Happy 2014 everyone! I created this blog sometime in 2013 with every intention of having a devotional every morning and sharing my thoughts and questions. So here I am the first day of the new year and I am challenging myself to actually make some posts. I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, but the timing landed where it did. I recently got engaged and debated having a wedding blog and remembered my old idea. I figured my efforts would be better spent in God's Word than sharing the few details of planning our wedding to the very few people who may read it.
As 2013 drew to a close I kept pondering the different ways I saw God's hand in my life during the year. The last couple of years God has been given me opportunity after opportunity to strengthen my faith and trust in Him. I have been challenged to be thankful for all circumstances even when things weren't going my way. I am thankful for years past and the challenges I faced beforehand because they prepared me for 2013. This past year was full of major ups and major downs and I can genuinely say it has been one of the greatest years of my life. I have been heartbroken, hospitalized, had surgery on both knees at the same time, and finances have never been more stressful. However, I also am now healthier than I have been in a long time, loved by a man that I admire and adore, and am at a place in my job that I am advancing my knowledge frequently. Don't get me wrong, I had my breakdowns and times with a bowl of ice cream and a good movie, but He got me through. He gives me joy and freedom from Satan's attempts to destroy.
One of the greatest gifts God gives us is friendship and I have been praying for friends ever since I moved to lovely Midland, TX. He knew exactly when to send them my way. I now have the greatest group of brothers and sisters. They are encouraging and inspiring. They are my extended family.
This all being said...and yes, it was a very quick summary...my theme verse for last year has to be Jeremiah 29:11. It's one that I repeated to myself during the not-so-fun times of 2013 and will continue to remind myself of.
"For I know the plans I have for LESLIE," declares the Lord,"plans to prosper her and not to harm her, plans to give her hope and a future."
I pray that each of you can catch even a glimpse of the big picture. It's beautiful and ingenious. We are loved and we are spoken for.