This year, however, it feels different. As I pondered yesterday over the new start coming, I was not filled with the exuberant feelings I usually have. Instead, my prayers were answered with a feeling of trepidation. Came the answer:
No, this will not be a year full of exciting changes, wonderful new dreams to explore. It will not be a year where things progressively get a little better as the kids get a little older. This is going to be a tough year for you. This is going to be a year filled with fear and trepidation. It will string you out physically, mentally and emotionally.
I'm not sure I want to hear this.
Hear it now, and use it for your good. Dig in deep spiritually, be gathered under the wings of God. Rest. Abide. Take cover amid the storm. You will need a great deal of peace and there is only one giver of such peace.
Life moves in cycles. There are ups and downs. You cannot know joy without sorrow. And you cannot know God without circumstances to drive you to him. You will come to know him more deeply than ever before. Go to him.
A song. A song came on at that moment and spoke into my soul, declaring itself as a hymn for my heart this year.
God's word, to cling to:
"And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun...for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land... For the devil laugheth and his angels rejoice because of the slain...
"Behold, I am the light and the life of the world. Arise and come forth unto me that ye may thrust your hands into my side, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth."
(excerpts from 3 Nephi 8-11, as quoted in Alex Boye's "Abide with Me!")