Another year is approaching its end, and as we begin to slowly prepare for Christmas and the end year celebrations. I am reminded of all that has been achieved, and that is being achieved.
I took a different approach to life this year. Rather than plan my future in minute detail – I decided to just go with the flow and see where it leads. I decided to follow the peace that Father gave me. I decided to follow Father’s guidance rather than that of myself. As I reflect, I feel like I have achieved so much. And received so many blessings on the way.
The year 2017 was a journey of self-discovery, and of learning what I can do instead of hiding away constantly in a state of fear. I learnt that I can do public speaking. I have spoken in quite a few churches throughout the year as I promoted my book Sebby – Son of Hope. Something I thought I would never be able to do. I remember the first time I talked in 2015 about half a year after my son died, I was so nervous, my hands were sweating, I was shaking with fear, and my eyes were averted to the ground. What a difference two years on in the journey of grief has made.
This year I was given opportunities throughout the year to talk and share about my experiences and to share my book with others, and talk, and there was no shaking with fear, or sweaty palms. I believe this was simply the Holy Spirit moving through me and giving me his peace as I shared my story of restoration at the foot of the cross.
I feel like I have grown a lot – spiritually, emotionally, and experienced a lot of much-needed healing that I would not have experienced if I hadn’t decided to leave Slovakia for the big adventure. Travelling, and seeing places, has enabled to see things in a different way, and that even though we grieve, we can move forward with our children in our hearts, knowing that they are safe in the arms of Jesus.
The year has not been without its challenges. I think if we did not have challenges, then we would not be able to learn anything, or learn about our own resilience and what we can really cope or deal with. Living by faith is hard, our flesh wants us to know everything and plan everything, but sometimes what our flesh wants doesn’t correlate with what our spirit wants. I learnt to live by what the spirit governed inside of me, and the rewards were remarkable.
Yes, moving to Berlin has been challenging in itself and sometimes I wonder if I have made the right decision by moving. But I also see Father’s hand in it, even if I feel like most of the time I am drowning in this dark oppressive atmosphere. I have been blessed tremendously by Father’s love. I am so thankful to this amazing German couple who opened their home for me, and let me live with them as if I were their very own daughter. I see Father’s grace in that. I see Father’s hand in that, because I have experienced being loved on whole new levels even among strangers and that is what makes it so beautiful and precious. It is this love that has helped me to keep going when things have been extremely challenging in Berlin. It is that love that has kept me motivated to get out of bed on a daily basis and meander myself to work. Their encouragement, and their support has helped me create some positive experiences in Berlin.
Then there was the Father Heart Conference I recently attended in Czech Republic – learning all about Father’s love, and learning to let go of all the questions that have afflicted me for so many years. Letting go, and just learning to accept this is who I am in Christ. And that the things that did happen were not Father’s fault, it is just because we live in a fallen world, where sickness, pain, tribulation and hurt are so common. I lived in a monastery for a week among the Catholics and what I realise, we believe in the same God, we just do some things differently.
There is something magical about the Christian denomination coming together and worshiping Father together. Something utterly beautiful. I heard angels sing that week, and I experienced Father’s love on a deeper level. In that place of deep unrest I was able to come to terms with some questions and just release them, so that they no longer trap me on this endless treadmill of questions. I realise the longer we harbour questions the more likely it can become a root of bitterness. I do not want to be a bitter person, I want to be a person that radiates peace and Father’s love to the world.
I have been able to spend a large chunk of this year writing my second book Hope Restored – 100 Days through Grief Devotional. Which I am hoping will be published in March 2018, but I want it to be in Father’s timing rather than my timing. I love writing and this is the way Father speaks to me.
I want to continue to live on the wave of love rather than without the love of Father. I feel that it is better to love than to be bitter. Better to let go of all that anger and resentment and to be free than to be trapped in the endless chains of negative emotions that can drown us.
If people ask me – how was your 2017? I will say its been a wonderful year, and I thank God for that. I learnt so much about his love through various means, and I loved serving him in so many different ways and I pray that it can continue. That Father will give me more opportunities to speak publically. I am looking forward to another year where I am living in faith for Father and not in my own strength.
I may not have all the answers for next year, but I know one thing that God will not forsake me and that he will be with me every step of the way. Amen!