Here You Are, 2022 …

We crossed the timeline, again!

Another year to walk through!
365 days to welcome, live and put to rest!

It’s a gift… life and time are not our choosing. It is given, granted, and controlled beyond us.

None of us chooses the beginning or end. We may try to convince ourselves or fool ourselves into believing, but life circumstances teach us otherwise, if we admit it. Heartbeats, lungs filling and emptying, sunrises and sunsets are not in our hands. They are given to us as gold, priceless possessions beyond our scope of manipulation. They are laid before us every morning and night until we cease to experience them in earthly forms. We have no power over them. We are simply the recipients in fragments of time, a simple thump or heave at a time.

2021 held such promise after the life rearranging 2020. Proof is in my post: Happy New Year. I held great hope as I crossed that threshold!

Unfortunately, it didn’t pass fulfilling those hopes. Instead, we experienced more changes, disruptions, abnormal, and disappointment. 2020 melted into 2021 with no sign of a line between and our lives kept being challenged and uncomfortable.

As I cross to 2022, I expect more of the same, but still hope for what could be, might be, and should be. Inklings of hope fuel my unending visions of renewal, restoration and peace. It’s possible! I cannot say what the days will unfold to be, but life could and will look different a year from now.

Holding onto hope seems the best possible way to face the unknown. I believe God’s Word, the Bible, is true. It tells us to hope in His promises because He will keep them. He promises to care for us, love us, provide for us, encourage us, father us and keep us till we meet Him face to face… beyond this world, at our last breath, after our last heartbeat. That is what I hope in!

Until then, the Bible tells us God accomplishes many of these things through the workings of men. His spirit promoting and guiding on our behalf.

If you do not know this to be true, allow me to share a current illustration!

The worst storm hit our state and county this past week. Power outages, downed trees and impassable roads were wide spread. Hundreds of thousands of people with cold houses and plummeting temperatures. I-95, the Mega-Highway between Maine and Florida, was closed for over 30 miles with uncounted stranded vehicles and people!

Our power succumbed to a heavy wet 11 inches of snow, snapping trees and sending fireballs from power transformers. Nature’s force took power grids out in mere hours. The snow was beautiful, but the layers of clothing and blankets didn’t keep the cold from reaching our digits and bones.

We spent the first night at home. We woke to 50 degrees in our house. It was doable. As the day went on and power was black, it got colder and we questioned another night of falling thermostats. We packed up and headed north to a friend’s house who had power and a backup generator. Our subdivision did a great job of opening the main roads, so exiting was possible. The main road to our friend’s home was clear, but we didn’t get far till traffic stopped. Dead stop …No movement! The GPS gave little hope. With night and more cold approaching, we tried a few alternative routes. Trees blocked each before we got far. We headed back home before nightfall or getting stuck.

Our neighbors checked on us earlier in the day: we informed them we were headed north. When we arrived back home, we let them know. They offered a bedroom. Their power was also out, but they had some gas alternative heat sources. Our home was now in the 40s and we were not at all confident in our Arctic survival skills. We accepted.

We have only lived here 9 months, we knew each other on first name basis, but hadn’t spent a lot of time together. They opened their home to us without regard or restriction. They were God’s provision for us; simply put! God cared for us through the heart and home of our neighbors.

We lived in their home from Tuesday to Friday at 3pm when power returned to our portion of the street.

We made our plans, but they were thwarted and blocked, literally! God had another plan He brought to fruition: caring for us in his tender loving way.

Even though we are not very good at being “receivers”, Mike, Kelly and Markus made us feel like treasured family. They nourished us, bedded us, spoiled us, and heated not just our bodies, but our souls!

Living by flashlights, candles and camping lanterns was not our ideal, but we laughed, joked and encouraged each other through. Thanks to their generosity, it was easy to release what we could not control, anyway.

These are moments when hope thrives and comes alive! God did for us what we were helpless to do ourselves. He gave us a warm bed, food and fellowship to ride out the blackest of nights with freezing temps.

Did we know this was coming? NO!

Can we always be prepared for what’s ahead? NO! We cannot!

Can we trust God will provide? Yes, but not always in the way WE plan or think!

THIS IS OUR HOPE!

2022 may bring many unexpected turns, heartaches, and/or surprises, but I can trust The One who controls our breaths and heartbeats and leads us through. The path may be dim and frigid, but He has plans for us!

Accept your gift of this year, one sliver at a time.

Treasure it as gold.

Surrender to His plan and watch it unfold with HOPE!

That is my desire for you this year!

Hold onto Hope!

He can make a way where there is NO WAY!

Unending and endearing thank you to Mike, Kelly and Markus! Thank you for living out God’s command to love your neighbor as yourself. You are a vivid, living and enduring example to us!

Blessings on the lineman crews who came from far away places to restore our power. They worked endlessly in chilling temps to care for us … strangers!!!

P.S. – Another neighbor offered us the same after we accepted Mike and Kelly’s offer. God has plans and back up plans for us, even when our situation is surprising and dire. Thank you seems inadequate!

Holding onto 2022 with HOPE,

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