For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 in Review

It's difficult to write a review of the year without certain people drawing the conclusion that I am being vindictive or snarky. I am being neither, just jotting down some thoughts on the past year and how far we've come from where we were.

It's been a year since we returned from Hume Lake and, by unspoken agreement, made Pomona First Baptist our church home. It wasn't even something that had to be discussed. We'd been to the dark side and found that, indeed, they'd lied about the cookies, so we had no intention of ever returning to it. PFB was more than the logical conclusion, it had become painfully obvious that it was where God wanted us. To disobey Him in this again was sure to bring us even more pain.

Though we know this is where God has placed us, it has not been a seamless transition. There have been some very rocky roads. There have been some severely dark times. But this time, none of these could be attributed to the church or its leadership. It was (and is) our stuff that we need to work out in light of the Truth of the Gospel. It's rocky because this is foreign to us. Viewing things in light of Scripture. Learning to be obedient to His word, not just when we feel like it. Learning that God is a God of Love, and trying to change our mindset to become more like Him, to offer people compassion and understanding instead of judgement.

It hasn't hurt, though, that we do not walk around in constant defeat, with the feeling that God didn't really care what happened to us coz all He cares about is us getting our theology perfect. There was a time when I couldn't see that this was the type of church we were in. There was a time when I'd have said that having perfect theology wasn't a false gospel of works. Knowing that God does indeed care about His children, loves us more than we can imagine, and, important to this understanding, being in a church that lives that out, has been tremendously helpful.

When I was a girl I lived on my grandparents' farm in Montana. Every day was a day of perfect bliss. Nothing ever went wrong like it had in the home of my abusive, not exactly. There were problems, even with my grandparents who loved me. I had all my baggage from my childhood *and* I was a teenager. I can't really remember a lot of it any more, though. I remember being loved. That's all I know. I went from living in fear to knowing I was safe. The only demons around me were the ones I carried.

It is the same today when I look back at 2012. There were so many things that were terrible. Most of which will never make the public record. It was a year of struggles and pain and suffering by everyone in this house. But I don't remember it like that. I was saved. My life began to be changed. When I look back at the year I feel only a sense of peace and God's presence with me, an anticipation and excitement of what He will do this year. The pain is something I have to force myself to remember, not live in denial of, or spend most of my time trying to forget.

As I write this out a song comes to mind...surprise. :D Jeremy Camp's "Let it Fade" seems an appropriate description...

Because of the nature of the life we have left I feel compelled to remind those certain people that just because I know I have rest in my Savior doesn't mean I am blind to the fact that life is difficult. It just makes those difficulties a thousand times more easy to deal with. When you give your life to Christ, when God gets a hold of you, He changes everything about you. The end result is not that you have less problems, but that He helps you through them. Which is better, continue to go it alone? Or rest in the knowledge that He will bring you through?

The Lord has given us new life, a hope and a future. 2013 promises to bring more trials and problems, it is the nature of living in this fallen world, but now I know God is on my side, He will be with me through it all. I may not always be happy, in fact, shouldn't always be happy, I will sometimes doubt and question, I am probably never going to react to things perfectly, but I will always find rest, forgiveness, hope, and peace in Him regardless what happens.


  1. amen to all of that ... we are still in the midst of the leaving and changing here - hoping to just leave our church quietly as we move in the next few months - but daily I'm made away of the BONDAGE these people have kept me in. I can't wait to go to church and just WORSHIP. And not care who is watching or judging ... except GOD.

    1. :( It really is difficult. I pray you'll be able to make a quiet thing. I had hoped we'd get transferred cross-country at one point. When we didn't it kinda forced us to leave radically...for lack of a better word.

  2. Sarah, can I just tell you that I love you a lot! Weird from a girl online!:) Anyway, I know you flee to your God for safety! I know you rest in His arms. And I know that He has great plans for you and for your family (whom I just love seeing pictures of when I come over here; they're so precious)! Praying that He keeps you in His arms this year, leading you each step of the way in a new church community. Blessings to you, friend!