Excerpt: 'Happily Ever After'
AN END MARKS A NEW BEGINNING
This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.
This year will be epic for you-momentous in so many ways. You will see both ends of the spectrum of good days and bad days, and you will learn to treasure the simplicity and grace of middle ground.
As much as it may not feel like your year right now, maintain an open mind. The Lord is already at work behind the scenes, transforming your life and you. He is making you into the woman He had in mind when He created you. Prepare to continually be at a crossroad, as many choices are in front of you. Every day, many times a day, you will make decisions that determine the rest of your story. You can choose healing or resentment, freedom or unforgiveness, love or closure, joy or despair.
Each choice, made faithfully, leads to more choices. Eventually you will be surprised to find yourself healed, whole, and happily living your brand-new life. It's okay if you think that sounds crazy or impossible, because in 2003 I thought the same thing. God loves to laugh at the impossible, and soon enough, you'll be laughing too.
CHOOSING YOUR PATH
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
The poet Robert Frost describes in his well-known poem "The Road Not Taken" two roads diverging in the woods and the timeless dilemma of choosing which path to take.
You are at this juncture. You stand on the threshold of a decision with implications of eternal magnitude. The road splits here-choose the path of righteousness and live in the light, or choose the path of rationalization and remain in the dark. It is imperative that you recognize the significance of a clean and complete healing and choose your path accordingly.
This choice not only affects you, but it can also shape the legacy you leave for your children and grandchildren. The path of sour bitterness, crusty resentment, and cold regret breeds generations of despair. The path of righteousness grants generations of peace, quietness, and confidence. You won't find the right path by default; the choice is deliberate. Which path leads to the kind of life you desire for yourself and those you love? Choose wisely.
PERSEVERING WITH GOD
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:8-9
"That which does not kill you only makes you stronger." "God never gives you more than you can bear."
These are some worldly equivalents of the above Scripture from 2 Corinthians. When I first read those verses, I certainly felt pressed, perplexed, persecuted, abandoned, and struck down. I wanted to wallow in those feelings. I was angry at God. I had a very bad case of, "Why me?" Why not me?
Throughout history, the strongest faith journeys have had seasons of pain and adversity. With Christ as our pinnacle example, we can say with confidence that it is impossible to be of great faith and not endure suffering. Hard times are inescapable. Now, how we react to hard times is indeed another matter. We can look away from God in anger and unbelief, and if we choose to remain this way, be crushed, in despair, abandoned, and destroyed. Or we can look to God, and know beyond our understanding that He is at the core of our testing, and that Jesus alone lights a path to the other side.
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