Daily Delight

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

So many of us have left 2016 with a sense of collective weariness, and an eagerness for 2017 to begin so we can get passed the burdens we’ve carried. Grief and mourning are important. Fully experiencing pain and learning to process with God is the only way to fully experience joy and the abundant life He promised us. 

Processing pain allows us to look both behind and ahead with a perspective informed by God, not by our experiences. As I began to consider my goals and dreams for 2017 with excitement, I realized there were still disappointments of 2016 I needed to process: dreams that didn’t happen, hurt feelings, and deep longings that hadn’t been met. Around that time, a pastor at our church spoke a prayer for anyone experiencing loneliness, and I realized how deeply I myself had felt lonely this year. The heaviness of that disappointment and sadness washed over me, and I let it, along with heavy tears -- knowing that as I let my heart grieve, I could let go and move forward. 

There may be things in our lives that feel heavy. There may be burdens we’ve carried, whether from witnessing tragedy in the news or from deep loss and disappointments in our own lives. 2017 is not the answer to our pain, although we all share excitement for the clean slate it’s brought. 

The best and only answer is Jesus: His presence in our pain, His love that gives purpose to the sadness we walk through. We are not a people of the past or a people defeated, no matter how tough the news or how dark the night of our own lives. We are a people of hope and of victory, receiving new mercy each day to rise again, to feel deeply and fully again. We rise to welcome with arms wide open all experiences, knowing there is nothing His redemption will not touch. 2017 will hold mountain highs and valley lows -- but amidst all, His hope is with us.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope,” (Romans 15:13, ESV).

{photo: @stefanie.madison}

About the Author

 Alaina Stratton≫≫Alaina is a writer based in Nashville, TN, where she lives with her husband, Blake. They met in 7th grade band and spend most of their time flirting over cups of well made coffee. Through writing Alaina shares personal stories of moments and movements of the heart; thoughts on identity, marriage, life with God, and more. Her greatest desire is to encourage others towards deeper intimacy with themselves and the Lord.

She also writes for her personal blog (www.alainastratton.com) and podcasts alongside her husband for White Flag Wealth: a journey into God’s promise of abundant life (available in iTunes or wherever you download podcasts


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