If 2013 Broke Your Heart…

We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it… 2 Corinthians 1:8

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Each Christmas, my husband and I search the city over, in pursuit of an ornament that best represents the last year of our lives.

Our Christmas tree tells ‘our story’, displaying the likes of seashells from tropical getaways, an antique bassinet in soft hue’s of pink, and an ornament in the shape of a Chinese takeout box symbolizing our first year of our marriage (and more specifically, the frequent calls made to Choi’s Chinese Food, thanks to my many failed attempts at making dinner each night!) 

…and then there is a margarita glass.

One margarita-shaped ornament, that represents to us one of the most difficult years we endured. A year marked with heartbreaking tragedy, of death, of malicious lies, and cold-hearted betrayals… and the need for counseling and the occasional STRONG margarita!

I can still remember to my shock and bewilderment, when that same year was publicly declared as the “BEST. YEAR. EVER!!!” by all of my Facebook friends…

The very year that had left me broken!

New Years Eve was a blur, as I struggled to hold back tears as the ball dropped, and while all of my closest friends cheered and embraced each other somewhere in the background. I can remember struggling to pinpoint whether the tears were welling because I was so relieved to see that year pass… or because deep within, I knew that I would not be able to withstand another year of the same devastating magnitude….

Even more, fearing that I would have to!

But when it comes to sheer magnitude, it is In Isaiah 43:16, that the Lord reminds us that He did the impossible and made an escape for His people through the expanse of the Red Sea! By doing so, He reminds us also, that no matter the magnitude of the trials we are up against this year, that He has got it covered! (After all, the Red Sea was a HUGE problem for the Israelites! Roughly 1400 miles long, 220 miles wide, and 1600 feet deep if you want to be exact!)

But God doesn’t stop there! He goes on to say this…

” Forget all that – It is NOTHING compared to what I am going to do! For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland… so my people can be refreshed.”

Carving a pathway through the Red Sea, is arguably, one of the greatest things God has ever done! And yet, He is saying, “that is NOTHING compared to what I can do in your life!”

But just over a year ago, with a bout of rejection under my belt, a tragedy that had me gritting my teeth and bracing for what was next, and feeling emotionally ‘pushed to the limit’ just by having to get out of bed each morning, and paint on the fake smile needed to appease everyone around me, I can recall struggling to believe that I too, was worthy of this level of blessing in my life!

But as I packed up the last of the Christmas decorations this last week; reminiscing about the significance of each year’s ornament, and tucking each one safely away in its place, I came to my beloved margarita glass. And I smiled…

Because what I had failed to see the very first time I nestled my new ornament into the glow of our Christmas tree just a year ago, was that in that very moment, God was working to do something ‘new’ in my life! That the piece of glass hanging from the branch in the shape of an alcoholic beverage – which once, only humorously symbolized the turbulence of the previous year – now serves as a constant reminder of the overwhelming blessings we could have never known He had in store for us in the year to come!

I imagine God must have snickered to himself, when I asked Him with bated breath, to merely ‘survive’ that next year, knowing that in the very moment I made my request, that He was already beautifully orchestrating – not only the provision of all my needs – but outlining a journey that would make some of our greatest dreams as a family come to fruition!

Since then, He has traded what was left of my hollow existence, with a life overflowing with excitement! He has restored my family… my heart… and my laughter…. and replaced my broken spirit with a strength that I never knew resided within me!

I love how Beth Moore puts it when she says, “If Jesus gives us a task or assigns us to a difficult season, every ounce of our experience is meant for our instruction and completion, if only we’ll let Him finish the work. I fear, however, that we are so attention deficit that we settle for bearable when beauty is just around the corner!”

No matter how badly broken 2013 has left you, our God is a god who seeks to refresh. And He is not finished! He promises to make a pathway through the lifeless deserts you may have found yourself in, and provide a way out of the most trying circumstances you are up against. No matter the depth, He will be our guide through the raging sea that is currently standing in the way of the life we most desire.

And The Lord will do something ‘new’ in our lives…

Something more miraculous than anything He has ever done before!

We need only to take a look around, and wait expectantly for the beauty of it to unfold!

We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it… but as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to only rely on God…we have placed our confidence in Him and He will continue to rescue us. 

2 Corinthians 1:8-10

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20 thoughts on “If 2013 Broke Your Heart…

  1. I need a margarita glass ornament! This perfectly describes my 2013. My world shattered when my mom, who lives with my husband and me, had a series of injuries & illnesses: broken finger in Januiary; stroke in April; a month in a rehab hospital; falls, some resulting in nasty skin tears. Not at all how we planned 2013. Thankfully, she lives at our home and can do most things for herself, but we can’t leave her by herself for extended periods of time. So we don’t get away much. Yet God gives us moments to breathe. He is faithful. You have reminded me, once again, that HE is my hope. This is only a season. His plan is GOOD, and He is coming again. My perspective is renewed. Thank you.

  2. There is no victory with out challenge. Climbing the mountain takes strength, determination and commitment to move forward. Knowing we have help and we cannot do it on our own is a place where faith and hope can work to keep us committed.
    It is our visit to the cross is where we first received our hope and faith and it is always there to visit again and again when ever we feel we have lost our way. It is there where change comes from. Change in our faith, Change is our life, Change in our thinking, our challenges are replaced with hope and faith that will leads us to our victory.

  3. This is an answer to prayer. I have been asking God to show me and give me direction for this year, 2014, and this post spoke straight to my heart, spirit, and situation. Thank you for being a vessel for Him.

  4. Thank you, Krista. 2013 was the year for me. It was all I could do to keep it together on New Years Eve while all the happy hullabaloo was happening around me. I had the same feeling, both a sense of relief at it coming to an end, and a feeling that there is no way I could handle anymore bad thrown my way. Thank you for posting this, I needed it.

  5. I’d love any suggestions you have. It’s gotten to the point where I absolutely hate the holidays and wish they could just be skipped. Now January is here, and I continue to be depleted beyond what I even thought was possible. painting on the fake smile to appease everyone around me is something I can so relate to. I’ll start reading through Isaiah, but I’d love any suggestions or thoughts.

  6. Thank you for this. I already know that He knows my troubles but I love the reassurance you give here. 2013 was as bad as it was good and I am stronger because ot it.

  7. Thank you Krista for being a vessel that God uses to encourage and lift up others. You are a blessing. I just recently found your site and am thankful for you sharing from your heart. May God immensely bless you in 2014.

  8. A wise man once told me that when someone is walking through the valley, or just in the hole, we should stop trying to help our friends out of it. Instead, we should pray that they go deeper, and into more dark places, for it is there where they find God. It’s in the deepest, darkest places where we search for His light and it’s His job to pull us out, not anyone else’s. Remind me of this when I need it!

  9. The message you brought today resonates within my soul, as this past has been so trying and hard in my life. I have lived. I have lost. I have re-united. I have blamed. I have forsaken. I have struggled. I have shamed. I have hurt. I have heart-ached. I have imprisoned. I have wallowed. I have forgotten. Only in my darkest hours did I ever call on God. I never once thanked Him for the things that were good and whole. This past year was a Shakespearean tragedy in my life so badly that I couldn’t see the positive that surrounded me the whole time. It was only with the birth of my first grandbaby that I realized that God is great (again).She motivated me again to pursue life with all its ups and downs and realize that within the bad there is good.

    I rejoiced when my husband, after being away for a year in Korea, came home in June. I was a little upset that we had to move again, due to him being in the Army, to Washington State and being over 2,000 miles from my family, but intrigued by the fact that I had never been there. I have two wonderful children who I love with my entire being and am glad they have and still are growing to be the adults I had hoped they would become. I have a husband who stands by my side no matter how crazy each and every idea I have is and whether or not it will work. I love that I have met some new friends that I know will be here for a lifetime.

    Yes looking back on 2013 I lost my granny, grandma and a dear friend and it nearly destroyed me, but I gained a granddaughter who I cannot wait to hold in my arms. I have a loving husband who stood by me as I grieved and did not hassle me about the laundry or dinner and minor things of that nature, but instead took care of those things knowing that I was incapable because my mourning was real and it was going to take time.

    Thank you so much for sharing this message. It made me realize what I have and that God is with me always good and bad. He has his reasons for everything and we have a purpose.

  10. That was my verse new year’s day! Given to me by my mother, and it continues to be confirmed!! It is no coincidence that I am reading your blog with the same words of encouragement!!~ God will create rivers in the dry wasteland..! 🙂 His promises are true and after a long 2 and half years of being a single parent (my spouse left our marriage after 11 years of marriage for another woman) I have had many struggles and moments of desperation unsure as to how I would survive this. God has never left my side and never will. He is preparing my children and I for magnificent things! Thank you for sharing!

  11. I don’t celebrate christmas. A decision I made about 3 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I follow our Messiah Yeshua; I just don’t do the festivals other than those in the Bible. This decision has brought incredible rejection, etc. I do very much relate to this post. We all have some thing or some time that serves as “a rock of remembrance”. I need to set my heart on seeing through the pain to see the blessing. When I do that it changed everything. Yes. I am blessed beyond the Red Sea. I am blessed indeed!! Shalom

  12. Krista, I appreciate you sharing this. I know it will help a lot of people. The whole thing about God doing something new…..people going thru a tragedy or a rough season and then getting to use it for instruction and completion….for Him to finish the work…..all that…..hmmm, I’m not there yet. I’m not in a position Spiritually, physically, emotionally or any other xxxxly to see that or understand it. I’m still not able to see the benefit, value, or positive reasons for my healthy 25 year son dying suddenly……unexpectedly. I’m not sure his sisters understand it either. He served God and was on fire for His Kingdom. He breathed the Word of God. My wife and I have been music ministers/worship leaders for more than 25 years….our 2 girls and our son grew up in church, so I guess “shame on me” for even questioning any of this. Well, anyway…..I’m not trying to be negative (but i just re-read this, and I AM being negative). I do appreciate your post. I do believe you have found a way to not only cope, but to be victorious in the midst of your tragedies. I guess I’m jealous. I’d love to walk in that understanding. Maybe someday…. So, I will choose to believe for a breakthrough. Blessings to you for taking a stand and for having a coooool blog. Peeeeeece.

  13. Thank you, as I read this was was reminded how I had said that Christmas was my Best Ever…. the same year my youngest son died Dec. 24th at 12:30 pm. I was numb was we all I left the hospital to have lunch with my dad and oldest son. Said goodbyes as they all head to Texas for Christmas Day, I head to my place seeing a bottle of wine a customer had left me. I opened the bottle sat in my chair, turn on my laptop to listen to music. I drank the whole bottle and slept.
    Yet, God was full of grace and mercy sweeping me with his incredible love.
    Best Christmas ever spent alone with God….

  14. Pingback: If 2013 Broke Your Heart… | Urban Hallelujah | Boxx Banter

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