I know it's a little late to be reminiscing about last year, but I think it's still worth it even if it is almost the end of January. =)
2008 will go down as one of the worst years of my life - circumstantially speaking.
-It actually didn't start out too badly, but by mid-January I was having serious breathing problems which the doctor's couldn't figure out or help.
-Then I got the worst case of the flu EVER! I actually thought I might die, it was that bad. But I didn't die, Praise God!
-Once that ordeal was finally over (3+ weeks), I started a new adventure with accupuncture - only it ended up making me much worse! I don't remember how long it took me to get semi-recovered from that experience.
-I finished the accupuncture in time for my disability hearing, which will probably be remembered as the most stressful and awful 1 hour of my life. Not to mention that I got so sick from the building where it was held, that I could hardly even talk for 2 weeks.
-Next on the agenda was getting allergic to my house. UGH! It was one problem after another, me evacuating to a friend's house, going home a few days later, having another problem, evacuating again...until finally I said let's go to Texas!
-So to Texas we went, to a very special, highly recommended clinic for people like me. Except - I was allergic to the clinic!!! For 4 weeks we stayed in downtown Dallas, trying different doctors, different clinics, etc. with basically no help. At last mom and I said, it's time to go home!
-Only I really couldn't go "home" because I was still allergic to it! Thus followed 4 months of mom working on the house, me trying it out, still being allergic to it, going back to my friends' house, trying again, etc. Living out of suitcase for 6 months isn't fun. Though I must say I was VERY glad to just have a safe place to be, thank you God.
Those are the 'low-lights' of 2008, which in time I'm sure I'll prefer to forget. However, it is true that in God's economy nothing is wasted. God did 2 huge miracles for me in 2008, and lots of smaller ones too.
#1. Disability - Ok, so I'm still not sure why I had to get the flu that bad, but clearly getting worse from the accupuncture was a helpful thing in my disabilitiy hearing because I was so weak that the judge saw clearly how bad my situation was. And God did the most amazing miracle by causing him to approve my disability case! I still marvel over that and thank God every day. We prayed about this for 2 & 1/2 years, and at the right time God brought it about. Halelujah!
#2. Doctor - It was a long chain of events, but if I hadn't gotted kicked out of my house, I wouldn't have ended up in Melbourne in Sept. at the allergy-safe motel, where I met a man who recommended his doctor. And if I hadn't been through the whole ordeal of Texas, I might not have been so desperate to try someone so far away (2 hour drive). And if I hadn't been approved for disability I couldn't have afforded to see this doctor. So God worked ALL those things out to bring me at long last to the RIGHT doctor who truly is helping me! This is something we've prayed about for over 4 years! God was answering, just not in any way we would have expected. =)
As for the 'smaller' miracles God did, I really only mean smaller in terms of suspending natural phenomenon. In other words, to me they are the biggest miracles of all because they have to do with my heart. In 2008 God used all those awful experiences and trials to make some serious changes in my life. He set me free from resentment I hadn't been paying attention to. He exposed areas of idolatry and reclaimed His rightful place in my affections. He delivered me from fears by giving me precious promises to hold onto no matter what. He took me so much deeper in understanding His GRACE. He brought me to a place of true happiness in Him! And so much more!
Last January I prayed that Jesus would give me strength to keep following Him whatever happened in the coming year. He answered that prayer. He held onto me even when I was ready to let go. Through His grace I kept following each step of the way. And in the process He did great things and He was glorified! So while 2008 will definitely be remembered as the worst year on record in many ways, it will also hold a special place in my heart, a place where I am truly thankful for GOD's goodness in every circumstance. Only our great God can take something so awful and make it so beautiful. Praise His Name!
As I look ahead to what may be in store in 2009, I can't possibly predict what might happen. I can only pray that God will do even more good than I could ask or imagine, whatever my circumstances, for His honor & glory!
"And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." (I Peter 5:10-11)