Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 -- The Best Year Yet?

I knew that 2013 was going to be an interesting year for me, and that is certainly proving to be true (if the first couple of weeks are any indication).  It is time to say "goodbye" to some things, and to embrace some new challenges and some new dreams.  It will, by definition, be a year of real change.

As I have been thinking about 2013, I have also found myself reassessing what a "good year" looks like.  We all have years in our lives where life changing events take place -- both good and bad -- and we usually think of those years as our "best" or, as the case may be, or "worst."

As an example, the most amazing single moment of my life took place on December 16, 1983.  I will never forget standing in a church in Corona Del Mar California that night, turning toward the back and seeing for the first time in her wedding dress the woman who just a few minutes later would become my wife.  Because of that, 1983 will always be an important year for me.

The ten to fifteen years following 1983 were pretty big too.  During those years I started my legal career, we bought our first house, all three of our kids were born, and we moved to Texas.  [Talk about life-changing events!]  A lot of great things happened in those years, but they were also incredibly difficult.  Our marriage was tested, and there were times when I think both of us wondered whether our marriage would make it.  In fact, there were days when I think we both questioned whether we wanted our marriage to survive.

Of course, our marriage not only survived, but Pam and I have an incredible life together today.  Perfect? No.  But I really cannot imagine being married to anyone else.  I really believe that God intended us to be together.

Pam would say that one of the big reasons that our marriage is so good today is that she finally has me trained!  And, there is some truth to that.  But the bigger truth is that our marriage is strong today mostly because of the tough years.  God used those years to mold us (ok, mostly me) -- to literally change my character.  And, while it is tempting to call some of those years the worst in my life, in retrospect that is simply not the case.  You see, in God's way of doing things the most difficult, challenging and even painful moments in our lives are also often the most important.  They are the times that God does His greatest work on us.

So, as I continue to look forward to the rest of 2013 I am trying not to look at it through the lens of good or bad.  I don't want to have any ambition this year other than to continue to pursue Him and His will for my life.  I want to believe that whatever life brings in 2013, His grace will be sufficient for me.  I want to try to believe that whatever any particular moment may seem like -- good, bad or indifferent -- God has a plan for me, and He will use each of those moments as part of that plan for my life.

Could 2013 be the best year yet?  If I keep my focus on Jesus, you bet!


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