I noticed last year that things were changing around me. Not just from my mom’s death, while that was huge, there was more. Relationships were changing, my goals were changing and the effects I was having on others were increasing. A time in my life that could easily be one of the darkest valleys I have had to walked through and yet I saw SPARK. A small light that glimmered from time to time. It was brightest when the community of my family and friends came around me with love. I saw it in cards that were sent, flowers that bloomed and in hugs that were exchanged. Those SPARKS, although small and to most seemed like no big deal are the reason I could get up each day and face whatever came next.
2013 was a time of morning for me. I encountered 13 deaths, including my mom, uncle and a close family friend. Each death brought a different community of friends and family together. Each life was remembered and celebrated differently, but the commonality to each one was the reminder of God’s presence in my life. I was not left alone to fend for myself through this darkened valley. No there was a SPARK. That SPARK was God’s love. He sent me reminders “Do not fear I will help you…” Isaiah 41:13 or “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted” Psalm 34:18 or even “Consider it all joy” James 1:2.
While most of the time I was in too much pain to notice His presence I was at least aware that there was a faint light guiding me out of the darkness. Everything happens for reason. I am a firm believer in this. Each season in our life happens and should teach us something. We should not be questioning why is this happening to me but rather what am I suppose to notice, what am I suppose to learn and who should be with me?
The Bible speaks over and over again about the power of community (Hebrews 10:24-25, Ephesians 4:15-16, Matthew 18:20, and many more) and after spending a year surrounded by it I can tell you it’s true. The SPARK that was created from the community that surrounded me is starting to grow. I am starting to see beyond the step that I am on. I am beginning to take notice again. See joy in unexpected places and be grateful for it.
So this year my word is SPARK. I want act as a stimulant and offer inspiration to others that may be in a season of sorrow. But it’s more than that. I also want to encourage those who are not suffering to come along side of those that are. I want to encourage you to become your own SPARK.
Galations 6:2 states “Bear one another’s burdens…”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 states “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!…”
So while I am still navigating through the valley, I am getting closer to the end and I am ready to acknowledge that God has been with me the whole time and for that I am grateful. I am actively searching for the SPARKS that God leaves for me to find and excited to see who He has help Him create them.
What is your word this year? Do you have any desires or dreams for this year?