Here's one of the pocket faith cards I found. I thought it was cute and appropriate for my life as it is now.
I have made some soul changing decisions this year. I wanted to. I turned off my radio, shut out the noise of the world, and did some thinking.
In the quiet of the car, as I drove to work I heard:
"Sometimes you think you're getting away with something, not reading your Bible or praying. You think you're getting away with not living the way you should. But the truth is: the only thing that is happening is that your soul is getting away from you."
Just like that. No barrage of guilt. No earth shattering message. Just a call to change.
I pictured myself, curled up on the couch with my bible, reading. From there, I realized: I miss this part of my life. I miss my communication with the Father. I miss my Best Friend.
My first step was deciding to go down to the local Christian bookstore and buy a new women's devotional bible. My boss and friend said, "What's going to be in that new bible that isn't in your old one?" I laughed, as that was a good question. For me, it was symbolic. A new year, a new start.
I went down on my lunch break and I must've looked around at the bookstore for 45 minutes for the right bible. In the meantime, I found a really nice, basic prayer journal. I found a "bible-in-a-year," some cute and encouraging pocket faith cards, and finally, the devotional guide that I knew was the right one.
Since then, I've taken one day at a time. One day. I don't look ahead, I don't look behind, and I put one foot in front of the other.
I wrote in my prayer journal that I need some support; some of my friends who love God to come forward for support. I've sat back and watched it happen. My good friend Sheila called to chat and wish me a happy new year. We ended up scheduling a bible study, which we had yesterday morning. The study was amazing. We talked about forgiveness being a good first topic for our study. I said that forgiving myself was my biggest challenge in life. That I could forgive others, but not as easily my own mistakes. When we flipped to the topic of forgiveness in the women's devotional bible, the opening paragraph touched on that very problem. It encouraged women to forgive themselves...to stop thinking they were unworthy. It was mind boggling. It was like the words were written just for me.
Another friend who I worked with eight years ago (before I accepted my present position) came by and we chatted yesterday. We talked about our relationships with God drifting and how we could support one another in the year ahead. I hadn't seen her in months, and the last time I did we had a brief and polite conversation. God's restorative power is amazing.
Still another friend emailed me; a minister's wife who I dearly love, with whom I have much in common.
I emailed another lady- an acquaintance in jr. high- who has, over the last two years, become a devoted and on fire Christian. A mutual friend re-introduced us back in the summer, and we kept in contact via brief emails every month or so from that time on. However, I felt led to reach out in a more personal way. She wrote back that she felt like crying at her screen. She had been asking God to show her who she could turn to also. She had only one other Christian friend, and she wasn't local. She was happy that it was me, because having known me for years, she knew I had a history of faith and that I knew all about her life. I feel like not only could I learn a lot from her, but her enthusiasm is contagious. I need someone in my life who is excited about their faith!
It seems like one God incidence after another, like dominoes, falls into place.
At first I wondered who I would have to turn to. Now I have no doubt at all.
I will not have another year like 2005. I don't know what events will take place. I don't know what losses or gains are in store. There is only one thing I do know: I will not be alone. I've got God.