If you came over from the Encouragement for Today devotion, welcome! I have a gift for you. It’s a beautiful print with the reminder, My burdens have been rolled away. Click here to subscribe and receive the free download.
19 more days until 2018
I am excited to welcome 2018 with open arms, because 2017 was a really hard year.
I’m not going to rehash those events here, because many of you walked through it with us. However, the words cancer and scarred dictated our lives. Later in the year, the word hurt joined. At times it felt like the enemy was swinging, hoping that if we took enough hits we’d back off.
The more he swung at us, however, the more I felt God drawing us close.
As we approach Christmas, I can’t help but think about Jesus’ story. When an infant gloriously came to earth, those around him had no idea what was ahead. He walked the earth for 33 years and words like this showed up in his story.
When you weave all these words together, you see both the hard and the beautiful.
That’s important, because when we have a hard year, or sometimes even a hard day, we may forget that there are other words tangled in our story. We can become so fixed on the difficult (and very real) circumstances that we can’t see anything else.
This past week I paused to look back at the last year. It was easy to point to words like cancer, scars, hurt, and uncertainty. Yet because of my faith, there were other descriptors that I needed to add in, like:
Cancer, not once, not twice, but four times.
When I add in all of the words, 2017 shifts from a hard year to a year of walking with Jesus. I recognize those days where faith-filled people wrapped around us. I see a friend who came to my daughter’s home to fix her hair and make her feel beautiful after surgery. I see those moments where we felt battered and our faith in an amazing God anchored us.
[bctt tweet=”I may feel scarred but Jesus’ scars are greater. I’m so thankful for that truth. #livingfreetogether #ComeWithMe https://wp.me/p4jbdw-4rm” username=”suzanneeller”]
If you read today’s Encouragement for Today devotion, I shared how our burdens — heavier than we could ever move on our own — started to roll away. Bit by bit. Day by day. Until we were no longer carrying them by ourselves.
Maybe your year was challenging too.
Will you do something? Write down all the hard words. Don’t shy away from them. Don’t try to make them pretty or less challenging.
Do that right now, sweet friend.
Then add the other parts of your story. Truth-telling words. Words that show how that heavy burden was lifted by friends, or prayer, or peace.
Describe how that burden rolled away as you walked with Jesus and Jesus-loving friends. Now look at the whole picture, for this is your story for 2017, and it’s beautiful.
Stronger, amen and amen.
Happy almost 2018. I can’t wait to see what it holds. I’m glad you’ll be right there with me.
Related Blog Posts
If you long to walk closer with Jesus in 2018, the Come With Me Devotional: A Yearlong Adventure in Following Jesus may be the perfect resource.
If you struggle with the words to pray in those difficult times, this is a free printable just for you.
Happy Almost 2018 to you too Sweet friend. Love you and continue to hold you up in prayer! I am excited to see what God has in store for the new year.
Beautiful post, Suzie. Honored to know some of the parts of your 2017 story in greater detail. Looking forward to all God will do through you in 2018!
Suzie you are so inspirational and blessed with words of wisdom. God has used you for His glory to our ears. Thank you! A lot of us suffer in silence. Whatever the pain and suffering we go through, I thank God for women like you in my life – to remind me God loves me and is there for me and listen to my heart and pour out my soul. Take care momma! Praying for you , your family and a cure 💖
Merry Christmas and love always. Thank you again for another year of encouraging words from your heart to ours!
Oh goodness, I’m having another cry!
So grateful I have this night all to myself. Quiet, alone, reading and writing. Tomorrow things will change, but tonight it’s me and my “Bible Blogs” and some good red wine. (I know some of you don’t agree with drinking alcohol. Please forgive me.)
Thank you Suzie, for all you give. Peace.
I wrote about carrying a wounded Christ, I so identified with Him because of pain. When the Holy Spirit reminded me of how He carried the cross and stumbled, I realized I could never measure up under trying to bear my cross as some believe. I know it’s better to identify with Him as risen, loving and healer. I don’t think He ever meant for us to bear what He already has, and I know it can be difficult when you or someone you love are facing it, but He is there. Merry Christmas.
Happy almost 2018 to you and yours Suzie. I pray words like joy, hope, love and laughter continue to be the daily norm in your household – regardless of the hard words intermingled. 💝
Beautiful and encouraging! It is so important to know that we don’t have to suffer in silence, that we aren’t failing at faith because of the attacks that come! Blessings to you and your family in 2018!
This post is so encouraging. I have been setting new resolutions since the past many years, but hardly I can adhere to any of those. This post has everything that I wanted to start a new year. A true inspiration!