Friday, January 8, 2010

A Fresh Start!


"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)


It seems that as the calendar turns over each year, people resolve to take on new challenges, to reach new goals. This year was very hard for me to do that. Overwhelmed by a slew of friends and ministry participants with grave diagnoses, serious personal trials, and even death, I had difficulty looking into the days ahead and figuring out what I was exactly aiming for. I had no resolutions because there was no resolve left in me. The same old problems seem to continue to win out against decent people.


But as He always does, God lifted my chin and fixed my view on what He sees as important. What if this year were different? What if we approached these same old problems in a new way?


You've probably heard it said before that the definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result each time. Yet, isn't that how most of us live? It is way too easy as we trudge through life with a child who has a special need to do things the same old way in hopes of gaining some "normalcy" or "predictability" in our lives. I would contend, however, that the only way our lives and the lives of our children can leave a positive impact is if we fight that urge and have a willingness to continually adapt.


For example, what would it be like if this year we actually:


  • became a pro-active advocate for our child, trusting those God-given instincts we've been blessed with rather than relinquishing control to medical, educational or social providers?

  • took care of ourselves without guilt, connecting with others like us who need support, watching our nutrition, exercising, getting proper rest and enjoying a hobby?

  • got off of ourselves and volunteered, not making excuses, but giving back because we know how blessed we've been by receiving?

  • educated ourselves on laws, programs or innovations so we can be an informed consumer ourselves and in turn, educate those around us?

  • loved our families and friends while we have them, cherishing each moment instead of focusing mainly on the burdens in our lives?

What is the "new thing" God is doing in your life in 2010? You can only discover that by carving out time to be quiet in His presence. Daily, or at least attempted-daily, time in His word will guide your steps, clear your mind and help you to learn from others who have gone before us since time began.


My prayer for each of us in this new year is that we would have a fresh start, approach things with a renewed joy and know that we don't have to stay stuck in the same old rut!

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