You Are Stronger Than You Know

Next week we'll be ushering in a brand new year--the first of a new decade.  

I don't know about you, but for me the beginning of a new year also brings with it a new sense of hope and excitement... along with a bit of fear.  

The hope and excitement are feelings that stem from the fact that a new year often feels like a chance for a new start, to turn over a new leaf, begin again... 

Almost all of us feel like this, no matter how jaded we might be, or want to seem to others.  We do want things to be different in the new year, and when the clock strikes midnight on 2019, most of us will feel that thrill deep inside.  

"Maybe," we tell ourselves, "things will be different.  Maybe my life will change.  Maybe the world will be better."  

But there's also a bit of fear, isn't there?  There is fear that it will all just be the same---that nothing will change at all.  

And some of us feel that fear more intensely than we feel the excitement, and way more than we feel hope.  

So if that's where you are in this moment---know that I feel you.  You are not alone in this.  But we don't have to be afraid any more, you and I.  We are stronger than we know.  

Recently, I read this beautiful poem by one of my favorite poets, Tiffany Aurora.  It speaks right into where some of us find ourselves on the eve of a new year.  

I  no longer fear
the strike of lightning.
For it hit hard
& still I  stand.
It feels more whole
to me somehow--
this being broken
but still in one piece.
This knowing that though my trunk
will be shaped differently--
there will still be growth
as I trust the sun
when she speaks. 

I  love this poem.  It echoes a bit of what the Apostle Paul wrote about when he declared that if we have our mind right, we can see that our suffering can produce perseverance, which leads to stronger character and then ultimately to hope.  

You might have scars from the lightning strikes on your trunk, in other words, but you are still standing, and there will be new growth out of those broken places that will ultimately strengthen you to grow stronger and taller than ever. 

Maybe your 2019 was filled with all kinds of lightning strikes.  You experienced loss, setbacks, struggles, tragedy...  The hits just kept on coming.  

I talked to someone not too long ago who shared how so many bad things had happened to her and her family all at once last year.  She told me, "It wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't kept coming---one thing after another."  

But still---there she stood.  She was shaped differently by it all, but there she stood.  I  told her so.  I hope that it made a difference.  

If this resonates with you, and you feel the same as that lady who shared her struggles, I  hope that you can see all of the places where you are growing stronger, and ready for the new and beautiful things ahead of you.

Your scars, and broken places will not be wasted.  God is in the restoration business, and business is good.  

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.   


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