing, but I’m not joking.
The good news is that even though some of the things that transpired during 2016 took me by surprise, none of them surprised my God. He had a plan. There was purpose. And, it is unfolding right before my eyes.
Interestingly, now that I have made it past the roughest parts, I can only express a heart of gratitude to the Lord for bringing me through this journey. He taught me spiritual lessons that only trials like this afford. It helped me appreciate my family and the love and support that they continually offer to me. New friendships have been forged, and people have entered my life that I never would have met had it not been for this rocky season.
You may be wondering what exactly happened and why I am leaving out the details – simple, because the details are unimportant. Seasons of difficulty come and go. But as Christians, we need to wrap our heads around this truth – God never wastes anything!
A mighty woman of God poured some strong Godly wisdom into my heart during a particularly challenging day. She said:
“Don’t see any of this [trial] as a set back, but see it as a set up. God is setting things up. Your hurt and pain won’t be wasted. He will use it for His glory.”
Wow! These words spoke directly to me, and I wanted to share them with you because I know I am not alone. Many of you are also dealing with your own form of hurt. Dreams you were chasing may have been extinguished, people you trusted may have let you down, and relationships may have been broken. God knows your heartache and saw every tear you shed. I promise you, He will use this all for His glory, if you let Him.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
So, where do we go from here? How do we move forward? We need to let go. We need to leave the past behind us, and embrace what God has in store for us in the future.
As we enter 2017, let go of the hurt. Release its hold over you. Focus on the good. Forget all the bad. And, forgive the ugly. Once you do, you are well positioned for God to use you. Your destiny is calling. Are you ready?
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14