Looking Back, Moving Forward

As I pause and take a look back over the year I am amazed at God’s grace. I am amazed that God would take a man filled with pride, endless flaws and insecurities, and allow him to partake in his glory. With that being said, 2013 was an excellent year.  As a parent, this past year has afforded me the opportunity to watch my youngest son grow leaps and bounds, my daughter enter the first grade, and my oldest son enter Pre-K. While my wife and I have put forth supreme effort raising our children I realize daily I can’t take credit for how awesome my children are becoming. I stand amazed at them daily.  Financially, God has continued to provide. In years past, it was hard to find contentment regarding my finances. Yet, despite my best efforts, God has continued to provide for my family and I. As I learn to trust in God’s sovereignty and providence my desire to worry is continually laid to rest.

Personally, 2013 was a transformative year. One would think great personal growth would be a reflection of great accomplishments. Once again, God used 2013 to reveal that my efforts to perform and achieve righteousness have only contributed to putting distance between myself and Him. God used my failures and character defects to communicate my deep need for Him.

I’ve begun to learn the meaning of true repentance. The more God reveals my frailties the more I cling to God for survival. In years past, I would measure my relationship with Christ by my ability to make right decisions. Needless to say, my ability to obtain righteousness left me discontent. My discontentment would leave me disappointed and prideful. While underachieving made me feel like a failure, pride made me feel as though I deserved more. After all, I worked hard to live a Christian life. This attitude affected my marriage, my work performance and my overall quality of life. To top it all off, I fought a seemingly never ending battle with pornography.  Yet, in 2013 I have grown to learn that my identity in Christ prompts me to right action. While I have always known this in my head, it took 32 years for this truth to penetrate my heart. This realization has revolutionized my life. God has radically transformed me as a father, husband, brother, son and friend.

Lastly, 2013 was the best year of marriage for my wife and I.  After 9 years of marriage, my wife and I have grown to love, respect and accept the good and the flaws in each other. We have grown to challenge each other in grace and love. As a husband I’ve learned it’s impossible to love my wife properly when pride is involved. I look forward to growing with and loving my wife.  I look forward to becoming a better father. I look forward to becoming a better son, brother and friend. I look forward to experiencing the plan God has laid out for me.  As I go into 2014, may God be glorified and His image be displayed. May I grow to be a tool at his disposal and ready for use!