Happy New Year! Yes – Happy New Year – in Blue Cotton Time. I have mentioned before that my inner woman new year does not begin on January 1 – it always begins sometime during the year when God consigns a spiritual theme on my heart – there has been The Year of Finding Joy, The Year of Financial Savings, The Year of The Great Loss turning into the Year of the Great Discovery and this last year – which I have only named after living through it – The Year of Standing. Yes – Standing.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:12-14)
So in retrospect, my Blue Cotton Calendar is heralding a new year. And, in review, I stood my ground – not an inch was given – and maybe some gained.
But I learned something, too. I learned that standing in faith, standing on truth, maybe tripping a little on righteousness but standing still, ready with gospel in my quiver, my chin strap of Salvation tightened though worn, and the Sword of the Spirit gripped tightly in my hand – yeah – I had all those things available – but all I could do was stand. Mind-numbing stand.
I understood more why you need to read and remember those promises of God. Because on those days when all I could do was stand – I couldn’t read. I couldn’t think. All I could do was remember. and. stand. whispering. promise Words my Father gave me.
Unable to reason with the world around me – Mind-numbing paralyzed – no words to respond. Reason like a vapor – But standing, knowing that He was responding. He knew the solution. He knew the machinations. leaving me just to. . . stand.
Standing on “Faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen”(Hebrews 11:1).
Through the storm. Through the challenge. Until the battle turned, by God’s hand, in my favor.
Growing up, I never had a father to fight my battles. Only Father God. And this year, He fought the battle for me – leaving me standing behind Him, weary, battle-worn, whining, crying – but standing on His promises alone.
My new them for my Blue Cotton Year? I’m not sure – but I have a feeling of . . . refreshing. Maybe a Year where Mama is Not the Mama who Replants Roots in the Great Move, or Mama who Guides Her Sons Through a Great Loss, or Mama who Guides her Sons out of the Mine Field of the Great Rebellion, or Mama who Held the Fort Together while Dad was out of the country working to Provide for the Fort. Maybe a Year where Mama Loves Gently, like a gardener lovingly tending, nurturing, water, and yes, cutting back for fuller bloom, but able to do it without getting pricked by thorns, or tormented poison ivy, or wilting in drought.Maybe the Year of Gentleness.
Whatever the theme of this year – it has begun with a feeling of refreshment, a heart renewed with little bursts of joy and laughter – and smiling. Lots of smiles – the teens are smiling again. Sigh! Happy New Year!