Friday, January 8, 2010

The Year That Was

“How was your 2009? What can you say about the past year?” My husband and I were having a tête-à-tête over brunch on New Year’s Day. We were inspired to discuss what the priest shared in his homily the night before.

There’s one Bible verse that I can’t help but think of as I looked back at the year that was: “Many are the troubles of a just man but the Lord delivers him from them all.” I felt that this verse sums up the year 2009 for me. It was a difficult year. I experienced a lot of challenges in being a mother, in our finances, in my business, in my relationship with my husband and in my relationship with God. But looking back also, I am very grateful to God for His exceeding goodness and mercy and our family Blessings Notebook is a testament to the many blessings, surprises and answered prayers we received from God. Yes, I’ve been through a lot personally but God has delivered me from all my troubles. It’s true that there were times when I would ask myself if obeying the Lord was indeed a wise decision for the consequences of obeying God are sometimes difficult to bear. Yet through it all, God proved his faithfulness, amazing power and love. I have been overwhelmed countless times in the past year as God surprised me with many unexpected blessings. Things that I only prayed in my heart... things too important to me but I didn’t dare utter. But the Lord hears our every prayer in the same way that He hears our every heartbeat and prayers spoken or otherwise do not fall on deaf ears.

We used to list our blessings at the end of each year; but last year ,we decided to list them down at the end of each month because by year end we sometimes forget some of them. We realized that there are just too many blessings that we receive from God and trying to recall them at year end is a challenging task. So, beginning January of 2009, my husband and I wrote down our blessings and answered prayers at the end of each month. Some months, because of our business, we were able to write them down during the first week of the following month. Nonetheless, we kept at it until the year ended. What a wonderful list it was! I saw that during the most difficult months, in times when we were in need the most, those were the months wherein we received God’s graces and blessings the most. It’s amazing! George likened it to the story of the footprints in the sand where there is only one set of footprints in the sand during the most troubled times.

I liked our tête-à-tête very much. It’s something we rarely had in the past months or maybe year. I’m grateful to God for that moment. It was an opportunity for me to open up my heart and share my innermost thoughts with my husband. I’m also grateful to the priest who inspired us through his homily to ponder and share with each other what happened to us in the past year and what we expect for the New Year.

As I’ve written in my book When My Bridegroom Comes, these lists of blessings and answered prayers serve as my spiritual landmarks. They inspire me to trust God more as I step into the New Year. They give me courage to face future obstacles. They give me reason to hope for better days to come. How was my year 2009? It was a year of challenges, yes. But it was more importantly a year of bountiful harvest! Thanks be to God!

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