Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A "Steadfast" Year

In my last post, I said I would discuss how God had shown me how to be "steadfast" in 2013. In my first post of the year, I defined the word as...
 "Someone can be steadfast in a belief, an effort, a plan, or even a refusal. Whatever it is, it means that the person will calmly hold firm to the chosen position and follow through with determination."

When I look back over the past year, I realize how He has lead me to stand strong,  to be steadfast, in all that came into my life. I had several hardships, disappointments, and struggles with worry. Below, I've listed many of those that I experienced and listed in my gratitude list how God led me to calmly stand firm.

 1,185 - My brother, coming home the first week of 2013, after being hospitalized for 3 months.(This one was a blessing after nearly losing him in 2012)
 1,225 - Having emergency surgery, due to torn cartilage in my knee. Specially trained therapists helped me get back the full use of my knee, after having surgery.
 1,259 - Moving our son out on his own.(A difficult day for me, but I also know he is becoming a young, responsible man.)
 1,264 - After many weeks of therapy, a day without pain in my knee.
 1,268 -A hard eucharisteo: texting with my son, who now lives 4 hours away.(The ache of missing him.)
 1,292 - A loving God who understands me, when I feel misunderstood!(My husband and I were in disagreement and struggling.)
 1,293 - A special friend, who also showed her love and compassion! (A dear Christian woman who encouraged me when I was feeling at my lowest.)

 1,300 -  My brother(read his story here and here), who was near death, just 2-4 months ago, is able to hold his first grandchild today! Thank you, Lord, for healing him!!!
 1,328 - The opportunity to have some good conversation about some deeper issues with my son.(After much prayer for him to turn his life over to God.)
 1,333 - In the midst of some(unspoken) hurt and heartache here at home, God still works in my heart.
 1,340 - A phone call from my son, who couldn't be with me for the first time ever on Mother's Day.(Oh, how I miss him!) 
 1,349 - Life can often be an uphill struggle...knowing that God walks with us every step...even when our legs ache from the steep climb up.
 1,357 - My knee feeling good enough to walk some trails with my friend.
 1,364 - Even when I'm feeling frustrated by other's unkindness or untruthfulness, that God provides me with patience and a kind spirit to the other person.
 1,378 - My hubby, initiating prayer time together in the evenings!(This was truly a miracle from God, after 26 years of marriage.)
 1,394 - A few rough days, but the Lord got me through.
 1,410 - Working with some awesome, caring people at my job.
 1,413 - Knowing that even if the clouds return and life is hard, I know God is still faithful and standing beside me through it all.
 1,432 -  Being able to show God's love and comfort to our neighbors, who recently lost a son. Taking a meal and sympathy card to them.
 1,433 -  Texting with my son, who still misses us now and then(as we miss him)! 
 1,450 - Knowing this: As Christians, we must live our lives in a way that stands out from others, to be like a light in this dark world, so we show others God's light. 
 "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
(This one gives me chills, as it goes so well with my word for 2014, fervent.)
 1,469 - Thinking about how far my hubby and I have come over the past several months in our relationship...
 1,470 - One of the best things that has happened - having a regular prayer time together, that has continued!!
 1,484 - Even though I'm feeling a bit confused right now, trusting that God has a plan with the job situation that was offered to me a few weeks ago. (I thought I had made a decision, but the final decision hasn't been made, yet.) 
1,485 - Finding things to be thankful for(joy) in the midst of pain.
1,493 - For emotional dryness, as it leads me back to God!
1,494 - A heart that aches for the unsaved.
1,500 - Maybe it's just that my soul is restless for the place where I belong!!
1,514 - The Lord has been showing me where I can find joy, even when everything else may be dark and dismal. 
1,522 - Praying and trusting God to provide for and bless our son, as he pursues trying to get into the prestigious music program, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.(We recently were informed that they accepted his application and will be interviewed in February, the final step for admission.)
 1,527 - Praying on behalf of my son, who is the source of many of my worries.(God has been filling me with peace, when I start to worry.)
 1,535 - Feeling a love and closeness to my husband and son that can only be topped by a close relationship with Jesus!  1,536 - Knowing that God is in control, even though we may not understand why He allows certain things to happen.
 1,556 - Deep spiritual conversations with my son.(Still praying for a renewed commitment to the Lord in his life.)  
1,557 - His willingness to dig deeper to learn about God and truth.
 1,578 -the Lord, leading me in my current job and into the new year with a new position.

God has shown me so much, but mostly that I need Him in my life every day. He also has encouraged me to not be impatient, but to be steadfast in my beliefs and trust in Him to do all He has said He will do for His children. 

For 2014, my word is "fervent". Here is dictionary definition:
1. Having or showing great emotion or zeal; ardent:
2. Extremely hot; glowing.

I had a "Prayer For Steadfastness" that I shared in my post a year ago.  I want to share a "Prayer for Ferver" that was written many years ago by a well-known lawyer and philosopher:

 Prayer for Fervor
O Lord,
give us a mind
that is humble, quiet, peaceable,
patient and charitable,
and a taste of your Holy Spirit
in all our thoughts, words, and deeds.

O Lord,
give us a lively faith, a firm hope,
a fervant charity, a love of you.

Take from us all lukewarmness in meditation
and all dullness in prayer.
Give us fervor and delight in thinking of you,
your grace, and your tender compassion toward us.

Give us, good Lord,
the grace to work for
the things we pray for.
--St Thomas More, 1478-1535
Maybe this is the year you need to be more "steadfast" in your faith. Or, maybe like me, you desire to have a more "fervent" heart for the Lord! On whatever path He is guiding you to walk, may you seek His will and find strength and determination to grow in your faith, to have a closer relationship with Him alone!!


  1. Sounds like your word "steadfast" was perfect for last year! When so many things happen it is easy to become weary, but looking to God, who is our Rock keeps us strong! I love your word for 2014 - it is an exciting one, you know? I can't wait to hear more throughout the year!

    Blessings, Joan

    1. Words of truth, Joan! Already, I'm excited to see how my spirit is lifted and He is walking with me. I started my first day at my new job today and it has gone very well! May you also walk in His leading, friend!

    2. New job - now that is exciting! May God bless you and your co-workers too!

    3. I'm so glad your new job is going well! That's an answer to prayer!

  2. Excitement is not my usual emotion, as I am more even tempered - no great ups and downs, but yes there are times when we are disappointed and a day or two ago, there was one for me. Through it all we must trust that Jesus knows best and he has in mind something better for us and them. Thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story.'

    1. You're so right, Hazel! Having the right perspective is so important! Trusting God and not our own wisdom is the answer. Thanks for hosting!

  3. What a wonderful list of blessings, Ann. I am an emotional Sanguine, so fervent sounds like the perfect word to me. Having zeal - that's awesome. May we all be fervent in our relationships with Jesus. In that 2014 is guaranteed to be a blessed year. May your year be filled with many more blessings to add to your list.

    1. Same here, Deb! I wear my emotions on my sleeve! Blessing to you, as well!


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