The first month of the year is nearly over, and it seems like I couldn’t wait for the year to end. So far, I’ve been dealing with a lot of negativity even before the New Year started. What’s supposed to be a very fun and memorable Christmas vacation at home for my husband was tainted by our vexatious next-door neighbors’ evil schemes. Somehow, there’s just so much evil in them that I wonder if they ever sleep at all at night. And every morning, I would wonder whether the LORD had finally struck them dead.
I’ve been trying to overcome and it’s rather difficult. To keep myself at peace, I have started devoting time to read and study the Bible every morning. Currently, I am into the life of David and there are days when I couldn’t do anything but cry out to God, ask Him to give me a heart like David, a heart after His. I have realized that when I am in distress, there’s no better way to keep my mind off things than reading and meditating on God’s Word and reminding myself how blessed I am, how blessed my family is.
Sometimes, it also helps to just cry out to God and ask Him to strike our enemies dead in the most violent manner I believe each of them deserve and banish all evil men like them from the land. Then I would realize that I don’t even want to live here long and I should not really care about them. Moreover, despite their wickedness, they could never really harm me. And, it’s amazing how they are unable to really do so because the LORD protects us.
I have also realized that I just really want to live a peaceful and productive life during my short stay here on earth and fulfill my duties as a Christian parent, i.e., raise my daughters to be godly women who would be a light in this world, serving God and others with their talents and all of their faith.
Every time I think of that, however, I tend to question myself as a parent. I don’t think I am doing a wonderful job as a mother (and wife). I know I could be better, but I’m just not sure where to start improving. I have asked my husband how I could be a better wife to him, but he didn’t really give me an answer. (Would you consider I don’t know an answer?) I guess I ought to ask my children next, i.e., how I could be a better mom to them, but I’m probably not going to do that yet because I’m afraid of what they might say as much as I am curious.
Raising girls, especially with a teenager, being away from my husband, getting estranged from a close relative who did not only try to swindle me out of my inheritance but also tried to taint the good memory I have of my late parents, dealing with vexatious neighbors, learning that another close relative is very, very ill and needs financial help, etc. is not my idea of a better year, let alone a happy new year. But I must learn to cope, need to overcome. And I realized that I could only succeed in doing so if I also learn to finally surrender, to let go.
Let go of thinking about the evil surrounding me and just focus on God’s goodness and all the blessings He’s been showering my family and me… Let go of all the negative emotions and think about the things that give me happiness, including my family… Let go of all the worries and hurts and remember that God will avenge us… Let go of relationships that only bog me down and nurture the good ones, even foster new friendships… Let go of the need to be in control and allow Jesus to take control of everything… Let go and never fret about anything again… Oh, I have so many things to let go of and as I think about actually doing it, I start to feel peaceful, liberated!
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret–it leads only to evil.
For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
Psalm 37:7–9 (NIV)
I guess that’s my word then for 2017: let go. It’s not exactly one word, but it really sums up everything, the most important thing, that I need to do. Let go and let God take over, that is.
This year, I want to be more prayerful, start taking concrete actions on how I could get to know God more and be deeply rooted in His Word. I’d like to be a better wife and mother, as well as a better daughter-in-law and sister/sister-in-law, a better friend, volunteer leader, even a better writer, editor, translator, (homeschool) teacher, household manager, and entrepreneur, too. I’d like to be better at so many things, be a better person, and give glory to God. I’d like to be able to see and appreciate all the things and individuals that I had taken for granted. I’d like to be able to bring someone closer to God, too.
Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4 (NIV)