This morning, I received the following note shared by Eliana. 

“Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, program, and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences. This is also the case when it comes to God. Often, we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives in our every decision…The newness which God brings into our life is something that actually brings fulfillment, that gives true joy, true serenity, because God loves us and desires only our good. Let us ask ourselves today: Are we open to “God’s surprises”? Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit?”

As I reflect on these words and consider the last few years with many of you in the Lake Barcroft Women’s Bible Study, I am so grateful for the new friendships that have formed and the old friendships that have become deeper and more meaningful.  Many of us went into the Bible study with eagerness, curiosity, and a bit of trepidation.  We’ve grown together in our faith and in our understanding of the character of the Lord and who we are in relationship to Him.  We’ve been both challenged and surprised by the lessons we’ve learned through the teaching and in our small group times together.  Even our casual encounters have taken on new significance.  Old passages that seemed so familiar show us new things each time we see them.  We are learning to listen for and heed that still small voice of the Holy Spirit.

During these next two chilly winter months, I encourage you to take some time to review the lessons of the past couple of years and reflect on how your faith has grown.  Reflecting on the Lord’s faithfulness in our lives makes it so much easier for us to release more and more of our hearts into His loving care.

Please continue to pray for one another—especially for those whose special needs are known to us.  And let’s look forward together with openness to God’s surprises in 2019.

God bless you and keep you until we meet again on Tuesday, March 5.  Save the date!

A New Year’s Note