During our ladies' retreat in Colorado, we talked about stones of remembrance in Joshua 4. The children of Israel wandered in the desert for forty years and in Joshua 1, it is time for them to inherit the Promised Land given to them by the Lord. Joshua commands a man from each of the twelve tribes to carry a stone up from the Jordan river, which the Lord allows them to cross on dry ground. When they have safely crossed, this is what Joshua says:
"And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God."
As I reflect back on the past year, I have my own stones of remembrance: moments that shaped me, lessons that changed me, people who influenced me, and a God who never left me. As we usher in the new year, I hope you will join me in looking back on 2010 and celebrating and marking with stones of remembrance all the Lord has done. If you don't know my Jesus, there will be no better way to bring in the new year than to allow Him to be Lord of your life.
Stone 1: Ushering in last New Year with people who walked me through thick and thin in Colorado, my Alpha family
Stone 2: Doors to grad school shut. This was a direction shift for me. I feel unqualified to pursue the career the Lord has placed on my heart, but the Lord rarely calls the equipped. He equips the called. I am in good company. (Gideon, Paul, Esther)
Stone 3: Loving on kids in rough areas of Lubbock. It tried my patience, my character, and also showed me what God did not create me to do (be a school teacher), but it also broadened my understanding.
Stone 4: Moving home. This was humbling for a girl who always had a plan and is very achievement oriented. Another growing experience of resting in the Lord. So thankful for a family who supports me in pursuing my dreams despite a lack of clear direction. I am blessed.
Stone 5: Renewed friendships. I moved back around people I had grown up with but been separated from for four years. These friends were a comfort and a reminder of who I am despite the rejection of the past two years.
Stone 6: A new church home. The Lord led me to Watermark just when I was feeling desperate for community. Not only that, but within weeks, I was placed in a community group with nine amazing girls and given a leadership position with a team teaching me Biblical leadership skills.
Stone 7: My passion restored. After my rejection from grad school, I had trouble writing. This year, the Lord has restored my joy and with that came reassurance that this is where He has both gifted me and called me.
Stone 8: Direction revealed. In September, I attended a Christian writer's conference where I met an author who set me on a course that will follow me into 2011. As of November, I am a student of the Christian Writer's Guild, pursuing publication and receiving one-on-one training and help from a Christian author. I have officially started my first novel. Stay tuned.
Stone 9: Family. I finished up my year with my siblings home from college and a family reunion in both Texas and New Mexico with both sides of the family for the holidays. I am blessed with family who support, love, and encourage me as I continue to seek career direction.
Stone 10: Above all, I learned this year that GOD IS GOOD (Nahum 1:7). I gained a stronger grasp on the concept of being still and waiting on Him, of understanding that He is the source of my identity and worth, of letting Him direct my paths, of trusting, of joy and peace and contentment, of understanding His all-consuming limitless LOVE, of fellowship and community. I pray you remember His goodness this past year and hold onto it in the new year.
Happy New Year from Texas,