2018. A Year in Review.
ROAD TO A MIRACLE
My Friend, we made it to the last few weeks of 2018. How was your year? Are you satisfied with how you lived your last 365 days? Are you ready to leave them behind as you embrace new beginnings? This is where I find myself - ready to close the door on this year and step into a new day.
My word for 2018 was HEALING. My friends, I never realized how hard it would be to live out that word. Healing has been painful and slow, but necessary. This year, I faced many challenges from being diagnosed with major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, and PMDD. At the time I am writing this, a growth was discovered on my thyroid that I will have to have biopsied in January. We will see what that turns out to be. As you can tell, the Lord started me on a "Road to a Miracle."
My Friend, sometimes God gives us that instant miracle. The eyes of the blind are opened, the deaf hear, the lame leap, and the dumb speak. We see over and over again in His word that one touch of the Master's hand, and healing flows.
Other times, however, that miracle is not instantaneous. Like Paul, we wrestle with a thorn in our side (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) that can only be calmed by God's grace. Three times Paul begged the Lord to remove that infirmity; that thorn, but each time the answer was, "My Grace is sufficient for thee."
If like me, your 2018 was a year where you didn't see the manifestation of your miracle, rest in knowing that we are walking on our Road to a Miracle. Years ago I wrote a song called "Road to a Miracle.” At the time I wrote it for someone who was undergoing a kidney transplant. Little did I know the song wasn't for him, it was for me.
In 2018, I took my first steps on the Road to a Miracle. I'm not there yet, but I see glimpses of light embracing me, glimpses of God's grace keeping me, and goodness and mercy following me.
Hurricane Florence devastated our community this year as the storms powerful rains and winds directly hit us. Our home was in disarray from the storm for months, and there are still things that must be fixed, but God preserved us. Many are still without roof's, homes, and some even electricity.
This storm wreaked havoc that I had not seen before, and once again, between this storm and my health, I was able to see the mighty hand of God and how powerful He is. He holds the winds and the rains, He holds our moments and our memories, He holds us, and He has kept us.
HE KEPT US
While much of 2018 was filled with pain, there were a few bright moments.
We started the year with the most perfect snowstorm. We rarely get snow in North Carolina so this was an absolute treat. It was so cold that it kept on snowing and refreezing and snowing and refreezing. We made snow-cream, created a few snow angels, and enjoyed feeling like I was back home in New York again.
I was thrilled to be able to go home to The City for a few days this year. Oh New York, how I miss you. This trip was even more special than usual because I got to celebrate The Big Apple with Steven, Asher, my Mom, and nephew. I will always be a New Yorker through and through!
My husband and I celebrated our honeymoon in Williamsburg, Virginia; one of our favorite family vacation spots. It was the perfect time to relax, reflect, rest, and rejuvenate.
For our first wedding anniversary and my fortieth birthday, we took a trip to the North Carolina mountains, and I fell in love. The peace, the serenity, and the beauty of God's creation filled my heart. It was a magnificent trip.
Asher turned nine-years-old, and we began to homeschool third grade. Oh! I wish you could know my Asher. He is the epitome of joy and happiness, blessing and grace. In my darkest days of 2018, a sweet little hand would touch my shoulder with a, "Can I do anything for you, Momma." Oh, this boy has me wrapped around his little finger, and I'm not letting go.
On Asher's birthday, he wanted to stop at a local pet shop to pet the puppies. Little did I know that my heartstrings would entwine around the little ears of a sweet little mini-lop bunny. I have never owned a rabbit or desired to own a rabbit, but this little face called to me and begged me to take him home.
Sweet little "George Gershwin" has become a part of our family. He is a little "therapy bunny." George will climb up on my chest and nuzzle right under my chin for love and cuddles. He is the best thing, and I am so glad we brought him into our home.
A Symphony Of pRaise
A Symphony of Praise got a significant overhaul concerning our branding and our vision in 2018. We changed our name from The Felicity Bee to A Symphony of Praise, and since that change, God has opened my eyes and expanded my vision beyond my limited capabilities. He is revealing things to my heart that I cannot wait to share with you!
We released four resources this year that are blessing so many as they go deeper into God's Word. Our INSCRIBE THE WORD journal was released this fall. It quickly sold out, so we added a digital version to the mix to give you an instant download of this 365-Day Scripture Writing Journal. We will be releasing our new ITW Journal and our new design in the Fall of 2019.
We also released our W.O.R.D. workbook based on our Bible Study Method of the same name. We have a physical and digital copy available. I love seeing my sisters go deep into God's Word discovering the treasures inside while using this Bible Study Method.
There is so much in store for 2019 here at A Symphony of Praise. Through this horrible year, God has shown me one thing . . . I am . . . You are . . . His Masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). We are His symphony.
Our Faith, Work, Health, Relationships, and Daily Living are the "instruments" that make up that Symphony. If one of those parts of our life is out-of-tune, the harmony falls apart and we, in turn, end up not living our best life. Our Symphony becomes distorted. We must renew, refocus, and repent as we turn our eyes back to The Chief Musician so He can create a Symphony of Praise out of our lives.
If your 2018 was glorious, Praise God. I rejoice with you.
If your 2018 was treacherous, Praise God. Because the pain is merely a returning to fit in with the Master's Song. Don't give up. We can't give up! We must keep going because out of our lives He is creating a Masterpiece.
Thank you for your love, friendship, encouragement, and support during 2018.
I walk into 2019 with you; head's held high, hope in our hearts, and symphony ready to be lived out.
WITH ALL MY HEART,
E R I K A M I C H E L L E