What A Year It’s Been…

2011 was a year for the books. In my household alone, we saw three job losses (two for my poor hubby, one for me), all due to lay-off, a new career launched, job searches (which are still going on), loss of a beloved pet, the addition of a newly beloved pet, health crises faced and survived…and the list goes on. Add to that the upheaval in the industry where I’ve worked for over 30 years, well, everywhere we turned this last year, it seemed something else was going wrong.

I don’t know what your 2011 has been, what challenges or joys you’ve experienced, but I know that many today, yours truly included, wonder where the next year will take us. Will there be total economic collapse in the US? Will we find ourselves in some kind of sci-fi life where we’re fighting for survival?

In the darkest moments, when fear gnawed at the edges of our lives, it was easy to feel as though God had, somehow, glanced away. That He’d blinked of an eternal eye, and in that moment the enemy surged.

Thank heaven feelings aren’t reality.

No matter what we face in our lives, this is TRUTH:

God is.

He is present. He is watching. He is in control. We may not understand what’s happening or why it’s happening, we may not be able to see, with our temporal eyes, how God is at work on our behalf, but none of that changes this immutable fact:

God is.

That truth has become the beacon that carries me safely over turbulent waters. It is the haven where I cease to struggle and agonize and I fall on my face before an all-powerful Creator. It is what sustains, uplifts, and empowers. It is, in a word, sufficient.

God is. I need not fear.

God is. I can rest in Him and His love for me.

God is. I can trust that His promises are true.

God is. When nothing else makes sense, when chaos has exploded around me, when I feel lost and abandoned…I hold to this anchor.

And there I find peace.

May this truth, and this peace, surround you in the coming year. And may 2012 be a year overflowing with God’s goodness not just for you and me, but for a weary world.

15 Responses to What A Year It’s Been…

  1. Avatar
    Jayne B. Stearns December 28, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    THANK YOU for this re-minder and may God Bless you all.

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    Richard Mabry December 28, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    Karen, Thanks for sharing. I’ve been down some of those roads myself. It’s easy to think God doesn’t care, even though we know in our hearts that He really does. And He has a plan for us, although sometimes we can’t see it.
    Thanks for what you’ve done to help me along my road to writing. Best wishes for a wonderful new year for you and yours.

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    Marielena December 28, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    Thanks for this beautiful and inspiring blog post. God is. Yes! And the gift of writing we’ve been given is such a powerful tool for giving others hope in our troubled world today … may we share that gift with others. Blessings to everyone in the New Year!

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    Elaine Stock December 28, 2011 at 6:25 am #

    Karen, I’ve quietly held you as my hero these past few years, marveling at your strength during rough times, as well as your absolutely contagious laughter and hysterical sense of humor. Having read your blog segment just now while home from work due to a pinched nerve and assorted arm pains, you’ve helped to boost my outlook–again–returning it to an upward direction where it should be: my eyes focused on Him.

    Thank you.

    May 2021 be kind and gentle to you & those you love. May it be a good year for all of us.

  5. Avatar
    Mary Young December 28, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    Amen and Amen

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    Sharon A Lavy December 28, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    I often wonder how people who do not have Jesus cope in these turbulent times!

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      Patty Smith Hall December 28, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

      I wonder about that too, Sharon. Wonderful article, Karen!

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    Peter Eleazar December 28, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    Karen, I so agree with all you say here. Having faced seven years in a wilderness I can truly say that the fact that “God is”, was all that kept me from going insane. He spoke into my crisis and interpreted it, turning a seemingly mindless set of circumstances into something so precious, for, as it was for Abraham, a bedrock of divine friendship lies below the veneer of our faith.

    How can those who are called to speak truth ever hope to be exempt from pain, for therein lies our relevance?

    Someone once tried to debate that idea with me, philosophizing like a Job’s counselor that the fault was mine and as a believer I should expect more from God. I replied, “Like the thorn-bird, sometimes the sweetest songs are made when we are impaled in our death throws”.

    A friend added, “what would you prefer to be remembered as, Vincent van Goch, who like the silver thorn of bloody rose lies crushed upon the virgin snow, or a wealthy businessman, whose final thoughts turn to regret?”

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    Deborah Raney December 28, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Profound words, Karen, and we’ve experienced the same grace and provision through our almost three years of layoff. God is good, and we’re learning that living one day at a time, on much less has only increased our faith, and made us appreciate what we have that much more. I agree with Sharon: not sure we could have coped without knowing God WAS there, even in the storm. Thank you for your honesty. Praying 2012 is a year of blessing.

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    Debra E Marvin December 28, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    It’s so true yet seeing it helps me latch on to it tighter. After a second job loss it feels harder to see the bright side but nothing has changed with God. Thank you for the confirmation.

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    Janet Ann Collins December 28, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    I, too, have had a rough year and I don’t know how people without faith can survive. Thanks for the reminder that God is still in control.

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    Patrick Craig December 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Karen, I shared your post on my wall… Thought my friends would like it.

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    Virelle Kidder December 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Love your voice and perspective, Karen. I wasn’t aware of all these turnabouts and challenges in your life, but have had enough of my own to know that even after walking with Jesus for many years, life can knock the stuffing out of us. We’ve had many sad events this year, but the constancy of God’s Presence, Truth, and Love took us through. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

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    Jessica Koschnitzky December 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    This is so good Karen. I so needed to hear this in my own life.

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    Hilarey January 1, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Thank you for the beautiful words. Thank God that He Is.

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