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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Year(s) (01/20/11)

TITLE: Happy New Year!
By Joy Mounce


How long?

Is this trial never-ending?

Do I have to persist in my longing, or, will all ambitious desire fade from memory?

These are questions I have asked myself many times in the past few years.

Realistically, it has been over two years since my world began caving in. Everything I knew suddenly began changing into a host of situations that I never dreamed possible. At 52 my husband changed careers, we moved across the state, and six months later my son lost his job and his wife left him. At least he had the two precious grandchildren, a five year old girl and three year old boy – the shining light in the midst of this darkness that had come upon our family.

My husband and I, with dreams of being just us two and saving for retirement years which would come in about a decade, became a family of five with barely enough income to make it. But we were making it, albeit with nerves on end many days and tempers flaring at times. Then the unexpected, unthinkable happened. The children’s mother came back to the state to take the children for Thanksgiving. She took them out of state and did not return them as promised. Nothing could be done without the monetary resources we so desperately needed since the divorce was not final. Now, with a 29 year old son falling deeply into depression and the mourning we all had in the loss of the shining lights of our home, questions plagued us. Where are you God? Do you not see where we are? We trusted you! At times like this you begin to reflect on your life thus far, and you think, sure, I’ve made mistakes in my life, but why would You allow this, God? Why now?

Then….as the days…months…years have passed, and are passing, we are finding Him faithful. He promised not to put more on us than we can bear. However, at times (like one of my favorite Women of Faith speakers, Patsy Clairmont, says) I feel He’s not looking; this is hard, very hard.

I do not know how this story will end in this lifetime. Prayers are still being said. Hope is still alive and our faith is intact.

I am finding as I look back through the years of my life, I did not fully appreciate the blessings that were mine. I was thankful, but now I KNOW how truly blessed we were. That doesn’t mean that we are not blessed still. I am not blind to the many blessings we still enjoy, even in trial and heartache. He seems closer now, even dearer somehow. And that is priceless!

If you are reading this, please do not pity me or my family. For we still know in whom we believe and know that He is able to keep all that we have committed to him. However, love, compassion and prayers are very much appreciated. They are our lifeline.

Just this week I was able to help and minister to a family of four who find themselves homeless really, living in a tent at a state park for as long as allowed. The 18 year old daughter is pregnant. I hate to admit this, but there was a time when I may not have had the willingness to help as I now do…just another good thing to come from the trials of life.

What have you learned through the years of your life? What are you learning now? The years of our lives are like the sand that flows through the hour glass, passing much too quickly. With all the high-tech gadgets available to us now, we can tend to get in a hurry, missing the things that matter at times. I enjoy some of the social networks online as a way of keeping in touch and even reconnecting to friends and family. It is a great tool to have. But I am finding it imperative to open my eyes to what is around me on a daily basis. There are things we can do to influence eternity in another person’s life. Are we willing to take that chance? I hope so.

May the rest of my years (if I have them; we are not promised tomorrow) be spent with eyes wide open, heart willing and feet ready to step out and obey the leading that God always provides.

Happy New Year can begin today!

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This article has been read 252 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon01/27/11
What a tender poignant story that plucks ones heart strings. I know you not but prayers you asked for are given because that is what I can do. Thank you and God bless.
Barbara Lynn Culler01/27/11
Wow, what a testimony. How devastating to lose those children. (I know how painful that is)

Thanks for sharing, and I pray you will continue to follow the LIGHT.
Brenda Rice 01/27/11
Thanks for sharing such a personal testimony. Thanks also for encourageing us to reach out to those in need. God put that in my heart many years ago. So, no matter what, we find those who need something we have to give and we give it. Thanks again for an inspiring entry.
Troy Manning01/30/11
Yes, I will certainly pray for your situation. That's great that you have sought to minister to others in the midst of your own pain. Turning inward & becoming embittered are great temptations in times of trial. (Is. 26:3)
Virgil Youngblood 01/30/11
A wonderful tribute to God's faithfulness. Thank you for sharing and in doing so, encouraging others.
Lisa Fowler01/30/11
God surely has a way of getting our attention doesn't He? The lesson He teaches "stick" and no one has to tell us that they are from His lesson plan. I too, will pray for your family. Thank you for sharing.
diana kay01/31/11
great i guess this is factual not fiction and so my prayers are with you. i hope being able to write brings light and strength to you in these painful places and years.I find the words of the song
" all through the storms Gods love is the anchor" something to hold onto.
You have courage to be able to write as you do and i am sure you bring blessing to others
Leola Ogle 02/01/11
Beautifully said! I have found the deepest, richest moments that I have had with my Lord was during the most difficult times in my life. Thanks for sharing and God bless!