I'm not sure where to begin. It is a New Year with new opportunities and new agendas being shifted into place. I see some on social media boldly declaring 'New Year, same ole me...' They stand by the fact that, in Christ, faith does not change.
But I challenge that.
While our commitment to Christ should never change (if anything, it grows deeper), as Christians I believe it appropriate to welcome regular check-in on our progress in the faith, set some God-goals, and seek mark-able growth in a coming season.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:12-14
Christmas tends to bring to culmination a year of stuff. Personal, professional, relational and even physical. Even the ancient Jews marked milestones and seasonal observances with reflection and remembrance... why not add an element of hopeful aspirations, especially when they serve to make God more widely known.
I am not dismissing those who chose not to participate in any form of annual goal-setting, this is not a salvation or a faith issue - honestly, it is mere opinion on my part. So let me clear the air there. Actully, allow me to quit beating around the bush and get to my point!!
New Year - yes, same ole me... but not.
Recent years have taken their toll. In May I shared my deepest strains, albeit a bit convoluted, but nonetheless sincere. Today I want to share the other side of recent trials: while the trauma of last year unfolded, I was also wrestling with increasing chronic pain.
When you are young, you feel invincible. "Old Age" and the accompanying physical decline are a lifetime away. No one anticipates the in-between or the unexpected. This year, I turn 50! It is crazy to even see that number on the screen - half a century! But in a family which boasts of longevity, in no way do I believe 50 is "old", nor do I presume it is the stage at which a physical decline is expected. However, my 40s brought to head the latter.
About a year and a half ago I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Something we had suspect for years but an increase in pain issues prompted us to verify. Through the multitude of tests to discern my issues they also found I had full-blown osteoporosis and an array of spinal issues including a growth which they currently presume to be benign. As if that wasn't enough, a heart monitor revealed episodes of noticeable tachycardia, which has been worsening over the past year causing symptoms very similar to heart attacks.
I have been befuddled.
I typically pride myself in an uncanny ability to simply accept and make-do. However, so much unexpected news all at once, really threw me back. I have walked out denial, morning the loss of the old abilities of me, and finally, learning to accept and find a way through. God has been my anchor, eyes on the eternal and not the temporal have helped me walk ahead. Yet, a fear of the wrong kind of attention has caused me to keep all this to myself.
New Year.... new me.... I can no longer internalize the things which God may have intended to be used to encourage others. Like grace which washed over my husband's infidelity so that we might grow a stronger marriage (a grace I learned from reading of others' testimonies in the same) so, too, can our physical set-backs be used to inspire others to not give up, to keep going where they are and to trust a Mighty God who has not let them out of His sight - He never promised us a perfect life (sin in the garden of Eden destroyed that chance), but He promises to never leave us nor forsake us, that He would be by our side to give us hope and strength through it all.
New Year... New opportunities... While my plan is to breathe greater life into F&H Pub: re-releasing our homeschooling series with a new book to add to the collection, regular blog posts and other content coming up... I also want to be more transparent in the trials and triumphs of life behind the scenes. I hope to share more about fybro (while I am no expert, I can certainly attest to my journey in hopes of shining light) and how I am managing life with chronic pain and regular challenges.
As of yet, I will not give dates or titles as I did last year. I will, however, share hope and ambition. It is a New Year and an opportunity to try the NEW. We don't need resolutions to break, just resolve to attempt new things and find what works.
Most of all, it is a New Year, same ole God with His same Great Strength and Call - to know Him and make Him known.
As I plan to share here and on social media about living with Chronic conditions, feel free to shoot me questions and content requests!
Happy New Year - whether ole or new you - may the Ole Lord guide you in each step, each day.