December 31st, 2019. For many, they are looking forward to the parties and celebrations of the night.

It's not only the last day of the year, it's the last day of a decade. Many of us remember 1999, when we all wondered, what will happen when the calendar page turns to a new millennium? Will all of the computers in the world crash? But the transition to four numbers instead of two in the calendar year went seamlessly and life went on as usual.

Has it really been 20 years? At that point in my life, there seemed to be so much promise, but things didn't turn out the way I expected. Looking back, I now know what was missing. I always had a deep sense of faith in my heart, but at that point in my life, I was Catholic for an hour once a week. Life got really busy, as we focused our energies on securing our future, from a financial standpoint. But we didn't consider the stakes for our spiritual future.

In the ebbs and flows of life, I always adapted to my circumstances. I didn't think that having different religions mattered that much. But looking back, I now realize that was because I wasn't practicing my faith with a firm conviction.

My ex-husband tolerated my trips to church once a week. Don't get me wrong. This man was brilliant and I learned a lot from him, but I was empty inside. I suffered from my depression in silence, because this doctor's wife couldn't possibly be depressed about anything.

"I like trees and nature", I once told him when we began dating. "I do too!" he told me. Then he showed me the pictures on the walls in his home. Ansel Adams. Great works of art - nature's beauty captured and photographed... in black and white. A bleak and dismal landscape of what was to come.

Anyway, that was then. Long story short, after much heartache, my life changed. It seemed like the end of the world at the time, but it turned out to be for the best. And with God's blessings and many miracles, I just celebrated seven years in my home.

I anticipate some major changes once again in 2020. I'll be moving on. Even though so much is unknown, I'm also excited because God has greatly enriched my life these past seven years, as I learned more about my faith and about myself, and I also learned how to give back. So I know, with confidence, that God won't let me fall. In the world's eyes, this may look like a failure, but every single moment has been leading up to what is to come. He takes my failures and uses them for good. All my weariness and fatigue will not stop me from going where He wants me to go. In fact, what I will achieve is a living testimony to His Grace working through me, fueled by His supernatural strength which we know can do the impossible.

The Lord told St. Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." And Paul went on to say, "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)


On Christmas morning, I was sitting on the sofa and saying my morning prayers. As I looked out the window, I saw a bird in the tree out front. It was larger than most of the birds I usually see. It was a hawk and it flew on to the bird feeder, right in front of me! Well, I often ponder the meanings of what I see. Out of curiosity I Googled "hawk in the bible". There was one Scripture, Job 39:26 which caught my eye:

"Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south?"

In spite of Job losing everything - his wealth, his sons and daughters, all his livestock, everything in his life, Job remained steadfast in his faith. He would not curse God, no matter what happened. But it took its toll on Job, and in his suffering he lamented that he couldn't understand why God would allow a righteous person to suffer. God questioned Job, and made it clear that He is the Lord of all creation, and that Job will never have the capability to understand God's ways.
To me, the hawk is a symbol that the Lord's ways are not my ways, but God is great, and even if He gives and takes away, He has it all figured out. Suffering and loss are not a punishment, but we can accept our sufferings as a reminder that, He's got this! We don't need to rely on our own inadequate understanding.

And perhaps (and here I go with my imagination again!) the hawk peering at me through the window was a messenger... and I need to spread my wings toward the south...

My primary New Year's Resolution is to give thanks and praise to the Lord every day. I'm so thankful because He knows what's in my future, even if I don't. This time eight years ago, I didn't know of the new life He had in store for me. I couldn't even imagine! So my other resolution is to take one day at a time, but to make each day count so that I'm moving forward in God's plan for me. I predict that the miracles will continue. I just need to get out of God's way to make room for the miracles.