Today, I’m so pleased and excited to have the amazing pizza ninja, Jane Maree herself, here for our second last post in this series! (goodness gracious, I sound like a radio presenter :P)
ABOUT JANE MAREE
Jane Maree is an Adventurer—living and laughing in God’s beautiful creation. If you say anything about pizza, superheroes, books, or any of her many, many fandoms, she’ll come running. Aside from crafting worlds using only twenty-six letters, she is a passionate Jesus-lover, freelance editor, self-trained martial artist, songwriter, and musician. Find her on her website janemareeauthor.com.au
I don’t know how this year has been for you, but for me 2017 has been a year of joy, hope, peace—
It’s been tough. There’s been struggles, deadlines, expectations to meet, failure, lack of motivation, heaviness, so many things to do and get done that it was almost like I would drown beneath them all.
I remember one time near the beginning of the year, when I was really struggling. I wanted to just give up. I tried and tried my hardest but it wasn’t doing any good.
All I could think was: “I can’t do this. I can’t do this alone.”
And then I stopped. Standing there, almost broken beneath the weight of everything that I’d been trying to hold up by myself. I took a breath.
It’s almost laughable. Of course I can’t do this on my own. I can’t do anything on my own.
I can’t even breathe without Jesus giving me the breath.
There’s no way I could love my family, serve people, smile and laugh and be a messenger of joy—let alone write three or four novels, edit two others, and post on my blog every week—without God beside me and holding me up in His arms.
No. Way. Possible.
Life is so often like that. We’re busy with this and that. School, work, activities, hobbies, trying to keep up. The busyness just gets bigger and bigger and the going gets slower and slower until it’s like wading through a muddy marsh up to your waist.
And the mud just gets higher and thicker the more you try keep going in your own strength.
Imagine that. Wading through that marsh, sinking deeper and deeper, and right above you, someone is standing on the surface, holding out their hand to help.
God is waiting, offering his hand to help us out, but so often we ignore it.
I know I’ve done it time and time again. Even after He pulls me out one time, I forget so quickly. I start thinking that I can do it myself and I start sinking again.
It takes me far too long to raise my eyes again and see that hand, waiting for me to take it so He can pull me up. Again.
Only a fool would keep slogging through the marsh while they could see that hand offering to pull them up to walk above the mud. And yet I do it so often.
I certainly haven’t learnt yet, but I can say that I’m learning, and I will keep learning for the rest of my life—that I just need to turn to him.
Every week. Every day. Every hour. Every second.
Every breath I take is from Him. I can’t live alone and I don’t have to try. He’s there. He’s always there. I just need to rest in him.
Between the difficulties, I can safely say that this year has been a year of joy and hope and peace even though it was hard. When God is standing beside you, holding your burdens, sheltering you from the waves the pound over and over, you can still smile even though externally it seems like there’s nothing to smile about.
Turn to Jesus, he is All you need. In His presence there is fullness of joy, at his right hand are pleasures for evermore.
Next year will be another tough year. So will the year after that. But it can be beautiful at the same time.
A smile is so much brighter when despair surrounds it on every side. So for the rest of my life, I want to keep smiling. Not because things are going well, but because I have a good Father who will never leave me to deal with the struggles and hardships of this world alone.
If that’s not something to smile about, I don’t know what is.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)