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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Resolutions (12/29/03)

TITLE: Resolving to Remember
By Mary Elder-Criss


Resolving to Remember
By: Mary Elder-Criss

The New Year is fast approaching, and along with it, New Year’s Resolutions; promises that we secure to ourselves that even when creating, we are only half way committed to keeping. I have made them in the past, and failed to execute them longer than three or four days. I have resolved to lose weight, exercise more, and change my lifestyle to filter out bad observances. In making a resolution, perhaps we should think carefully about we are promising to do before we actually speak it into existence. That way, if we fall back into our old destructive patterns by the third or fourth day and fail to meet our self-imposed regulations, we will not have someone standing over us questioning, “I thought you were going to ________________?”

There is a saying, which states, “Old habits die hard.” Sometimes it is extremely difficult to change certain routines, areas in which we have customarily acted or reacted in familiar ways. However, in deciding to die to a habit, only one thing truly is required. A calculated determination to do it, and the willpower to follow through with the decision. Your choice may be as simple as giving up your sweet tooth’s demands, or it could be as challenging as making the conscious decision to trust someone, perhaps even God Himself, again.

I made a resolution this year. I usually do not share them, simply because of the danger I spoke about earlier, of someone saying, “I thought you _______________?” However, this year, I could not refuse God this promise, and I actually hope someone will remind me of it, if I begin to fail.

I have testified before as to how difficult the year 2003 was for my family. We suffered numerous trials and tribulations. My extended family went through some severely difficult periods of adversity, as well. Many members of my church family endured hardships, also. I can not count the tears shed, the times when I, alone, felt that all hope was lost. Periods where I was face first in prayer. I should literally have a scar on my nose from carpet burn from this previous year.

Oftentimes, my faith seemed tested so severely, as to appear non-existent. I longed to sit where I had fallen, by the side of the road. Many days I desired to be left completely alone, to wallow in my misery. I often felt that God had abandoned me, that He just did not care one way or another about what I was living through. Never before had I come so close as to becoming one of the "Walking Wounded,” as I did this past year. I am a planner, a fixer, and when disaster struck, I was left holding a seemingly empty bag and wondering how in the world I was ever going to fix this.

Am I glad 2003 is ending? You had better believe it. Yet at the same time, I have to say that as troublesome as 2003 was, it was also beneficial. How can a year, which held so much tribulation, still qualify as profitable? Regardless of the difficulties, it was a year in which my family drew together, and united, became more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. It was a year in which I can honestly look back on and say that NOTHING separated us from the love of Christ. Not tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword. (See Romans 8:35-39)

My resolution for 2004? A prayer of faith. A declaration of trust. I resolve to trust in Him and His good and perfect will for my life, even when I cannot see the answer in the midst of the trials. I pray that 2004 will be an easier year for my family, that we would not have to suffer as many hardships as we did in 2003. I would not be human if I did not make this request. However, my fervent prayer is that I would not fail to remember His goodness. I pray that in the midst of my suffering, I will not be blind to other’s trials, and be able to testify to them of His unending mercy and compassion. I resolve to bear in mind how He led us through, day by day, week by week, month by month, and brought us out of the fiery furnace not only unharmed, but stronger for it. This year, I simply resolve to remember.

Member Comments
Member Date
Christine Rhee01/05/04
Oh, how beautiful! Thank you for sharing that.
Jenny Smith01/06/04
What an encouragement to all who had a hard year.
Glenda Lagerstedt01/06/04
Your message is most encouraging and I need to have it printed out where I can see it every day. I pray that your family has an easier year.
Annette Bury01/06/04
Beautifully written!
L.M. Lee01/08/04
I kept thinking about my year...and I had to remember... "This too shall pass!"
Kathy Pollock01/10/04
Mary, what a year it was! How wonderful that God takes what satan meant for evil and bring good out of it. We're still here!!!